Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
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“Zey must have been ze best scholars of my film school!”
“Not enough explosions.”
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (1971-2008, 1974-2008) were an Emmy, Golden Globe and Nobel Prize winning screenwriting duo who mostly operated in film. They were also highly successful directors, musicians and Norse gods. They have been lauded for their work in films such as Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, Gone With the Wind, Disaster Movie, Vampires Suck, Citizen Kane, Date Movie, Random Movie, Movie Movie, and The Land Before Time. The duo consistently worked closely with other famous directors and writers, most notably mentoring a young Steven Spielberg. They themselves had been mentored by the god of film himself, George Lucas. In terms of critical analysis, Friedberg and Seltzer's films have received overwhelming acclaim and countless accolades, and the pair themselves have garnered between them a total of twenty Best Director Oscars, five of which were won posthumously.
Early lifeAccording to legend, as mere infants Friedberg and Seltzer were separated from their respective mothers. They both managed to survive, however, by drinking the man-milk from a he-wolf that had taken them into his care. Because of their shared hardships growing up they were always inseparable, usually playing doctor (or more specifically, proctologist) with each other for hours on end. When they matured, the two founded the republic of modern Hollywood in the late 70's, basing it around the powerful comedy tool but allowing other filmmakers to direct movies of other genres. Ever the perfectionists, they were not satisfied completely by building just one empire. Thirteen minutes later they invented the companies Disney, Google and Microsoft, and later the non-profit organisation Wikipedia. So as not to have the success of these corporations interfere with their personal lives, they remained secretive about much of this.
After obtaining enough money to last them a lifetime, the duo began writing/directing films. Following a string of cancelled projects, stopped by Friedberg and Seltzer because of sudden decisions that the concepts were not good enough, the pair discovered the intelligent type of comedy that was parody, and knew what they were to do. Their first film, Date Movie (2006), received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. Critic of television and film Roger Ebert perhaps best summarized the world's reaction when he said, "I was stunned. I mean... we were all kind of dumbfounded at what we had just seen. I compare it to what Adam must have felt when God first gave him life. Only better!"
Film careerAfter the success of Date Movie, the two caught the eye of George Lucas. Lucas, at the time working on "American Graffiti Episode 1: The Kingdom of Industrial Light and Magic", told the duo that he would like to work with them. Lucas has been known as somewhat of a mentor to them, but none of the footage shot with Lucas was ever shown to the public. In an interview before his death, Seltzer said, "It felt so right. The god of gods was teaching two other gods film. We actually showed the finished project to a couple of mortal prisoners George [sic] keeping in his basement for [sic] unicorn. Anyway, their eyes burned out of their [expletive] sockets. Now I know where Raiders of the Lost Ark got that footage at the very end. They just watched George at his most [expletive] brilliant!"
Lucas, along with God, eventually judged that the world was ready for another Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer film. The pair started work on what is perhaps their greatest hit: Epic Movie. After its release, riots formed outside the gates of Hollywood, with thrilled audiences begging to get a glimpse at the creators of the film. Unfortunately they were still busy returning from their billion dollar humanitarian world screening of their Magnum Opus, which, as standard, received worldwide praise. A prequel to 300, Friedberg and Seltzer's next film proved that they could tackle action as well as comedy. Meet the Spartans has been lauded for its satire and observations on modern life. The two purposely refrained from using references to pop culture. Joel Seigel has called this a brilliant move by the two. "They've created something that's timeless", he said. "This film shall live in infamy."
The duo's next film, not to the confused with the vastly superior Perfect Disaster, focused on anarchy and destruction in a futuristic cyberpunk setting. The film is noted for its mix of action and meaning. It has been critically praised by all of earth's film critics. It was so successful that the duo would eventually lower ticket prices from "ten dollars" to "free". As reported by Friedberg, "It was just getting so big. We felt that everyone should have a chance to see this, rich or poor." Following the commercial and critical success of Disaster Movie, the dynamic duo decided to try something funnier, and upon realizing that Stephanie Meyer and her Twilight franchise is one big fat joke by itself, they decided to give Twi-hards the respect and praise they deserve. Of course, what Friedberg and Seltzer classic wouldn't be complete without their intriguing and often thought-provoking pop-culture references, and this time the pair aimed rightful praise at musical icons Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas. The film was released in August 2010 and was, predictably, a box office record breaker, as well as getting a 99.2% acceptance rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Jason and Aaron decided that they couldn't end their career with just a huge box-office success, but with a film that could be considered a masterpiece and also a classic with time. The idea of "Masterpiece Movie" started off when Aaron was reading a "Cleo" magazine and found himself a whole new bunch of pop-culture references to work with. After five years of fine script refining and polishing, both Jason and Aaron agreed that "Masterpiece Movie" was ready for production.
