You guys are in for a major treat. I’m always talking about those “lottery ticket” filmmaker stories that we all dream of happening to us one day. Well, today’s guest’s story is one of the mythological stories that come to life.
We have a 90’s independent film icon, Scott Mosier. Scott is an indie film producer, editor, writer, director, actor, and podcaster of Smodcast, which he co-hosts with his long-term filmmaking partner, Kevin Smith.
From Vancouver Film School to Hollywood, Scott’s trajectory has been inspiring for many in the industry. He produced some of the best 90s classics like Clerks 1 & 2, Jersey Girl, the Oscar® Winning Good Will Hunting, Dogma, and many, many more.
Scott acted in, edited the movie, original sound, and contributed to Clerk’s budget. After the massive hit, they followed up with the embattled Mallrats. The film was not well received and did no money at the box office. Kevin and Scott were essentially discarded and called a one-hit-wonder. For most filmmakers that would be all she wrote but not for Kevin and Scott.
They decided to go back to their roots and make another low-budget indie and prove to Hollywood that they were here to stay. Their next film was the brilliant romantic comedy-drama, Chasing Amy. The tells the unfortunate twist of a male comic artist who falls in love with a lesbian woman, to the displeasure of his best friend.
After self-financing, the majority of their initial projects (Mosier & Smith), 2001, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was Mosier’s first big-budget ($20 million) production.
Based on real-life stoners Jay and Silent Bob, so when they get no profit from a big-screen adaptation they set out to wreck the movie.
If that wasn’t enough Scott also co-executive produced the Oscar® Award-Winning Good Will Hunting in his spare time.
Wanting a change Scott decided to branch out and start directing himself. His 2018 directorial debut was a stand-out project! A box office hit, grossing about $512 million globally and the highest-grossing holiday film of all time. Dr. Seuss: The Grinch became the third screen adaptation of the 1957 Dr. Seuss book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I had a ball talking shop with Scott. We discussed the genesis of the independent film movement as we know it today, dealing with studios, what was it like being in the Clerks hurricane, and much more.
Enjoy my conversation with Scott Mosier.
Alex Ferrari 0:00
Well guys, you are in for a treat today. As promised, I'm bringing to you an icon of the 90s independent film scene. Today's guest is Scott Mosier, the producer of the indie film, classics, clerks mallrats, Chasing Amy, goodwill hunting, dog Ma, and many, many more. It was truly a treat to talk to Scott and ask him questions about what it was like to be there at the beginning, essentially of the independent film movement as we know it today. I mean, clerks is one of those just legendary films in the independent film world and to talk to somebody who was there as it was being made, what their mindset was, how they got it made his backstory of film school and how he really fell into this whole thing with with Kevin and kind of going on that journey with Kevin Smith. And and then also we discuss how he's transitioned into being a director in his own right where his last film The Grinch grossed a half a billion dollars in the worldwide box office and how he got into animation and and so much more. This is just such a wonderful, wonderful conversation and I can't wait to share it with you guys. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Scott Mosier. I'd like to welcome to the show the legendary Scott Mosier How you doing Scott?
Scott Mosier 4:13
Live legendary Scott Mosier is not here.
Alex Ferrari 4:17
Well then we'll just deal with the Scott motion that's in front of us over here.
Scott Mosier 4:23
I'm good. How are you?
Alex Ferrari 4:24
Good man. I'm good. Thank you so much for coming on the show man. I've I've been a fan of of your your produce producing for a long time and you're directing my kids are now fans of your directing as well, which we'll get all into that in a bit. But you know, many of many of my listeners know that you you know kind of get your start in Clerks. Working with Kevin again that whole thing going. I have to first tell you when I first saw Clerks, because you and I are similar vintage, as far as age is concerned.
Scott Mosier 4:56
You're looking at I'm about to what's today Friday on Friday and a week, so today's February 24. So March 1 by turning 50 on lack.
Alex Ferrari 5:08
Yeah, you're a little bit you're just slightly a bit older. I'm 46. So we're in similar we we've crossed over the same bodies, in the bits in the business. So when I first saw clerks, I was so upset because I was working in a video, I was just like, it was right in front of me. Why did I think of this? It was like, literally, I was I worked at a beauty show for five years. And I was just like, God, damn it, man. I was so upset at myself, like I had. And I thought of that, that but you guys, you guys did it. So how did you get involved with Kevin? How did you get involved with clerks and that whole kind of crazy story?
Scott Mosier 5:48
So I mean, you know, I back it up, like, I was probably, I guess I was like, 14, or 15. Or even younger than that. It was like Raiders of the Lost Ark was the movie I saw. Where it wasn't just that I was like, Oh, I love this movie. It was more that I was like, Oh, what is how do people do this, like, you know, that it's a constructed thing. You know, like, it became, I became aware that it's like, oh, people made it didn't just appear out of thin air. And so then I started getting really interested in film, and then, you know, ultimately went to the Vancouver film school, because I was living just outside of Vancouver, BC, so. And so Kevin and I both just sort of independently end up getting in, we're in the same class. It's like the 25th 26th. Like they were they were numbered. So it was cool. It just opened. And we both went because our grades weren't that good. And so it was like, this is a tech school, right? We just go and take bonds, you're in and out, Kevin. So we arrived there together, we kind of become friends. But Kevin was the one who came with a plan, like Kevin had already sort of, he was working in a convenience store, and the video store back and forth. And so he kind of went there with the intention of like, I'm going to learn how to make a movie, and then go back and make the movie with my friends. And then we became friends. And so it became like, around halfway through the program that it's I get the four month mark, it was like 10,000 all in. And I think at the halfway mark, it's like you had to put in your next 5000. And Kevin was like, I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna go home and get my job back. And you say, and finish the term out and learn how to or whatever's left. As far as like, all it was really left in the back half of the four months was we switched into doing these sort of narrative 16 millimeter shorts. So you worked on like, two, I think, or one? No, you just worked on one. And, and so Kevin left to save the money to put towards the movie. And then I stayed. And that's when Dave, like Dave Klein is in our class, who is the cinematographer on Clerks. And he we've kind of known each other. But as soon as Kevin laughs like that, Dave and I started hanging out a lot. And so by the time we graduated, so it was like march of 92. We start classs, October we finish. Dave and I are friends. And then after that we started making like, there's all there's a bunch of, you know, there's like a community of like people who've gone to the school, and they were making short films outside of the program. And so I was I was editing one. I was the editor on one and I was the dolly grip during the shoot, I was doing a cut in at night, a David shot and, and so we were all just kind of around with Kevin. In the meantime, I remember working on that short when I was Dolly Dolly grip forevers. And that's what I read in convenience are the first draft of Clerks. So that was like probably november of 92. So we meet in March of 92. By November of 92. I have the draft for clerks and then and then from there, we were going to shoot earlier. But then there was a big flood and Kevin's like house was flooded and his car was flooded and so he couldn't do it. And so we we postponed it on March, and then I was prepping in the morning to rent equipment like I was getting up like really early like 5am to call houses in New York to rent camera equipment and and weeds. To talk to you know, I mean, there's a lot of stories we've talked to, you know, we've talked to one dp was in New York, he's an older guy who had his own path lighting and etc, etc. And I remember Kevin, I was talking, I'm like, this is totally I mean, look at all worked out. So, but I remember I remember being like, I remember distinctly feeling like, oh, man, like, if there's that one guy who knows everything, and we're just complete neophytes, it's like it kind of, we both were a little bit like, it feels wrong, like, you know, or it feels like it just felt like the wrong move to have this person who was always like, can't do that. And you have to do this. And you have, I think we're just selfish and scare.
Alex Ferrari 10:51
ignorance. Ignorance is bliss.
Scott Mosier 10:52
Yeah, it was it truly was like, kind of like, and then Dave, and we knew Dave like, well, let's update Well, you know, let's, let's, let's bring a lot of people who know nothing.
Alex Ferrari 11:06
So I be on paper. This sounds fantastic as an investment. So we were talking. It's I mean, it really does black and white movie about clerk know star power cost about 20. Something 1000 - 27,000 if I'm not mistaken. First time dp really, I mean, other than shorts, first time director first time producer. First time cast essentially had no actors for summit. So again, on paper, solid, solid investments.
Scott Mosier 11:32
Everyone lined up
Alex Ferrari 11:33
every week, just like how much money do you need?
Scott Mosier 11:35
Yeah. Why don't you give us a million? We're like, No, no, no, no. 1000
Alex Ferrari 11:43
Let's not get crazy. And then and also, I just recently found out that Dave, Dave was the VP on the Mandalorian. So he's done okay, for himself.
Scott Mosier 11:52
Yeah, I mean, Dave, you know, shot a game on the ship shoot, like, most the seasons of homeland, and now he's on Mandalorian. Like, you know, yeah, he's sort of, you know, his career, and the last two has just taken off, you know, and he's through, you know, he's been nominated for Emmys. Like, it's just amazing. But yeah, we were at that point. You know, that's why Kevin is paying for it, you know, essentially all those on his credit cards, but, you know, his, his, his mindset, which always made sense to me was, like, you know, you can go to NYU is, if you've gotten them by you, or another sort of more prestigious film school outside, you could have spent 100,000, you know, 100 $200,000 so it's like, you know, by the time he came out of Vancouver film school, having spent like, you know, eight to $10,000 in fees, and living, etc, etc. When you add, you know, another 30 grand and credit card debt, it's like, it didn't seem, you know, it's like, on paper, once again, like, on paper, it was like, is this the worst thing like you? Yes, you're in debt. And if the movie is a total disaster, you'll have to dig yourself out of it. But like, I mean, but that's, and I will say this, like, that's, that's, you know, that's not me. That was Kevin, like Kevin had, Kevin's always had that drive, you know, and like, to make that sort of, like, leap, you know, he made the leap of like, I'm just, like, fuck it, like, I'm gonna do it, you know, and like, start rationing, like giving credit cards.
