One of the things I love about my job is getting to go to movie studios to see screenings. When I was growing up, I’d always imagined what it would be like to work for a studio…I’d always wondered how movies were actually made and who got to make the big decisions. Now I know how it all works…and while the mystery is gone, it’s still a thrill to drive up to a gate and be let in.
Anyway, since starting Collider, I’ve been to the movie studios more than I ever thought I would. Each week it seems like I’m either at Warner Bros., Sony, or whatever studio is hosting a screening. And every time I go, I still get a kick out of it.
I think the reason I get excited is you never know who you’ll run into or see at a screening. For me, every time I go to Warner Bros. I’m always hoping to somehow run into either of the Wachowski’s. I’d actually heard right before Speed Racer came out where they were editing the movie on the lot and I swear…I debated going just to sit outside to try and land an interview. There are not too many people I’d try and shadow for a few quotes…but they’re at the top of a very short list.
So a few weeks ago I went to a Speed Racer screening on the WB lot. Afterwards, like I always do, I talked with a few friends in the studio parking lot about the movie. While we talked, another screening happened to end right by where we were standing and a huge throng of people came walking by us. Being the person that I am…I asked what they saw and they said Get Smart.
Since no one I knew had seen it, I asked the first big group of people what they thought and almost every one said they liked it a lot. After that group walked by, I continuing to poll almost everyone that came near me and the consensus was it’s a solid comedy. I didn’t get the vibe that it’s a huge home-run, but based on my completelyrandom survey, the large majority thought it was worth seeing.
Anyway, after talking with my friends, I started walking to my car and I happened to be next to two older gentlemen who were also walking. I decided to ask what they thought of the movie. One of them didn’t say much, but the other said how he liked it a lot more than he expected and how Steve was very funny and he said a few other positive things. The reason I don’t remember the rest of the conversation is it was at that moment I realized I was talking to Mel Brooks.
If you don’t know who Mel is…I’m not going to be the one who educates you. He’s a legend in show business and he’s someone you don’t get to meet everyday. But…just to be nice…he’s the one who created the original Get Smart back in 1965 with Buck Henry.
So after I realized who he was…I remember telling him that if he said the movie was great…that’s all I needed to hear. We then proceeded to have a few minute conversation where he couldn’t have been nicer and more gracious.
When he finally left, I remember thinking I’d better remember this moment as I mightnevermeet Mr. Brooks again. And, as a fan of his work, it was very cool.
So you remember when I said I still get excited when I drive onto a movie set? It’s because you never know who you’ll run into and get to speak with.
Anyhow, the reason I relayed this story to you is Mel just got interviewed by the L.A. Times and if you’re a fan of his you might like to read it. He talks about Get Smart and a ton of other stuff. Click here to check it out.
In the next week or so expect interviews, movie clips, and a lot more coverage on Get Smart.