Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer

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Jason Friedberg (born (1971-10-13) October 13, 1971 (age 42) in Newark, New Jersey, United States) and Aaron Seltzer (born (1974-01-12) January 12, 1974 (age 40) in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) are a film director and screenwriter team known for making spoof movies that generally receive very unfavorable reviews, but would do well in the box office. They were part of the writing team for Scary Movie and Spy Hard. They have also written and directed films such as Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, Vampires Suck and The Starving Games.

Biography[edit]

Seltzer, is allegedly part of a Canadian shoe salesmen family from Mississauga, Ontario but is actually from Southern California, and Friedberg who was born in Newark, NJ and was raised in Paterson, New Jersey and son of director Rick Friedberg. Seltzer and Friedberg met at the University of California, Santa Barbara and bonded over their love of film, especially comedy.[1] They did not attend film school, with Seltzer majoring in art history and Friedberg in history, but decided to try a career in the film industry after attending a class about Martin Scorsese in their last semester.[1] While writing screenplays at night, both spent the day attending jobs to pay their tuition, selling homemade T-shirts, started their own food delivery service, and opening shoe shops in Los Angeles. As Rick Friedberg made the video Bad Golf Made Easier with Leslie Nielsen, he showed his son's script for a spy film spoof. Nielsen approved, and this lead into 1996's Spy Hard. Seltzer and Friedberg then spent some years as screenwriters for hire, with Seltzer estimating the duo sold "upward of 40 scripts". The only finished project was an uncredited rewrite to the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Maximum Risk (1996), while an unproduced Liberace biopic introduced them to producer Peter Safran. In 1998, Safran managed to sell to Dimension Pictures a horror film spoof spec script of Seltzer and Friedberg named Scream If You Know What I Did Last Summer, later reworked by four other writers under the title Scary Movie. The film was a sleeper hit in 2000, and brought much attention to Seltzer and Friedberg. Tired of many unmade projects, as Regency Enterprises could not find a director for their romantic comedy spoof, Seltzer and Friedberg opted to direct Date Movie (2006) themselves.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Directors Producers Writers RT Approval
Rating
Metacritic Budget Worldwide
Gross
1996 Spy Hard
YesY
7% 25/100[2] $18,000,000 $99,960,191
2000 Scary Movie
YesY
53% 48/100[3] $19,000,000 $278,019,771
2006 Date Movie
YesY
YesY
YesY
6%[4] 11/100[5] $20,000,000 $84,795,656[6]
2007 Epic Movie
YesY
YesY
2%[7] 17/100[8] $20,000,000 $86,865,564[9]
2008 Meet the Spartans
YesY
YesY
YesY
2%[10] 9/100[11] $30,000,000 $84,646,831[12]
Disaster Movie
YesY
YesY
YesY
1%[13] 15/100[14] $20,000,000 $34,816,824[15]
2010 Vampires Suck
YesY
YesY
YesY
4%[16] 18/100[17] $20,000,000 $80,547,866[18]
2013 The Starving Games[19]
YesY
YesY
0%[20] $4,500,000 $3,102,717[21]
2014 Best Night Ever[22]
YesY
YesY
0%[23]
Superfast
YesY
YesY

Date Movie opened with $12.1 million and earned $48.9 million overall.[24] Disaster Movie opened with $5.8 million and earned $14.2 million total in the United States.[24] Vampires Suck, which opened on a Wednesday, earned an estimated $19.7 million in its first five days.[24]

Future projects[edit]

Friedberg and Seltzer announced that they are making two new movies, a Fast and Furious spoof called Superfast, and Best Night Ever, a lewd found footage comedy in the vein of Project X. Both are expected to be released in 2014.[1]

Other[edit]

Year Film Based on characters created by Budget Worldwide Gross
2001 Scary Movie 2 Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer $45,000,000 $141,220,678
2003 Scary Movie 3 Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer; also wrote a draft[1] $48,000,000 $220,673,217
2006 Scary Movie 4 Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer $45,000,000 $178,262,620
2013 Scary Movie 5 Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer $20,000,000 $75,070,313

Criticism[edit]

Yes, we all know that a lot of movies put aside the more artistic aspects of film making to solely make a profit; we're not naive. But, the films that these two directors make are so blatant at being nothing more than a juvenile finger pointing at an image or mention of a popular trend that, to me, they seem exploitive of a young culture raised to have an ever-decreasing attention span, thanks to the internet and channel surfing and, this may sound a little crazy, but, I think it shows a slight de-evolution in what people will accept as entertainment.