Alex Ferrari 13:30
You know, it's, it's, I mean, look, you know, I grew up in the 90s. And that in you, you guys were part of that first wave of true independent like that what we consider independent film today was created, starting in 89, with sex lies, and continued with clerks and El Mariachi and reservoir and that whole, you know, Linkletter and slacker and all these guys. And when you guys were making clerks, it hadn't really hit yet. Sundance was Sundance, but it wasn't Sundance like you guys helped create the mythos around Sundance with with clerks, and mariachi and then of course, all these other films that came around that time. So there was there wasn't even kind of a blueprint for what you guys were doing. Like it wasn't like, Oh, yeah, we're gonna submit to Sundance and then obviously, Harvey and Miramax is going to pick this up and we're going to get a fat check in our careers. Like that wasn't even a thing. It's the risk that you guys were taking was not only crazy, looking at in hindsight, and it's like on paper, it looked horrible, but it was like really, it was really brave and stupid.
Scott Mosier 14:38
100% but I will I will sort of like unfortunately punch a call.
Alex Ferrari 14:43
Please punch please punch away.
Scott Mosier 14:45
Because there was actually like a absolute blueprint.
Alex Ferrari 14:50
You're right, I guess. slacker. Did you write slacker?
Scott Mosier 14:54
slacker comes out. Kevin c slept like here's the slacker blueprint. Kevin goes to New York See, slacker goes, it loves it. And he's like, if that's a movie, I can make a movie, right? And then from there, there was like, you know, there was enough examples.
Alex Ferrari 15:13
I guess you're right. Yeah, we really early though,
Scott Mosier 15:16
slacker. We were super early. And we definitely became like part of the sort of Sundance mythos of like, the ultra low budget, kind of like film from nowhere, you know, and then filmmaker plucked out and sort of, you know, given a career, like, we're definitely all part of that. But there is enough, you know, right down to the fact that Kevin was like, there was an article about slacker they had framed on his wall, which was, Richard made the movie, and then showed it as a in progress screen in the IFM, which was the international feature film market and, and Amy talbin, did this sort of wrap up article every year and picked a few movies, and she'd pick slacker. And so that really was the blueprint, like Sundance was technically not the end zone, the end zone was to get to ifam and screen it. So we have a blueprint. And then there was another article, I remember written by Peter Broderick, which was a budget breakdown of laws of gravity, which is very, very, like by year, but it still was like, and so it kind of helped shape this idea of like, I think we can do this because think slacker was 22,000. And the laws of gravity was around there, too. So it was like, it kind of became this sort of, like $25,000 idea. That was the budget, you know, and before, you know, the other person who is like very influential, who had proceeded everybody was German. You know, like he stranger than paradise was a huge influence. I mean, like, a big influence as far as like, long takes, you know, like, there was definitely an influence, but it was also just an influence of like, you know, the young and like the those those are the first independent films, like I think streaming paradise was like, the first indie film I wrote was
Alex Ferrari 17:22
that what year was that? What year was that? Is that 89- 90?
Scott Mosier 17:25
I thought it was at night I was about to look.
Alex Ferrari 17:28
Yeah, I think it's because I know, I mean, obviously SATA Berg's, you know, sex lies was but that was a million dollar. I was like a million dollars. That wasn't a small indie. But it was the thing that kind of launched Sundance into being what Sundance essentially became. And prior to that Hollywood shuffle in 87, which was another big blueprint, which I think I think Robert Townsend doesn't get enough credit for, for being like one of the first guys I think he was one of the first guys to put everything on his credit card, and just say, screw it. And
Scott Mosier 17:56
yeah, and I like I think, like Kevin, the blueprint. I'm pretty, I think that was definitely Kevin put it on his credit card. It's like it was like the like the blueprint was sort of like Hollywood shuffle slacker. laws of gravity was just the first budget I'd ever seen where they've broken it down into camera equipment, and all that stuff. And I was just like, such a neophyte that I was like, it just gave me something where I was like, oh, like, so if somebody says the camera package costs three times as much I can cry bullshit, and go like no, no like this. You know what I mean? It just gave me something to, to base it on. But we did have this sort of, we had this blueprint, and we ultimately go to the IFM. We have a terrible screening. And no one's in the, like, there's, there's awesome the cast. And then there's like three or four other people, you know, but there's one guy, there's one guy, this guy, Robert hoch, who was a consultant for Sundance, and was a big part of the indie film world. And he had watched it, and he becomes this sort of like, he leaves and he tells Peter Broderick, and then Amy talman, who wrote the article calls Peter Broderick and says, like, Is there anything I missed? And he's like, gotta watch this movie clerks. So then Kevin's in the store, we're all depressed because we're like, Well, that's it right?
Alex Ferrari 19:24
Like that's, that's 40 grand like,
Scott Mosier 19:26
the blueprint was over. The Blueprint ran up or like ran out. We turn the page and we're like, Fuck, it's blank. There's nothing left to do except lick our wounds. And then Amy touton calls Kevin at the store and basically we become we become the sort of, if the slacker articles you wrote as a prototype, we basically become that film for that year we became the film, you know, we became the slacker, over article, and then everything just sort of ballooned from there. You know, everything was just like, it was all look, it's all, so much of it was word of mouth because it was like, from Peter Broderick, Amy Talbot. And like, it just became like Larry Carter's from MoMA, and then john Pierce, like it, just, you know, then the film just start like, then people are moving, advancing things without us doing anything. And we're just sitting back, you know, like, like, watching, like, you know, roller coasters. Like this. It's like, what the fuck?
Alex Ferrari 20:31
Do someone for the ride at that point?
Scott Mosier 20:33
Yeah, as soon as we look, you know, as soon as we get to Sundance, you know, the idea of leaving left is like, with someone, but, you know, we still didn't know that. And, and there have been sort of screens prior. So some of the studios and seen it, and it was really like, well, we got to have a, we have to have really great screens to see. So that was the only thing kind of left. And then once it's bought, then then it's truly like the roller coaster of like, you know, but it was it was really, you know, it was, it's something that the experience from beginning to end is what was so incredible. Like it was it was like it was written, you know, like you by the time you're like, by the time we're in Cannes in critics week. And Kevin and I are like, trying to avoid going to the awards dinner because we didn't want to dress up or some stupid shit. And then we go when, you know, and we're just sort of, like, there's this amazing photo of us sort of like, I mean, I think it's more on my back. But Kevin's face is just that, like, what, holy shit moment of like, you know, because you constantly you in a way, you Your, your mind sort of adjust to what happens, you know, like, Okay, we got into can and now it's over, like, Okay, we got the Sundance and now they kind of go like, all right, like, this can't keep going. Yeah, like the amazing train has it. Okay, it made the train stopped here. Okay, this is great. This is amazing. And then it's like, it just kept going with that movie. It just had such a life of its own. And it was such an amazing sort of, you know, we flew around the world, it was just everywhere. I was 22, I think. So it was such It was a most It was like, you know, in four years, it was like it has been, it will always be it will always be the most this incredibly special experience that nothing can really touch. For reasons of like, for reasons that aren't the fault of any other film I've ever worked on. It's just, you know, you can't, you can't re experience something for the first time. So
Alex Ferrari 22:58
it was like, it's like your first love, like you can't re experience your first love. You might not end up with that person, or whatever. But that moment and that time and your age and where you are in the world and your evolution, all that stuff. You'll never ever get your first kiss. Like that's something you'll never get your first. So Clark's was essentially your first time.
Scott Mosier 23:21
The first time and it was amazing. It was like we were in Cannes and I remember, there was a Miramax book. And then next to it was this was a yacht and Simon Obama was on it. And basically, we were, you know, we were running around all time. But basically, we ended up meeting sila bond, and he's like, you know, he kind of says, like, Oh, I'd love to see a movie. And I was like, I was I was planning like, eight in the morning, or something crazy. And he's like, well, come get me. So I basically got up at 730 walked all the way to the because we were staying at a hotel, I walk onto his boat and no one's awake. So I wink I Rouse Simon, the Bob, who's like, and I take him to this and I walk him into a screening. You know, it was just like,
Alex Ferrari 24:07
that's like, that's just but that's like the Bizarro world kind of stuff. Like, you can't even write that.
Scott Mosier 24:12
Yeah, exactly. It was a such an such an amazing experience. And there's been so many movies, you know, there's lots of great experiences, but it was, you know, it was being that young, right? You know, and watching these doors open into a world. It's like, you can't I mean, that's the thing. You know, you only walk through the door once. And that was like, such an amazing experience of walking through the door into this sort of world that, you know, we generally are our, you know, it's presented as you know, behind the velvet rope, so to speak. So it's like, you only kind of get to walk in there watts and that was, you know, that was clerks.
