September 25, 2013
“Funny Is Money” by Tad Friend
Section 1: Ben Stiller is obsessed over on how to film the scene where Walter jumps into the water and a shark is swimming near him. A discussion takes place on the cost of producing this particular scene and how to realistically film the water scene by Ben Stiller’s standards. Ben Still and Jeff Mann have a difference of opinion about the importance of the scene. Ben Stiller realizes how obsessed about the small details of the play. His line producer, G. Mac Brown, is trying to figure out how to give Stiller everything he wants while maintaining the budget.
Scene 2: This section provided information on the type of person that Ben Stiller is as an actor and director. Ben Stiller would likely not come to mind even though he has been successful in making other actors shine. He never intended to be an actor but loves to direct. He is over-the-top and extremely passionate and worries about everything in a production. Studios are afraid that Stiller will go over his budget because he is a perfectionist about everything in a movie.
Section 3: Ben Stiller’s agent, Nick Stevens, is helping Ben launch the Walter Mitty story by helping him market Ben Stiller’s new image. Movie executives at Fox like the way Ben Stiller works but are afraid that he will spend over a hundred million dollars. Ben Stiller wants to leave a mark and in order to do that, he thinks that you have to have creativity.
Section 4: : Stiller returns to the set of the movie “The Watch” where he plays a character named Evan, a Costco store manager. “The Watch” is an “R-rated” buddy movie and for Stiller this kind of work is nothing more than a day job. Nonetheless, as is his normal tendency, he places himself as “guardian of the story and continuity.” He and fellow characters discuss ways to edit the action scenes. Stiller is always concerned about his image and how people perceive him. Stiller also is also serious about finding the right director for all of his productions. Some have even declined the job offer because he becomes too involved in every detail of the movie.
Section 5: There was a time when Hollywood studios made a great deal of money, but now green-light fewer movies because things like movie attendance and DVD markets are dropping. The movie studios are trying to figure out ways to lure teens and parents to see films by trying to create a great ending that sends the audience in disbelief.
Section 6: Stars are people who can get a film and lure people to see the film. More and more acting jobs are endangered and are changing. Studios are searching for stars who are making a name for themselves and can draw people to the box office. They say “if you require stars less often and your profits are sinking, then their income can seem objectionable.” However, stars are still needed for a small subset of movies and Ben Stiller is one of these vital stars.
Section 7: Hollywood has been interest in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” for a long time. In 2005, Stiller was offered this role but turned it down. He was then sent a new draft and he accepted it. Stiller likes to direct so Tom Rothman was willing to consider him as a director and as the lead actor in the movie. The Fox script had issues because Mitty’s fantasies were random and not clear enough. Stiller wanted to make the fantasies clearer and to show his emotions. The script had not shown why Walter was a daydreamer and Tom worried that the movie was not comedic enough.
Section 8: The “Mitty” crew met to work on some of the film’s set pieces. The director asked his animators to see the footage for the story board for Fox’s trailers and television ads. Stiller runs the sequence five times to see if the scene works and to see if the audience would get bored. The filmmakers had a lively debate about the prosthestics and clothes that would be needed to sell the beginning of the