—Korey Coleman of Spill.com, 2010.[25]

The critical reception of Friedberg and Seltzer's movies has been extremely negative.[26][27] Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans were rated the two worst films of 2008 by The Times.[28] Additionally, every film they have directed has made it into Rotten Tomatoes' "Worst of the Worst" for the 2000s, only one scoring a spot outside of the bottom 25.[29]

The duo received a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Screenplay for Epic Movie at the 2007 Razzies[30] and were nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay for both Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie at the 2008 Razzies,[31] as well as nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel at the 2011 Razzies for Vampires Suck. The pair appears more often than any other person on the fan-voted list of "The 50 Worst Movies Ever" in noted British film magazine Empire. Almost all of their movies appear with a rank, and all are mentioned in the full review text.[32]

Critic Josh Levin of Slate commented that "Friedberg and Seltzer...are not filmmakers. They are evildoers, charlatans, symbols of Western civilization's decline..."[33] Josh Rosenblatt of the Austin Chronicle said that "Writer/directors Friedberg and Seltzer are a scourge. They're a plague on our cinematic landscape, a national shame, a danger to our culture, a typhoon-sized natural disaster disguised as a filmmaking team, a Hollywood monster wreaking havoc on the minds of America's youth and setting civilization back thousands of years."[34] Korey Coleman of Spill.com has claimed that he is "bothered" by the duo's films, as he believes they are dumbing down the film industry and popular culture in general.[25]

Critic Nathan Rabin also gave their films an indignant condemnation, saying:

spoof movies, as practiced by the cultural blight that is Seltzer-Friedberg, aren't just troubling from an aesthetic viewpoint. They're horrifying from a moral standpoint as well. The parody of the Zucker brothers and Mel Brooks is defined by love, knowledge, and appreciation: The Zucker brothers and Mel Brooks love, know, and appreciate the source material they're spoofing enough to get all the details perfect. The comedy of Seltzer-Friedberg, in sharp contrast, is defined by contempt: contempt for the attention span, intelligence, maturity, and frame of reference for the audience, and an even more raging contempt for the source material they're spoofing. Friedberg and Seltzer aren't writers; they're evildoers who cavalierly destroy what others create for their own ugly self-interest. Their success is entirely dependent on making comedy a dumber, crasser, less dignified place.[35]

Recurring cast members[edit]

Actor Date Movie
Epic Movie
Meet the Spartans
Disaster Movie
Vampires Suck
The Starving Games
Best Night Ever
Diedrich Bader NoN NoN NoN
Carmen Electra NoN NoN NoN NoN
Adam Campbell NoN NoN
Matt Lanter NoN NoN
Tony Cox NoN NoN NoN
Ike Barinholtz NoN NoN NoN
Crista Flanagan NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN
Nicole Parker NoN NoN
Jennifer Coolidge NoN NoN
Fred Willard NoN NoN
Jim Piddock NoN NoN
Tad Hilgenbrink NoN NoN
Nick Steele NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN
Jareb Dauplaise NoN NoN
Martin Klebba NoN NoN

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Patches, Matt (January 31, 2014). "Surely They Can’t Be Serious? - The unlikely rise of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Hollywood's majorly hated, hugely successful kings of the modern-day spoof". Grantland.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Spy Hard on Metacritic". Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Scary Movie on Metacritic". Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  4. ^ "Date Movie on RT". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  5. ^ "Date Movie on Metacritic". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  6. ^ "Date Movie on Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  7. ^ "Epic Movie on RT". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  8. ^ "Epic Movie on Metacritic". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  9. ^ "Epic Movie on Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  10. ^ "Meet the Spartans on RT". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Meet the Spartans on Metacritic". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  12. ^ "Meet the Spartans on Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  13. ^ "Disaster Movie on RT". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  14. ^ "Disaster Movie on Metacritic". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  15. ^ "Disaster Movie on Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  16. ^ "Vampires Suck on RT". Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  17. ^ "Vampires Suck on Metacritic". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  18. ^ "Vampires Suck". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  19. ^ "Hunger Games Gets the Scary Movie Treatment". 2012-05-10. 
  20. ^ "The Starving Games on RT". Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  21. ^ "The Starving Games (2013) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  22. ^ "Best Night Ever (2014)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  23. ^ "Best Night Ever on RT". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  24. ^ a b c Stewart, Andrew (2010-08-22). "'Expendables' tops crowded B.O". Variety. 
  25. ^ a b Vampires Suck Audio Review | Spill.com
  26. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (2008-01-26). "Doing Battle on the Field of Parody". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  27. ^ Scott, A. O. (2007-01-27). "Bravely Setting Out to Mock Others". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  28. ^ The 100 Worst Movies of 2008 The Times Accessed 12-12-08
  29. ^ "Worst of the Worst 2009 – Fear Dot Com". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  30. ^ John Wilson (2008-01-21). "Razzies – 2007 Nominees for Worst Screenplay". Razzie Awards. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  31. ^ John Wilson (2009-01-21). "RAZZIES.COM 2008 Nominations". Razzie Awards. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  32. ^ Helen O'Hara, Alastair Plumb, Phil De Semlyen (2010-01-29). "The 50 Worst Movies Ever". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  33. ^ Levin, Josh (2008-08-28). "Yet another terrible spoof movie from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. – By Josh Levin – Slate Magazine". Slate.com. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  34. ^ "Film Listings". AustinChronicle.com. 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  35. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2013-01-29). "The surreally incompetent Not Another Not Another Movie is beneath contempt · Dispatches From Direct To DVD Purgatory · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 

External links[edit]