Alex Ferrari 24:53
Now, the one thing that I want everyone listening and I think this is this is a, this is an issue that I dealt With most of my filmmaking career, and I think a lot of filmmakers still do is they'll look at stories like clerks and slacker and mariachi and, and that kind of time period. And they will think they'll make films today thinking that that's an option. Meaning like what will happen to you like I always consider you guys like a lottery ticket. Like you guys want a lottery ticket, it was the right place right time right product. And that goes along for like slacker and mariachi, like, if you guys show up today with clerks, do you think you can cut through the noise?
Scott Mosier 25:31
Um, it's hard to say what I what I will say is like, something always cuts through the noise, right? Like, there's always something that cuts through the noise. And, and part of it is part of it is definitely luck and timing. You know, it's like, part of it is luck and timing. Because, you know, as our career went on, like, releases of movies is also about luck and timing, too. You know, it's like, you can sort of make a great movie and it gets released that a bad time with a bad marketing campaign. It doesn't sort of like, I think,
you know, it's like, it's a time we're at right now. Do I think that the film like clerks? Well, it's like, redid our comedy and, and all that's, like, so much about as grown since we've sort of come on the scene. And there's so many actors in that, in that world, that I do you think it would be harder to cut through because we, what we were what and what Kevin was was like, whether people think he's the voice of a generation, or like, I'm not arguing that point, but he was a voice from that generation that was unique and specific. And that's the thing that that's the thing that, in addition to luck, you know,
Alex Ferrari 26:59
there's a combination, it's a formula. It's not just the one thing, it's a bunch of different things I
Scott Mosier 27:03
hit to get over, you know, people who are out there going like, you can't if people look at clerks or slacker, it's like Kevin looked at slacker. I was like, I'm gonna make slacker. He more was like, Oh, that's a movie that's like, that's a that's a vision from Rick Linklater, like, you know, that Kevin was like, This is what I find funny. And this is what I enjoyed doing. And he poured on himself into that, and had a unique voice. And, you know, always say this, which is, you know, Kevin had been writing for years and years and years and years since he was really young. So by the time he's 22, and writes a script, it's like, it's just fucking better than you know. And when he's 18, is like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna write scripts. And then, you know, it's just because I read those I wrote those, like I wrote, you know, I'm trying to write a script, but holy shit like this is, you know, because I, Kevin, who was just a much more developed, narrative writer is just kind of new, and you can see it on a page. So I think there's a lot of, you know, luck, luck, and so many things. But, you know, the pursuit of a unique voice, right? The goal shouldn't be like, what do I have, you know, like, or it's like, let's just make a movie. Like, let's make clarbeston in a, you know, a like a valet, let's make valets. And it's like, you can go ahead. But unless being a ballet is this very personal thing where you can convey something to the audience that that is unique, then you just become like, a knockoff movie, you know? And I think like, I think when people sit there and go, like, hey, let's make something cheap. It's like, well, it means something cheap and personal. And those that combination, will that that combination, at least has the chance to come through them. Right? Because you're doing something that's like, you have to in some people's personal, what's personal to them, and what means something to them can be a $30,000 movie, or some people it's like, a 40 minute, like, you know, sometimes the scale of that can be some people like sci fi, like, it doesn't really matter. But like, I do think finding your voice is and I'll bring it back to me, which is like, that experience of finding your voice was a much longer process for me. And then, like I you know, Kevin walked in the door like 22 and like he had been developing his voice for years, though, like he had been writing school plays and stuff like that, but finding your voice for me, is the most important thing that you can do. Like that's the thing that like finding your voice, finding that thing. That's unique to you. If you can look at something in a way that no one else is necessarily expressing. There's other people who see it the same way. And if you can capture that, that's how you gain an audience, right? Like, we all look at things in different ways. But there's also just like finding what clerks did. And this is like, not anything I thought about 21. But what I thought what I think it did was it created this sort of, you know, it was an expression of something that didn't exist. And there was this huge audience, it was like, it does exist. This is how I talked to him about like, like, this is what we think is funny. This is when we both share with our friends like, and that that's the part where it's like, there's all kinds of luck that has to come into it. There's all kinds of timing. And we as filmmakers, like I believe, what you have to focus on first and foremost is like, what's the unique? What do you what's, what's the unique sort of perspective that you're bringing? to what you're doing?
Alex Ferrari 31:20
That's a that's a great, great, great piece of advice. You're absolutely right, if you could connect with something that's authentic to you and your own voice. If you try to go make another clerks, you're gonna fail, because there's, there's already a clerks, and it was done authentically by Kevin and you. And, yeah, I agree with you. 100%. Now, after clerks, obviously, you guys are the toast of the town. You know, you're the belle of the ball. You're you're being wooed, it's the it's the early 90s. Money is flying everywhere. And they say, what do you want to do next? And I and Kevin, and you say, hey, let's do mall rats. And you're like, here's, here's that those million dollars he were talking about earlier, now we'll accept your money. So you make mall rats, which by the way, I'm I'm actually a very big fan of Mall Rats. I actually saw it in the theater test screening in the theater when I was in college. And I got I got that little book that the movie official movie book that I they gave one to you, as you walked out and stuff I Oh, yeah, I saw I was me and my friend, were pacing ourselves when we saw it, because it was speaking to us at that time in our lives. So mallrats didn't live up to the financial expectations of the studio. I didn't want to say that, but it
Scott Mosier 32:31
totally bought me the women's bar at him. And he'll, you know, a long time ago, knowing that, like the audience ultimately found that movie. And, you know, it didn't, it wasn't 99 You know, when it came out, it was like, it was pretty dark. We're both like, Fuck, because you put all that work into it, but
Alex Ferrari 32:50
And you. and you guys were pretty much so you guys were put in because you you had one hit, which was clerics, which was kind of like, Alright, this is an anomaly. Let's see if these guys have anything else. So they give you a little bit of money. And then mallrats happens and it bombs. So that pretty much blacklist you in town from I understand, like, they kind of just you're in director, jail and producer at this point.
Scott Mosier 33:10
It's this, you know, it's the sophomore slob, because the reviews were terrible, you know, a lot of it sort of like pointed right at Kevin, I think, which was just like, you know, we built you up, we, you know, we really send you out, and then you make this and, you know, I think in hindsight, I would be curious, if any, if any critics would have the, you know, to go back and relook at that movie and and understand its connection to Clark's, you know, like, understand that it's not this sort of, and I think for you as an audience member, like you understood it, right. Like, it felt like, like a proper extension of what that movie was. And but we were, you know, at that point, Kevin has the template before it was over Kevin and started writing a version of Chasing Amy that was a little bit more commercial. And as soon as it happens, it's like, I guess you're a movie jail. But in a way we didn't even we lived in Jersey, so it was like, it wasn't like, it wasn't like, we're injured. It's like when you're not in Hollywood. It's like you're not it's like
Alex Ferrari 34:22
you don't really feel you didn't feel the heat, if you will.
Scott Mosier 34:24
Yeah, you didn't feel anything. We're just kind of like more bummed out and like, Oh shit, what do we do now? And Kevin was like, you know, like, let's just go make another movie. You know, and let's do it quickly. And so JC Namie became a a reaction to all that money, you know, that we're given and the fact that it did do well we're like, well, let's create something that we know we can get enough money. Let's do it cheap and, and also do it our way. You know, we kind of went back to let's do it for another money that we can be left alone. And then really be specific about what we're doing and not worry about, you know, casting, like we can cast who we want. So let's do it for, you know, shot the whole thing, you know,
Alex Ferrari 35:14
100 grand, or 100 grand or something like that, right?
Scott Mosier 35:16
It was like to shoot it and start cutting, you know, to deliver, like, a, sort of a couple cuts of the movie and get it far along is like a couple 100 grand. So there's post cost and all the rest of it, but we did it, you know, we kind of went in and a price point that was like, we knew that it wasn't a huge investment for somebody, we can make our money back, you know, we're using, like, a great crew, you know, young people, and because we were young, too, I mean, we're, I think I was 26 at that point, young crew from New York, you know, is coming down, we're shooting on jersey, and then, you know, we're back to sort of a version of, of making clerks again, just with a, you know, we took the experiences from clerks, who took the experience from our ads and sort of JC Namie becomes the, the rebuilding here, you know, become like, let's, let's sort of, like we had with other producers all around, too, we got along with, but it was like, this was like, Alright, let's just do this our way. Like, yes, we need a bigger crew. Yes, we need this. Yes, we need that. But like, how do we do that through through our filter and through the way we want to do things, and then from there, it's like, after gctv that's where we carry out through dogs and everything else. But it was a really like it was a refocus. That whole movie was a sort of like a shift back to like, this is what we're doing is,
Alex Ferrari 36:44
and the smart thing that you guys did is that you move so quickly. Because mallrats was you know, you guys, there was a lot of eyeballs on you in town, like Oh, these guys obviously, they're there. They're one hit wonder, you know, they're that's it their bubble gum. Let's it's it's move on. But you guys like no, no, let's let's get in there. And arguably Chasing Amy is one of my favorite of the filmography of what you and Kevin have done. There's so much heart so much authenticity in that film. It's not nearly as silly as mallrats in the crudeness of it, but there still is those elements. But there's so much more heart in Chasing Amy like, there's it's deeper, in a way am I am I am I wrong on that?
