Nerdist Podcast: Quentin Tarantino

Sponsors: The Never Hero, Johnathan Tibs


  • Quentin’s most recent: Hateful Eight
  • Press isn’t so bad while you’re doing it, but thinking about it before doesn’t feel good at all (like a 10 mile run)
  • Comicon Hateful 8 Panel: Quentin asked Chris (Nerdist host) to moderate a panel, based on seeing him in @Midnight and the Talking Dead
    • Let audience questions almost right away, that is why they were waiting around and often don’t get a chance to ask many questions
    • Actors can get nervous, especially when not sure what they can talk about for un-released movies
    • BUT, if you can’t get it together for Comicon and Hall-H, then what the hell
      • Is there ever an audience more likely to just love you than this one?
    • Quentin grew up in LA (born in Tennessee) and going to Comicon (back when it was actual dorks)
      • “Highlight of our year”
      • You could actually just talk to people and kind of get to them (e.g. Jack Kirby)
    • WondaCon is pretty great, hasn’t been taken over by industry yet
    • “I’ve always considered myself as a young person’s filmmaker to a certain degree”
      • When it comes to young fans, I keep renewing every 4 years with the new crop of high-school kids, so far so good for the past 22 years
    • Discussed the history of the scam that was Columbia House
    • In 50-70s, most directors didn’t get wide acclaim until years later
      • Sergio Leone created the entire genre of Spaghetti Westerns, but this wasn’t like he won tons of awards and got tons of press at the time
      • Quentin was lucky to get such acclaim so quickly with Pulp Fiction, not expected
        • Kind of accident, couldn’t be predicted
        • Reservoir Dogs, part of this new trend at the time – running in parallel with the grunge music scene
          • Coming off of very commercialized 80s decade in music and film, “the worst decade”
          • Few 80’s movies that are gems, outside of silly comedies (not great filmmaking) like Airplane, Used Cars, Airplane 2, The Couch Trip, Dr. Detroit
            • Best part of Airplane 2 aren’t the main characters, but the background guys
            • Every joke in Airplane still holds up
          • Movies premiering in August followed a pattern
            • Big noise in May, June, July, setting up August as the Sleeper comedy
            • Airplane and Used Cars both opened as the same time, and only one could do well
          • This was also the dawn of the home video market to allow movies to make money and build a following on home video, then HBO, etc.
          • Buckaroo Bonzai: So damn weird, what the f*ck are we watching?
            • No possible way to understand it from a first watching when it was released, but people watched it over and over again on video and then people started to understand it
          • Speed Racer Movie: Committed to the weird mythology to it
            • I waited a long long time for this, but I wish it happened before I was 48 (I started when I was 6)
            • Peter Weller would have been great with Johnny Depp as Speed Racer
          • I can’t help but turn every novel I read into a movie in my head (did the same with comic books)
          • Before Pulp Fiction, Quentin considered doing a Luke Cage movie
            • His hero growing up, but it was his comic geek friends who talked him out it
              • They wanted Wesley Snipes, because he has the “bod”
              • Was so turned off that the bod was starting/endpoint
            • Decided to only do a comic book movie if it is his own character
          • With the last 5 movies before this one, I thought I was making a little empire with each of them (like a Kill Bill every 10 years, Anime sequel to the Bride’s adventures, Origin of Bill with his 3 father figures – how he turned dark, etc.)
            • Bill was a master villain like Kingpin in Daredevil, a Fu Manchu
            • But after doing it, we got sick of each other
            • Same with Inglorious Bastards, Grindhouse, Django, etc. – But I just got interested in doing other things
              • Did do a Django comic, that was the only one
            • How do you sustain mania on one thing when so much else is going on
              • I contemplate a lot of things before I pick something across all sorts of ideas (books, movie ideas, film-books, etc.)
              • I flirt with a lot of ideas, but then you meet “the one”, it grabs me and is genuine legit
                • Django happened organically – was an idea for a long long time
                  • Was doing press for Inglorious Bastards in Japan on a day off
                  • Went to a cool soundtrack store
                    • Got a bunch for spaghetti westerns
                    • Listening to all of them, I ended up sitting down at the hotel and wrote the opening scene with this music behind him
                    • Once I was done with that scene, I “wanted to know more”
                    • For a long time I tried to think out the whole story, but it doesn’t do me much good to think too much past the middle (you generally know where you are going), beyond that is silly
                      • By the middle as you’ve been writing it, it is a different story, you know the stories better and in ways you couldn’t have predicted
                      • By the middle, you are an expert, and then you figure out the second half
                    • Quentin doesn’t outline, he just writes, trust in “oh my god, what the f*ck am I going to do now… I trust I will know exactly what to do
                  • Quentin doesn’t use Netflix and has a huge old collection, plus subscription to all the pay movie channels like Sony and MGM
                    • Universal one just shows house all the time
                    • Sony shows Columbia movies from the 70s
                    • I don’t want my computer connected to my TV (porn risk is too high)
                  • It seems ludicrous to switch to digital projection as a theater, the one thing you couldn’t get at home was 35mm projection – now it just looks the same
                    • So why, usually just I don’t want to wait, but a whole lot of movies I can just wait
                    • American Hustle was an exception, great time with the broader audience, a “rollicking experience”
                    • Same with Get Him to the Greek
                  • Part of any creative endeavor, you don’t think about it that much, you live it, deal with it
                    • But after the fact, watching it I can see improvements over time, especially with Hateful 8
                    • Both the play between the foreground and background of the scene
                  • How collaborative is it with the actors?
                    • For the most part, the script is the script for us all
                    • But then need to customize to exact details of the location/room/etc. allows the scene to have a different vibe, interactions, etc.
                  • Twitter Qs:
                    • Carol Chanum Tatum: Is there a song you wanted to use in soundtrack, but could get the rights?
                      • Most famous one was in Pulp Fiction, when Marcellus is brought over into Russell’s old room and sodomized by Mater and Zed, the song I wanted to be My Shirona; “What a good butt f*cking beat that had”
                      • The Knack gave it to Ben Stiller for Reality Bites
                      • During butchering scene with Fabian, I wanted her to be wearing a Franky Says Relax shirt, the singer regrets this to his day for saying now
                    • @b_Crow: Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie:
                      • Yes, absolutely
                      • At the New Beverly, we own Die Hard for every X-mas eve along with 3-Days to the Condor
                    • @obwens: Any Chance we see a return of Johnny Destiny Ever?
                      • Very doubtful
                    • @jayred5: If you had chance to direct a star wars movie, what story would you want to tell?
                      • More inclined to do Star Trek: Big fan of original series and Shatner
                        • I was disturbed by 2nd JJ Abram one when Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Khan, it just didn’t work – he wasn’t playing a young Khan (Ricardo Montebant) and I didn’t like the excuse for why that wasn’t needed
                        • A bad “Khanstruct”…
                        • They are trapped to using all the crew in all the films
                      • I think it couldn’t be cool, take some classic episodes and expand them to 90 minutes (like Sitting on the edge of forever)
                        • One of the best episodes ever was for Next Generation: The Free Enterprise, Yesterday’s Enterprise
                          • This could bear a 2 hour treatment
                        • @mattfailed: What is your favorite death scene?
                          • Funniest: Marvin getting his head blown off in Pulp Fiction
                          • Chris Penn shoots the cop in the chair in Reservoir Dogs
                        • Enjoy your burrito
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