Director Nicholas Stoller Talks NEIGHBORS, Improv, His Relationship With Universal Studios, How the Project Came Together, and More

     May 25, 2014


As I said repeatedly in the intros to my video interviews with Zac Efron and Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jarrod Carmichael, and Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, director  Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors is an extremely funny movie filled with laugh-out-loud sequences.  If you haven’t seen the trailers or read our previous coverage, the film stars  Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple with a newborn baby who must deal with a fraternity—fronted by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door.  Neighbors also stars Jake JohnsonIke Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, and Lisa Kudrow.  For more on Neighbors, read Matt’s review.

At the New York City press day I landed a video interview with Nicholas Stoller.  Since I’d already conducted an extended video interview with him a few days before (watch it here), I decided to use my time to talk about how a studio movie really gets made.  He talked about how Neighbors came together, his relationship with Universal, if the studio gives him a lot of notes, how the budget was $18 million and that left them a lot of creative freedom, how much of the improv was done on the spot versus thinking about alternate lines the day before, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Nicholas Stoller:

  • How does he pitch a film to the studio? Do they say yes in the room?  He talks about how the film came together.
  • Praises Universal and explains why he’s made all his movie at that studio.
  • How the budget was 18 million so they could do what they wanted and be left alone.
  • Does the studio gives notes every day? Talks about the one time he went over budget on Get Him to the Greek.
  • How much of the improv is done in the moment versus thinking about it in advance?  Talks about his process.

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