Scott Mosier 37:26
No, no, I mean, I think I think Chasing Amy becomes the sort of I think a lot of people react to it, because it becomes the sort of the movie that sort of represents kind of more the totality of food cabinets, right. So it's like, the crude humor, of course, is part of it. But it's like, you know, he's also a drunk, you know, he's a dramatist. He's, you know, he's, he's also somebody who's like, has a big heart. And, you know, it's also a personal movie, you know, it's a, it's a personal movie for him. And I think that that sort of shifts, you know, sort of Clarkson Maher ads, and this becomes something where he's like, I'm gonna tell another personal story, which, you know, just happens to be more grounded in you know, there's a lot more drama and real drama. Right. So it's like, sort of drama coming from stemming from a specific situation, but I think it became like, and that was a year late. So mallrats comes out in 950 96, like February or something, we start shooting Chasing Amy, February, March, and then January 97. We're in Sundance, you know, we were we're back
Alex Ferrari 38:42
and we're back baby and we're a we're back. And then that does gangbusters at the box office, especially for its budget and launches this little known actor really Ben Affleck, which is his first starring role and in that, that whole thing, so it was just an exciting time because I was I was following you guys. Like I was following you and Robert and Quintin and all that, you know, that crew and Richard and all that crew, I would watch every damn thing you guys put out. And it was that weird time. And I always tell people this like the 90s It felt like, every month there was a new Cinderella story. It's either john Singleton, it's it's Ed burns. It's it's Kevin Smith, it was like a it's just a was an amazing time to be an independent filmmaker. It was kind of like when when Spielberg and Lucas and melius and and Coppola and De Palma that that film school brats generation when they were given the keys to Hollywood because Hollywood had no idea what the hell to do. So they'd like here go make taxi driver. And you guys kind of had that run in the 90s it was that from like, 89 to like 9899 there was that one that was just so many amazing filmmakers came out during that time.
Scott Mosier 39:53
I mean, I think there's you know, I'm sure someone's read a book about it, but feel like you know, part of it is like The industry sort of needs to open, you know, sort of like, especially then it's like, nowadays it feels like there's a lot of venues and ways to get things made. And and back then it was like, it was just harder to get things made, because there weren't as many outlets. But you also see this surge of, you know, Fox Searchlight. So there's more sort of like, there's more outlets for these movies, there's more opportunities, but also it felt like the big, you know, like in the 70s, the business kind of like, how do we fucking how to make money? Yeah, like, what do audiences want? Like, you know, there's also a generational thing to me, which is like, the industry has to open its doors every once in a while to let in the new generation of voices that they don't necessarily understand. Like, what was happening in the 70s. It's like, it's not like, those guys who were making movies in the 50s. And 60s necessarily understood like that the audience wanted to see Easy Rider, right? Like,
Alex Ferrari 41:01
Right. Easy Rider kind of opened the door for all those guys like this, and wait a minute, this 200 and something $1,000 movie went on and made like, you know, $10 million, or whatever it made, they were just like, we don't know what the hell's going on. Let's give it to these guys. This Scorsese the Spielberg kid, let's give him the shark movie.
Scott Mosier 41:16
Yeah, it just became a, it's like audiences change. You know, I think it's always like some combination of, you know, audiences are changing and the fan, you know, younger people come up, and it's happening now. Like, like, there's, you know, I'm almost 50. So it's not like, I'm the young buck anymore. And there's a whole generation of people coming up that have been influenced by totally different people. And, you know, they all have the internet, since they were born, like, all of these influences change with people, people's tastes. So it's like, I you know, and I think in the 90s, there was a sense of like, coming out of the 80s it was like this need of like, fresh voices and, you know, something that was more reflective of, of that generation coming up.
Alex Ferrari 42:09
The Gen X, the Gen X guys, you know, we're Gen X guys were the generation was like, I just yeah, there's the 90s were fun, man, the 90s were fun. I miss I miss them more now than ever before. When you could just go to a movie theater. That was nice.
Scott Mosier 42:27
Like last year, that'd be all the way back to the 90s. But yeah, the 90s were weird a lot. You know, I had a lot of fun in the 90s. It's funny, no one ever talks about the 2000s.
Alex Ferrari 42:38
You know, like, you never hear like, oh, the 2000s music like no, you know, I know those songs. And I know that and I know those films. But in the 80s and 90s, get in the 70s 80s and 90s. Kind of get that they have their own thing. But the 2000s is tough. And like the 2000 10s was another
Scott Mosier 42:56
just that it's too young.
Alex Ferrari 42:58
I don't know, oh, no, don't worry, we'll come back around. Like right now we're in our 90s nostalgia. And I think now people are starting to kick into the early 2000s. It's like a two decade run. Because eight remember when the 80s was like all the rage, like everything was 80s 80s 80s. And 80s is still 80s is still cool to a certain extent. But I remember when the 70s like in the 90s, the 70s were kind of like a thing. And there's like a two to three decade delay.
Scott Mosier 43:21
We're old enough where it's like, at a certain point, like we're not iselle I think part of it is because like we have we you and I will probably never happen to selja for the 2000s right, because we're too bold, like, like once you hit 30, or whatever it feels like you sort of ceased being you know, it's like you stop like living in this, you stop reflecting back in the static terms. Like he's I was got like I graduated from high school in 89. So the 80s was like, when you know, the movies and music. you're you're you're sort of what I think is like the 80s for me, the 80s and 90s was an explosion of like, I'm ingesting massive amounts of art in the form of movies, music, photography, like everything, like the 80s and 90s. Like I would fucking watching for mood, like when I was in, I would watch four movies a day. Yep. Like, like, it's this massive period where you're taking things in, partly because you know, you're not great, or you have an outlet to like, put things out. So you're sort of like, you're amassing all this stuff. And so I think that's why it has such a strong influence. Who we are like, I think back to the 80s and 90s. And yeah, like I like everything I do today. It's like it feels a little bit referential to that time, but part of it is because like that is when the synapses were really forming around like and these sort of large touchstones like these And in your head during that period of time 1000. Like, I don't have all these sort of cultural tests touchstones of like, you know, I was, of course, I was listening to music and watching movies, I was doing all that stuff. And there's great movies from that period of great music and all that stuff. But it's still like, it doesn't have the same sheen to it. Because it wasn't during that sort of explosive period of like, you know, getting a driver's license and kissing like everything's new.
Alex Ferrari 45:31
You absolutely, you're absolutely right. You're absolutely right. Now, there's a couple of there's a few forms that you produce that I had. I mean, I had heard of a couple of them, but I didn't when I started doing research actually went into it. And there was a group of four features that you produce vulgar drawing flies a better place in the big helium dog. I I've seen some of big helium dog. It was just shot on like, VHS I'd like I don't beat up like What was that?
Scott Mosier 45:59
I think we were all shot on 16 millimeter. Really, they
Alex Ferrari 46:02
were all shot because I guess the copy that I saw was so bad. That it was like you shot it on video. And like, why did they shoot this video? This makes no sense. But the other ones were shot on 16. So you know, some of the people in that like, yeah, the broken lizard guys, you had a cue from impractical jokers. And Baba booey Brian Lynch, all this these amazing people tell us Can you tell me a little bit about those four movies and, but they were kind of in a small, they weren't a short period of time that you were on made?
Scott Mosier 46:31
It was after? I think it was after chasing Navy. And we had sort of signed a deal with Miramax like an overall deal. And part of what we threw in was like, Hey, we want to make these micro budget movies, it sort of in a way to sort of like our career was sort of the movies are getting bigger, you know, the budgets are getting bigger. And we're like, Well, hey, let's sort of with some of the people we know that that have scripts that that they're writing and stuff, like let's go make some of these micro budget things in the 2025 range, basically clerk budget, I feel like we got 100 grand to make for movies, and we sort of and then the relationships was, you know, Brian Lynch had worked on tasty and Amy. Vincent brera had been around since clerks who directed a better place and then vulgar Brian Johnson was Kevin's friend for a long time. All these movies just became an extension of that moment, we're like, oh, well, let's go sort of make some of these movies. And you know, and, and it didn't happen within like a two or I think it was like two or three year period, you know, and, and Brian was the one who knew the broken lizard guys, and or, you know, he kind of had connections to them, and Brian Quinn and just worked at the office. So like, he had worked. Even more, I just, I was talking to him the other day, like, we'd known each other for like, 25 years, he had sort of come in to work at the office, like he was in charge of, like, back in 1999. If you got a T shirt set in the mail, it was Brian Quinn Did you know like, that's where he was.
Alex Ferrari 48:24
And he was working. He was working to skew.
Scott Mosier 48:27
Yeah, he was working at USU at that time. And so all the people we kind of knew, and it was like, you know, we loved independent film. And so we were like, let's go make some of these movies. And they're all very different, you know, and vulgar got into Toronto, and they all have various degrees of success. And, and then, and then I think it was like, my memory of like, why didn't we keep doing it was it was a lot. It was a lot of like, there's almost too much work.
Alex Ferrari 48:57
Making making a movie. It's not it's not,
Scott Mosier 49:00
we weren't, it's not like we were on set all the time. And I think it was just a matter of like, we made dogma. So we're heading into dogma and and the club's cartoons happening. And it's like, the the amount of more coordinating is expanding, and then suddenly like to maintain those work to keep them going, just felt too much work. But it was really fun, you know,
Alex Ferrari 49:19
and now it's true that there is just no copies of big healing dog anywhere?
Scott Mosier 49:25
I mean, Brian Lynch has one
Alex Ferrari 49:27
written up. I just saw an interview, he said, but he doesn't have one. He said,
Scott Mosier 49:33
as far as I know,
Alex Ferrari 49:35
he has a copy of it, but it's not been released, but it's not available and
Scott Mosier 49:38
never been released. And I can't remember why there was some clearance issue. But it was never released. Now, the rest of the
Alex Ferrari 49:45
hell yes, that's hell of a cast. Now,
Scott Mosier 49:49
I don't know what happened to it. It was like it was off and on through the years, it was like music clearances, or there was something that was sort of pain over its head and it just it just never sort of He must have a copy, I have to believe and he's the director, it's
Alex Ferrari 50:04
got to have at least a VHS copy of it or
Scott Mosier 50:07
the last star to find. Exactly. Yeah, I don't know, it might be I'm sure like we're views view or somewhere, there's got to be a copy, I do not have a copy. So
Alex Ferrari 50:18
one day, we'll get one day we'll get leaked on online just like Deadpool did accidentally. Now, you you, you also got involved with another little known film as a producer called Goodwill Hunting. And that was, you know, one of my favorite films of that of that time period. And how did you get involved with that? And how did you like kind of was the band that brought you in on that.
Scott Mosier 50:44
So we were amoros, we met that. And at that time, we were aware of who he was because like the whole saga of goodwill hunting was in a trades where they had sold like Ben and Matt and sold his trip to Castle Rock for a bunch of money. So it's like, you know, other young guys, like sell script for a lot of money. And so it was on our radar. And then through Maher ads, we became friends. And my memory is that like, during that period, we met Matt during like, a sort of internal screening on our ads. But basically, what we found out is that that Castle Rock was going to put into turnaround, because the guys are attached, but they wanted to attach a director that the guys aren't excited about. So basically, there was like, and so there was like, a big turnaround costs, and they sent us the script, and we really loved it. And we had just signed our overall deal at Miramax. And so we sent it to our executive job board and and we're like, this is fucking great. You guys should make this like we, you know, like, you should meet with the guys. There's a turnaround cost, you guys should act fast and dive all over it. And so it happened really quickly. And that's, you know, our job. We really were just like, we just signed the deal. So we became a sort of conduit to get up there, hype it up and get everybody excited. And then it happened really quickly. So that time by the time tasty Namie happens. All that was done. Like basically the movie was at the movie was it was a Miramax and they were writing doing rewrites, and they were also like, like, I remember like meeting with directors, you know, there was like for, like, they want to guess to do it because they had met Gus and Gus wanted to do it. But then it was like Michael Mann and a couple other directors.
Alex Ferrari 52:52
That would have been an inch Michael Mann's Good Will Hunting would have been very interesting. might have been a couple more guns. Just a couple.
Scott Mosier 52:58
Like, there's just been all guys
Alex Ferrari 53:02
out with Will Hunting blog, great sequel, good wanting to hunting season for updates on one Strikes Back
Scott Mosier 53:12
version in a totally different way. But yeah, it was and then we you know, sort of, and then once it's in the hands of governments, and it's sort of just you know, then you just get to be a fly on the wall. So we were up there a couple times there shooting in Toronto, and it was just, you know, it was really interesting. I mean, for me, it was really interesting to watch, because you're working so much you're not on us, you know, you don't go on the sets of other filmmakers and sort of interesting to watch how people act in different ways. Like he's very quiet and sort of, you know, he's not sort of sitting at the monitor shouting like, he sort of directs in this more sort of quiet way. Yeah, I mean, that film was like, I remember seeing the, we went into New York to see like, the, the director's cut or whatever. And it was like, a, like, it was basically 90% 95% of what the movie ended up being like, was just so it's like, he just knew what he wanted it to be. And it was so specific. And like, it was just incredible. Like, I remember just chills was like, wow, like so, so good.
Alex Ferrari 54:16
It was just so, so, so, so good. Now, during this time, I think you were heading into dogma. Did you? Did you guys know that this was going to be as controversial. It essentially became,
Scott Mosier 54:29
um, we knew, in the sense that, you know, at that point, Miramax was owned by Disney. And Disney was like, you know, we're not going to let you make this movie. So it's like, it wasn't like we kind of entered into it. The writing's on the wall a little bit from the very beginning that like there was a real like, there was a problem and then it sort of it you know, it kind of grew from there. And then kind of like You know, peaked at a certain point and didn't kind of get worse or, or didn't get better or worse. It just sort of, you know, there was Pickens at the New York Film Festival and tickets in the movie, you know, ticketing or when the when the movie came out, but
Alex Ferrari 55:17
I actually remember seeing Kevin going out to pick it with them. Like, who's this bastard who made this movie? It was? Yeah.
Scott Mosier 55:25
Yeah, he went out. And he protested. Pro.
Alex Ferrari 55:28
This is his own film.
Scott Mosier 55:29
Yeah, it was great. But, but yeah, it was a it was, um, we we kind of knew enough to, you know, we had a fake name for the movie while we're making it. You know, nothing really came of it. But there was there was definitely like, a tension about it for early on. And it was, I mean, look, was it a surprise to us? Like, we were like, what's the big deal? Yeah, but enough people that are like, you got to take it more seriously. And so
Alex Ferrari 55:59
if you're playing with fire, you're playing with fire guys. Just be just be aware of what's going on. Don't be completely ignorant of what's happening.
Scott Mosier 56:07
I mean, part of me is just like, it never really got that bad. And I couldn't imagine if you know, today, oh, my God, can
Alex Ferrari 56:15
you imagine daughter showed up today?
Scott Mosier 56:18
Like, just, you know, partly with social media and all the rest of it, it would just be but I mean, that's part of the thing, too, where it's like, even a protest has to like be ignited. Right, it needs fuel. And I think it was still 1998. And it's like, there just wasn't the, you know, it was still just like people in like, 10 people in front of a movie theater, and I was just driving home, oh, my God,
Alex Ferrari 56:41
whatever. Yeah. Yeah, imagine Facebook around that time, or Twitter or something like that would have exploded?
Scott Mosier 56:47
It would, it would certainly do. Fewer. I mean, the key is like a few people can make a lot of noise now. And you know, and I think back then it was way harder to do. So it just sort of the momentum of what happened around the release, it just kind of was like, it just it was kind of gone very quickly.
Alex Ferrari 57:07
Now, another film that you produced, Jersey curl was unlike anything I'd ever seen in the sense of the attention that you guys were getting, like, while the movie was being made, because of Ben and Ben and Jennifer's relationship, or bennifer, as they like to call it. I mean, the pressure of you guys, as the filmmakers must have been like, I just want to make a movie. And it all of a sudden turns into this thing that it's not even about, like it's about Jennifer, we got to cut Jennifer out of it now because she had this thing with Jillian with Julie or the other thing that they say like you got you got caught up in this kind of tsunami, that was not even your fault, or even initiated by you guys got just caught up in the, the benefits tsunami, how do you deal with that being like, in the center of a hurricane like that? When you Kevin, we're dealing with that?
Scott Mosier 57:57
You know, you I mean, ultimately, like with everything in life, it's like, you get to a point where you're just like, well, there's nothing we can do about, like, there's nothing you can do about it. But like the, you know, the time when we started the movie, it's like, their relationship just started. So on one level, there's, you're like, well, this could be great for the movie, right? Like, there's no you don't know, either way. And then when, and then by the time we get to the test screen, it's just obviously not going to be beneficial to the movie, because people had such a strong opinion of the two of them that it you know, transferred on to the movie itself. And then it was kind of after the first test for anywhere like, well, there's nothing we can do. It's like, there's really nothing we could do. It's like the audience is is not going to be enamored with this. And so like, it did become about trying to, like, you don't want to be in that situation, you know, you don't want to be sort of fueled by or be making creative decisions based on just sort of like a negative response that your audience's has to the actual individuals and not the characters. But you also, you know, there's nothing Dude, it's like, once you're sitting in and it was it was enough it wasn't like there's two people I was like, there was like, a couple that like we're like, we fucking hate those guys. It was like, thank you, it was possible. You're like, I think we keep testing this thing. And it wasn't no there was gonna be a whole other audiences like we love them and we hate them. It wasn't even like it was just like generally people were like, We don't want to necessarily watch this. And so you know, you try to pivot off of that and try to maintain you know, the story you want to tell as best as possible but but you know, ultimately is going on in the theater. Ultimately an audience is going to end if it's if it's Keeping the audience unfortunately, it's like, you know, it's not what the movie is about. So you're like, right, if it's keeping the audience from sort of interacting with, or sort of being receptive to, you know what the heart of the movie is, then you know, you have to make that decision of like, start to trim that part of the movie down and get into the sort of the rest of it. So it was, it was definitely frustrating. But, you know, I tend to believe, like the interview spend battling things you just have no control over is just, you know, a lot of wasted energy. And then,
Alex Ferrari 1:00:41
well, that that is, that is that is a words of an almost 50 year old man saying that, and I completely understand what you're saying, because things I there's just stuff you just can't get until you hit a certain age, or experiences in
Scott Mosier 1:00:54
your life. Like, there's that great, Sam, like Warren is paying debt on money.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:01
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. That's great line. Great line. Yeah.
Scott Mosier 1:01:15
And that's, you know, it's like, and you can apply that to like worrying about things that you have absolutely no control over, is paying debt on money, you don't know, like, you're sort of, you're just grinding and this sort of thing. And, look, we're younger back then. So I can probably impart these ideas because, like, you go through enough experiences where you're like, oh, wow, there really was nothing we could do like that. That component of the movie was this exterior issue that existed outside of us, we couldn't reach into it then like, we couldn't read cut their public persona, right? Like it that was
Alex Ferrari 1:01:54
that was the thing about it is there's a lot of times when there's controversy in the film, like dogma was generated by you guys. Like that's just the nature of the story. And there was a there was a, you know, controversy and all of that stuff. And even Zack and Miri Make a Porno that had some controversy to because had the word porn out with it, like it freaked people out. And that, again, generated by you guys, but this was out of your control, like it was completely exterior. And I think also people were just so exhausted of seeing those two, together, which we don't want to see a movie with these two now. Like, it was just so much, and you guys just got caught up in that week.
Scott Mosier 1:02:28
Yeah, I mean, like, there's, there's, for every look, Hollywood, you know, couples in Hollywood getting together making movies has got has has been an incredible publicity benefit. And it's been a bad one. And it's like, it's not like, it's not like we came to that moment, if we all come to that moment, and they're like, every time two stars are in a movie together like this, it's a disaster, then, obviously, there would have been enough people in the room go like, don't do it. But it wasn't that it was like there's cases in both sides. It's like, it could either be a boon or it can be bad. It's like,
Alex Ferrari 1:03:08
it could be Mr. It could be Mr. or Mrs. Smith, you know, which was exactly the same kind of Brangelina and that whole thing. And it was, but authentic, it fed that movie, and this one, it just sucked and hurt the movie.
Scott Mosier 1:03:24
And by the time the movie comes out, it's like, there hasn't been a sort of turn. But basically, from the time we started moving on, it's like, you know, you know, the public is, is fickle. Right? change their mind and like, and you sort of sit in the industry, and you're like, Alright, you know, like, what are we going to? Like, there's nothing we could do, we could be bad, like, it was hard, you couldn't really focus your ire on anybody either. I mean, you could try but once again, it was like it was just that situation
Alex Ferrari 1:03:55
is donkey out a essentially hitting the windmill at that point, you're like, there's nothing you can do.
Scott Mosier 1:04:00
To you. Like I said, we couldn't, if we have the ability to get to go in and reshape the public persona, to make it all good again, we could have done that and get the movie The way it is, but that we have no we can do that. The only thing we control is, is the content in the movie, sort of you know, trim back there sort of relationship at the beginning of the movie and really get to
Alex Ferrari 1:04:29
an age as well. Like you watch that movie. Now. It's aged very, very well, because you're so far removed from that ridiculousness that now the movie can live on its own. So it's, I was just I was curious about that.
Scott Mosier 1:04:40
And the movies hopefully about him and his daughter. And so the movie is about and, and, and so you know, it ultimately, like you said, sort of, I don't necessarily I think there's probably a I don't think even trimming back some of the beginning stuff was the end of the world. I think there's probably like a But another version of the movie that's more of like, you know, maybe a slightly extended opening, maybe putting some of this stuff back in there. But I think overall, it's like, you know, it didn't it didn't it didn't sort of break the movie. Let's put it out.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:15
Exactly, exactly. Now, you know, we've been talking all about you producing and making, you know, VSU kind of films and all that kind of stuff. But then out of left field, almost, I start seeing that you're writing freebirds and getting involved with that, and then directing the Grinch co directing the Grinch, and how the hell did you get into animation? And like, how did that work around town when you walked in? Like, I think you were saying like, aren't you the clerks guy? Like, why are you in animation?
Scott Mosier 1:05:50
I am, you know, I always want to remember I was gonna go to art school or film school. So so the sort of, I was I always was doodling and drawing. And I was really like, before, I'm, I was really debating whether to go to art school or Trump school. Right at the moment that I ended up making a decision to go to Vancouver film, school makeup, and like, it's that fast. And I didn't know what to do. And I was living near UCLA. I could, my grades weren't good enough to go there. But I was living in these sort of like shitty apartments there. And I used to run around the campus, like I would do two or three runs around the entire campus. And then sometimes I cut through the middle, and there were these big stairs, where they shot gotcha, like, these big stairs right in the middle of the thing, and I would run up the stairs. I was running and I was like, What am I gonna do. And I run up the stairs, and it was nighttime, I'd run at night after I was working. And against the top of stairs was really bright light in my face, and so I kind of like slow down and adjust, and they were shooting a movie. And I was like, as I was it, like I was like, you know, I was my decision was sort of made in that moment. And then basically, I very quickly applied the main consulting school. And four or five months later, from that moment, I'm up in Vancouver. And I think Kevin, like after that sort of moment, but but the art part, you know, the art thing was always in my head.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:28
So in other words, if a if an animation cell would have fell out of a window in history, when the head, we you might have never gone on that
Scott Mosier 1:07:34
life drawing class up there, I'd have been like, Oh, my God, like, I'm just
Alex Ferrari 1:07:40
a sign. Yeah.
Scott Mosier 1:07:42
And so I got to vote. But I'd always been interested in and then, you know, I've always loved animation. And but the big moment was, I remember Kevin and I, because Jason Lee got to see the incredible support came out. And it was like, and it was a special screening. And, you know, I loved animation. And, you know, I thought that Toy Story, and I already sort of, like, I was really interested in this sort of new technology applied to this sort of classical to these. And so I saw that screening now. And that was the thing where I was like, Oh, and I did like, I'd really love to do this, because it felt like it was a movie. But it really felt like a movie. It was like, it's an animated movie, but the can't, you know, the camerawork, the performances, like, it just felt like, Oh, you could just make a movie. Like you could do what crane shot, like, you can do whatever you want it like you have all the filmmaking tools inside of this box, you know, and, and from there, and I remember telling Kevin, like, I think I left there, and I was like, I want to do that, like, I want to, I want to get under the hood of that and sort of do it and, and so coming off of Zack and Mary, it was kind of the moment where I was like, I was like, I'm gonna do it. I got like, I gotta, you know, I just got to do it. Like I got to sort of stop. I could do this forever. This is comfortable. And you know, for me, I was like to stop and sort of, you know, rebuild myself like really refocus myself specifically on animation and and raining too and like I sort of I stocked up Zach and Miriam was just kind of like focusing on writing and trying to get into animation and that's when this guy Aaron Warner, I knew and then it just and then it becomes like you're in the business long enough and you know enough people and it seems sort of if you if you're fun to work with, you're good to work with your work hard, like you know, all that stuff can pay off. I call and say that which is freebirds and becomes this guy here and Warner would produce all the tracks was like This movie freebirds was called turkeys at the time. And he was like, you know, if you want to, if you want to learn animation, like, this thing's like a fast moving train. And if you're willing to sort of like jump onto it, you'll learn very quickly. And so I was like, as a producer, and I was like, Yeah, I was like, This is my shot, you know, because at that point, it's like, now, now, it's like animated animation, making animated films is a much broader sort of, there's more opportunities, but at that point, I was like, you know, this isn't the 10th This is the beginning of everything opening up and and that, you know, that was more like, Pixar and blue sky, like there is these established studios, if you had an idea, you had to go to those specific places, and that was it. But then I jumped on freebirds. And just through the process of making it, you know, it's a, it's a very open, collaborative, sort of medium, it's a little, you know, a little bit different from making live action, because it's just the pace of it's different. It's just a much more open forum, you know, you're sort of making it a you every, you're getting together with a bunch of artists coming up with ideas. And so I started writing pages, and those are getting, you know, brought in, and then I come off of that, I come up with freebirds. And I don't want to do and
I don't want to do animation. And so because I was tired. It was a it was a tough, it was tough, because you produced and wrote as well. Yeah, it was a tough schedule. And so I came off as like a monster. I was like, I loved a lot of it and the people I worked with, but I was like, I'm not sure how to do it. And then then I was just working as an editor, you know, and took down to the years. And I cut a documentary on Marvel, who is on ABC called from pulp to pop. There's like, so I did that. And then I was cutting. I've taken over ours finished, I was just doing a Polish, a little polish. I wasn't the main editor, I was just there for the end of a movie called the ultimatum became called no escape. But it's called the coup was going Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. It's by the doubt and wrote down lubra down little brothers. We just did the winco series and like I know them. And my friend who's the editor, and I was like, oh, get on that. And we were. And then that's when I got emailed by from Chris Mellon, Doner emailed me. And I didn't know him. And I was like, wow, I don't understand why I'm getting an email from him. But once again, so Brian Lynch, who was a craft service guy on JC Navy, and done all these other things. You know, he wrote minions and but he wrote top. So he'd been working in elimination for a while, and he had given me ever he had given Chris my information. And Chris was like, hey, because elimination at that point was like, they were making more movies. And so it's like, as opposed to one every two or three years, they're trying to do, you know, to a year like they're just, and he was feeling like, maybe I'll bring in for the first time, like a producer, like an independent producer to help me sort of manage projects. And once again, I was like, No, I'm not sure if I want to do animation. And the dowtin brothers are just like, the Edit room we were in was like a block and a half from Chris's office. And they're like, they're like, dude, like the fuck, like, walk down the block. And I was like, Alright, so I went, and then Chris, and I hit it off really well. And we met three or four times. And then before we met a couple times before the Grinch came up, and then he showed me some artwork had been going on at that point for six, seven months or whatever. And. And so we went back and forth. And then finally, I was like, Yeah, like I was, I kind of, I really got along with him. Well, and I was like, I was like, yeah, I'm gonna do it. So that
Alex Ferrari 1:14:18
it's so funny, because when you talk with as you're talking a lot of a lot of filmmakers listening, a lot of times they think, Oh, it's about, it's about the agent, or it's about the manager, it's or about, you know, this or that. And it's just, it's about relationships. I mean, seriously, the craft service guy, who if you would have been addicted to Yes, would have never recommended you for that job. Because you never know where anyone's going to be. And I've had that happen to me in my career, where they were my interns and then they all go off and are directing movies and have all these amazing career. It's so remarkable that just the craft service guy, what is it 15 years later, 20 years later,
Scott Mosier 1:15:00
Like, four or five years later, and I kept in touch with Brian like, Sure, sure. Like, you know, we'd read, he'd send me scripts and I'd read them and we've kept in touch and but yeah, that was, you know, relationships. Yeah, that was a seed of it of like, then someone like Chris was like, knew Brian was like, trust his opinion. And then he's like, who do you know that might be good about, and I come off a Freebird side ultimately had some experience with that. So I was like, I had some experience. And so, and I was even honest with Chris, I was like, like, honestly don't know if I want to do an interview ever. I was really like, I want to get into this. But like I said, I really kind of got on with him. And then, you know, when he finally brought up the grand shots, look, we brought up the Grinch, I was torn to because, you know, I love the Chuck Jones version. I grew up with that. And so I was like, man, like, I don't know if I want to be the guy to fuck this.
Alex Ferrari 1:16:07
I don't want to be the guy that screws up the grid.
Scott Mosier 1:16:09
Yeah, guys. Like, it was just the book. It's like, these are like, Oh, you know, like, he didn't do a good adaptation. But it was like there's there was a lot of things for there, the beloved checkouts classic, which was was in me too. But you know, then I was like, but it's a really cool opportunity to sort of build out a different version of it. And, and also, you know, build a bigger world, you know, that was like, part of what we're doing is like, Oh, we get to really explore Whoville and really expand on it and make this sort of a more expansive, experiential movie of it. So
Alex Ferrari 1:16:50
and it did, and it did okay. at the box office did okay.
Scott Mosier 1:16:53
It did an automated
Alex Ferrari 1:16:54
Well, yeah, half a half a billion according to IMDb Pro. So, not not bad for a job you didn't want.
Scott Mosier 1:17:03
The credit goes to so many people. Sure. That's what's so much fun with animation as it's like, there's so many incredible artists from, you know, layout to, you know, animators to you know, that sort of concept artists and art directors and the vocal topic of so many people. That's the greatest thing of animation is like, you know, it's like, you spend years and years and years, and just when you're like, about to shoot yourself going, like, I just want to fucking looking at a storyboard. You know? It's like, then you start to see like, the, it's like, right, when you're there, it's like, you start animating? And then right when you're sort of like going, like, they start lighting and rendering and like, it's like, right, when you're sort of getting tired and cut, you know, I'm like, what do we get to see the final and, you know, revenue is sort of desperate to see final images. They always seem to pop up. And you're like, oh, okay, that's why we're doing it. Because it's like, it does just look incredible. It's like, when you get to send a dailies and see the finished stuff, there's like, it's just so amazing. That's what it is, like, it's a paint, you have to be patient.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:17
No it's now it's a system. I mean, when they were coming up, you know, when when Disney animation was kind of setting it all up. They didn't even know what they were doing. But like now, it's there's a system. And I have a good buddy of mine that worked at Disney for 12 years as an animator. He did. He did the environments, he was the lead in environments, and I would go into Disney Animation, and I walk around and I'd see the departments and just like, in all, it's just all of what you could do. And as a director, I because I know that they did this a Disney animation is they would have a board up. And they would give the directors a stack of cash of like paper cash, and they would have all the sequences of the movie up. And they go, you can put money on what sequences you want to spend a little extra money on. But this is all the money you get. So they would get to choose, like this action sequence, I want a lot more, more attention to as opposed to just less can that kind of get us through. And if there's anything like that happened when I was just a Disney thing.
Scott Mosier 1:19:17
That definitely did not happen because I would have just walked out.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:23
I'm done. I'm out.
Scott Mosier 1:19:26
Alex Ferrari 1:19:27
And it was fake Scott, it was fake money.
Scott Mosier 1:19:29
It was we could talk about this later, but I'm gonna take my wife out to lunch. No, we didn't do that. I mean, you know, it's something that, but that, that those conversations are sort of collective. Right. You know, you're sort of and you know, I mean, to me, it's just something you inherently know whether it's a live action movie or write or animated movie, you're you. You're sitting there going like, Hey, we have limited resources, we have limited money, we have limited time. So it's like You know, you know, in an animation too, there's that sense of like, well, if you want this sequence to be freakin huge, then you better get going now, right? Because there's a pipeline, there's a moment where it's like a movie, it's just like it's cut off, it's like, you can't add new shots, you can't, they won't make it through in time. So, you know, there's a lot of thought constant put into going, like, Oh, this is, you know, we want to do a big shot here. Like, we're doing some, there's a big huge, like, kind of drum crane shot and grant where we're like, going through this pond of people skating and all the way up to like, so you have to sort of, like get all that stuff arranged, because all the, you know, that's, it's, it's basically live action, you know, you have to sort of make sure that you've made those decisions to be like, Oh, we want to set the tone here and want to do that here. And part of that is has more than do it's just like, making movies with financial limitations, you know, right, which is most people I mean, there are people who don't, you know, there's they're filming, or are given the sort of, do whatever they want. And I don't necessarily like, I mean, nobody's offering
Alex Ferrari 1:21:15
these are not problems. You are I have,
Scott Mosier 1:21:18
yeah, this is not a problem that I have. And I don't think that's a problem that I'll face. But I do think the limitation is those limitations can be really, really helps you and for me, it just helps you focus on the story, right? And go, like, hey, like, you better know what's important, you know, or you better figure it the fuck out really quickly, because you are in charge of like, trying to argue why people should, you know, we need more assets, we need this, we need that through the person who's going to be driving and pushing for things. Like, you know, the limitations will help you figure it out, you go like are, like we, we, you know, like we can we can reduce the amount of shots here, we can do this here. We don't need that many extras. They're like, we can make that choice. Because like, you know, I really want this to look like this, or I want this to sort of exist there. So, you know, but No, nobody came around with cash.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:17
Scott Mosier 1:22:18
Yeah, fair enough.
Alex Ferrari 1:22:20
Now, I just have a few questions. I asked all my guests. Rapid Fire. If you could go back to your younger self, what would you tell him?
Scott Mosier 1:22:32
Somebody else asked me this recently. You know, like, call you on originally?
Alex Ferrari 1:22:39
You know, Scott, I'm quite offended, not.
Scott Mosier 1:22:43
Like more like, somebody just asked me this. And, you know, um, it's probably more insight in the way my brain work because like, I take it So literally, I don't put it like that. I'm like, I don't think I would say anything. I don't know what I would say, I don't know what could. Because everything I know, is is or every, every, every, like, conclusion I've reached, that has any value in my life, is because of the experiences I went through. You know, and I don't and I think you can go back to your and yourself and be like, you know, buy apple?
Alex Ferrari 1:23:21
Buy apple at $7. Buy apple at $7. by fate by Facebook at 30.
Scott Mosier 1:23:26
You have $3,000 from your car sale. I know this won't make any sense. But by Apple,
Alex Ferrari 1:23:31
no, buy in 2021 there's going to be a GameStop by GameStop.
Scott Mosier 1:23:39
Me that like as advice of like how your career cuz here's the thing, like my career, in a way makes no sense, even to me. Like, it's not like there's no linear line. Like, I can't point to it and tell somebody like, this is what I did. You should do this. Yeah, it's just like, I I followed my curiosity, which is what I do now, you know, I still just sort of go I'm not. I'm not sort of, I'm driven by my curiosity of like, animation, or this or that. And I kind of like, which is why my IMDB page is kind of a weird mishmash of producing documentaries, you know, like, I love documentaries. Like, I'll go in that direction. Like, you know, I sort of follow. I don't, I'm not like, I'm not like, I make horror movies. Or I make, you know, raising our comedies. Like, I'm just love I from the time I was a kid like I just love film. I mean, my my sort of tastes and music is the same film, which is really diverse. I just watch a lot of different things. And so
Alex Ferrari 1:24:50
yeah, honestly, the at the end of the day, you know, I tried to hack the whole set, like, what's the path I can take? Okay, should I try to do whatever Haven't did no. Okay, maybe what I do what Robert did no. Okay, maybe what I do with Richard like, like, and I'm not the only filmmaker we all do that, like at one point, you know, you start looking at other people like you guys were doing it with Richard, you guys were doing with slacker like literally that was what we were trying to do. But at the end of the day, it's it's it's a lot of luck. Right Place right time, like you happen to run into Kevin Smith, you too happened to gel. He happened to have a script about clerks and then and off you go. And it happened in the early 90s when that was a fertile ground for something like that to kind of take off, like you said, Would that if it would happen in 85? Is there a does it happen in 2005? But you know, I always tell people this like if Robert shows up without my reality today. I'm not sure he breaks through with a mariachi today. But in 91, a $7,000 action movie shot on 16 was exactly what the industry needed. It was the proof like oh my god, someone made a movie for $7,000, or the story they sold at least
Scott Mosier 1:26:04
Robert was, if you, you know, to me, like we transplanted like the $7,000 version of El Mariachi that Robert would have made would have been very, very different.
Alex Ferrari 1:26:15
Today with today's tech. You're right. Yeah,
Scott Mosier 1:26:17
you're absolutely right. calculated, he could have sort of done it. Because, like,
Alex Ferrari 1:26:22
Scott Mosier 1:26:23
there's like, the thing that I still go back to and you know, it's not about people's career paths. Or look, it is about who you know, making connections, like meeting people having like a deep sort of list of people that you know, people that are making movies and then start some film school. Like, if you know enough people are working on shorts, and like, it doesn't even matter if the shorts are good. You're just trying to get experience, right? Like that's like you're a good worker, you can work hard, you can fucking push a dolly, whatever. Like, for me, like that's a big part of it. But I also think like, this is specific people want to be writers, you know, writer, writer directors and stuff like that. I think it's like, you know, the thing, it goes back to having a unique voice like what, what's the story that only you can tell, you know, and at the end of the day, like no, mariachis, slacker is like very, like, all those guys have one thing in common, which is they really wanted to tell that story. Not because they really wanted to tell that story. And not because it was the is the cheap idea. That to me is like always, like people are like, well, I really want to make this but they're like, did I you know, I came up with a cheap idea. It's like, Well, no, no, like, come up with ideas. And like, if all your ideas are $80 million, then you might have a problem. I was like, Yeah, but but like, if you if like, if your passion isn't in these cheap ideas, like everyone's gonna know,
Alex Ferrari 1:28:04
you're absolutely You know, I've never really, I've really never quantified it the way you stated. Because you're absolutely right. Like, you know, when I, when I make my movies, you know, the ones that sing are the ones that I really wanted to do. And the ones that were like, I'm going to try to be this guy, or, um, this is going to get me to that next level. And this is going to be the one that gets me the agent or the those don't they fall, they fall flat, you know, and the ones that have all the passion and the voice are the ones that people really connect to. And that's something that filmmakers trying to break into, they really don't get. And that is the thing that will cut through. You're absolutely right, that is the thing that will cut through all the noise.
Scott Mosier 1:28:43
Because if you're I mean, look, if you have to go talk about the money you're making, you know, that's the simplest part of the equation. And it's like, if you're passionate about it, for hours, you know, if I made it as some sort of vehicle, I mean, the amount of people I've known to the year, it's like, well, I'm doing this, but I really want to do that. And I'm like, I was like I get it, but I was like you have to find like everything should be an extension of your passion. You can do things just to learn, right? Those are the two levels, if you want to go make a film, or you're just like cuz you can because you can afford to do it and learn and become a better director or become a better, whatever. there's value in that, right. But you have to know that the end result of that is that you've learned, you know, if you want to the other reason to make some is like, what are you fucking excited about? Like, what are you passionate about? Like, what kind of stories are you passionate about? Like is it you know, like, if you love horror movies, then it's like, that's great. But what's the personal version of a horrific horror movie? You know? I mean, if you look at Jordan Peele, it's like, that's why those movies are fucking amazing because they're personal. Like, it's not he didn't invent or He basically was like, This is my perspective what a horror movie is right? And I was like holy shit like you are the You are the only version of you. And I'm not saying you're an antique snowflake, but you
Alex Ferrari 1:30:14
were all unique snowflakes that we're all unique snowflakes,
Scott Mosier 1:30:17
your perception or your take or your sort of joke on, like, if you throw something on a table, and everyone makes a joke, like don't make 10 different jokes, right? Like, that's what makes you different. And the more you sort of push yourself to find that, and that, to me is like, was a very long process. Like I in 21. Like, I did not have a voice. Like I like it was having Kevin was like such a great. That was part of the benefit of standing next to Kevin is because I was like, that's what a voice. Like, that's what it means. That's what it means to have a voice. That's what it means to cut through the noise, right? Because all the rest of it is noise. And so I was very aware of how long it would sort of take me to develop my own voice, like, the whole time I was like, Oh my god, like that's a voice, right? Kevin's a voice, like no one can argue that you may not like the voice. But this motherfucker he's got his own voice. And, you know, a million people are Coen brothers. Like all you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:31:24
Richard, Richard Linklater, all those guys, they all have a voice. You're absolutely right. Even even Robert, even Robert, who makes those kind of action and stuff. But that's, that's his voice inside all those movies. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Scott Mosier 1:31:47
You can learn how to you can learn how to edit, you can learn all the technical stuff and all that stuff is smart. Like that's basically just making you better your job. If you want to tell your story. If you if you want to be a writer, director, you know, you really have to find your most importantly do is find your voice.
Alex Ferrari 1:32:05
To last questions, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Scott Mosier 1:32:10
Alex Ferrari 1:32:13
Scott Mosier 1:32:16
Find the way to find your voice. And like part of the reason about finding your voice is that finding your way through the process of finding your voice. What you will do is create confidence in what your voice is, you know, it's like there's two, there's, there's all these, there's all these positives that come towards really taking a deep dive and be like, what kind of stories do I want to tell? Like, what do I get emotional when I watch? Like, what do I want to create recreate on the screen? Like, you know, some of those basic questions of like, I want I want some, like, I love to make people piss their pants laughing. I like to make people shit their pants. Fucking like scared. Like, if these are all, like, we're all here because we're like, movies make us. Movies evoke emotions, they make us feel things. And I believe like, for me, part of the process was going like, well, what are what are the things that I love to feel what I'm watching a movie, and therefore that's the thing that I want to recreate in my own movies. And so locating that, like, you know, what's the thing that you're like, Oh, fuck, like, I go watch a movie. And then like, I'm terrified, like, I just walk away, like, from joy. So I'm so excited. If that's it, then you should focus on that. Like, if you're like, no, I love to make people feel like life is worth, you know, like, I like to make people cry. You know, like, all those things exist. And it's sort of, it's almost like finding your voice to me is more about focusing on like, what's the emotions that you like to evoke in the kind of content you're making? Because that's part of like, what will help you fill out the kind of stories we want to tell which is like, what's the emotional impact? You're looking for? anger, rage, love, like all those things. Like those are the things sort of think about so yeah, finding, finding finding my voice was like probably the biggest thing
Alex Ferrari 1:34:16
and three of your favorite films of all time.
Scott Mosier 1:34:21
I mean, there's so many. I'll just sort of rattle some off. Well, I'll go way back to the beginning like Time Bandits is
Alex Ferrari 1:34:30
so good. Terry manter Gilliam,
Scott Mosier 1:34:33
huge. The ones that like, you know, for me, it's always like, ones that shift your perception about you know what a film is, or the ones that really stick in my mind. And there's tons of amazing movies that don't necessarily do that. But like time man, it was a big one for me. Raising Arizona was another one, like, really early on where I was like, Like, I just, I just ate it up then, you know, and then mango. I mean, like Fight Club As of one later on in life where I was like so completely just like, Fuck, what am I doing? Yeah, just like just like, I want to walk, like, and then I just watched it like 100 times but, you know, eight and a half was another like, just mind blowing sort of experience, right? Like, you know, we're in that space, you're like, this is a movie. Like, that was an exciting part about being young is like you're constantly like watching so many things. And that experience would be like I'm constantly redefining what a movie is. through everything I'm watching. Like, that's the sort of those are the movies and like time, man, it's raising Arizona at half in Fight Club is one where I was like, I was sort of being like, oh, okay, like, I'm kind of pivoting and you're like, this is a movie.
Alex Ferrari 1:35:58
I mean, when I when I mean, I've had Jim who wrote Fight Club on the show, and I just geeked out with him and Fincher and basically anything Fincher does you just walk around just like what are we? What are we doing? I really am. Yeah. And I've talked to some I've talked to some amazing filmmakers. And anytime Fincher comes up, they just say it's like, I don't I just, I don't even know what we're doing here. It's, it's, it's having one of those like, it's like Kubrick when Kubrick would pop out with a movie just like what what am I doing?
Scott Mosier 1:36:29
Alex Ferrari 1:36:31
Scott, man, thank you so much for being on the show. Brother. It has been an absolute pleasure talking to you, man. And I wish you nothing but success exploring your new ones and, and things that excite you Wherever, wherever you go. And I hope that IMDb account gets a little bit more broad and increase.
Scott Mosier 1:36:50
Me too. Thanks for having me.
Alex Ferrari 1:36:54
I want to truly thank Scott for coming on the show and dropping his knowledge bombs on the tribe. Thank you again, Scott. It is because of Scott and Kevin, that I am here as an independent filmmaker. They were an amazing inspiration to not only me, but to the generation and generations of independent filmmakers. So, Scott, I tip my hat to you. Thank you, my friend. If you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, head over to the show notes at indie film, hustle, calm Ford slash 453. And if you haven't already, please head over to filmmaking podcast comm subscribe to the podcast and leave a good review for the show. It really, really helps us out a lot. Thank you again for listening, guys. As always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. Stay safe out there. And I'll talk to you soon.
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