“I wanted Masterpiece Movie to be somewhat different from my previous films you know? So instead of having a cow fall I decided to have a horse fall. And I also decided to auto-tune the farts for extra pop-culture references”
Film critic Roger Ebert described "Masterpiece Movie" as being a new addition to his top ten list, together with 3 Ninjas, Laurence of Iraq and other classic films. "Masterpiece Movie" now stands at third in AFI's top 100 list. Jason and Aaron's dream had been accomplished.
Final weeks and death
Conflict with George Lucas
After creating another smash hit, The Land Before Time, Friedberg and Seltzer decided that they were the rightful owners of the title "God of Film". While they respected George Lucas, who had held the title for nearly three centuries, they decided to usurp the throne from him. Friedberg and Seltzer flew to Lucas' floating cattle farm, Skywalker Ranch in full battle attire. Lucas, who was meditating in his chambers, sensed a disturbance and immediately donned his trademark aviator sunglasses and bullwhip. Seltzer initially tried to flank Lucas, but Lucas' sunglasses' onboard computer warned him of incoming threat. Lucas struck Seltzer in the knee and scrotum with one swing of his mighty bullwhip. Friedberg, trying to attack Lucas directly, managed to wound him slightly before sustaining catastrophic wounds to the hip and upper thigh. The pair retreated back to their Hollywood
house mansion fortress, defeated and ashamed.
Rising tensionsWhile the dynamic duo tried to get past their loss by sulking and eating Breyers, Barbarians from the east had been attacking Hollywood's providences. Worried that the Barbarians were getting bolder, Seltzer dispatched an army led by himself to combat the new threat. This caught the ire of Friedberg, who felt that they were beyond military action. In a press conference he had called, Friedberg said that he felt that "bargaining with the desperates" would have "solved this crisis." Nevertheless, Seltzer continued to march his army eastward to the attackers. Seltzer's battle plan has been called military genius by the world's war leaders, even though it ended up failing due to a technical error. His army consisted of the cast and crew of Epic Movie, who were to re-shoot the film on the battlefield, let Seltzer work his magic in the editing room, and then show the finished product to the barbarians. It was expected that the Barbarians, who had never seen film let alone an Aaron Seltzer film, would collapse and die at the sight of this.
After several months of marching, Seltzer's army reached the field of Goshen. Across the field, they were shocked to see a massive force of organized Barbarians in battle formation. Seltzer suspected a traitor, and had his entire army executed. Realizing he needed an army to fight, he called former friend George Lucas to apologize and ask a favor. "He called me up," Lucas said, "and we really buried the hatchet, right there. He asked me if I could do him a favor and revive his army. So of course I said yes. I mean... what kind of a friend would I be if I didn't?" After his army had been revived to full heath, Seltzer began shooting his renewed version of Epic Movie.
The Battle at Goshen
Unfortunately, right before shooting was to begin, all two hundred cameras brought along for the shoot malfunctioned. The Barbarians saw their chance to attack, and began a charge at Seltzer's army. Seltzer rallied his troops with an infamous speech, often called the Epic Movie Address.
“Four score and seven years ago, I brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in contracts, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created to be celebrities working for me. Now we are engaged in a great war with barbarians, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. Long live Hollywood, long live Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, andSadly, this rally didn't help the fact that the army was made up of actors instead of warriors. The estimated 6,000 barbarians quickly flanked and surrounded the out-numbered army. Seltzer tried desperately to repair the cameras, but was hit with a spear in the neck. Two of his most loyal soldiers, Captain Jack Swallows and that black midget that the duo had used in their films, carried him off the battle field. He ritualistically committed seppuku and had his head removed and hidden by the two soldiers. To this day, his head has not been located. The rest of Seltzer's army fought and died bravely, the only captive being a Paris Hilton lookalike. Her fate is still unknown.
long live freedomyou are contractually obligated to fight!”
Trouble in Hollywood
Seltzer's son, Michael, was named on his will to inherit the republic. Friedberg, however, was still in power. This caused a split in the empire. Friedberg created West Hollywood for himself, and gave East Hollywood to Michael. There was a bitter rivalry between the two, and political tension began to mount. Finally, the East Hollywood Senate declared that it would no longer officially recognize West Hollywood as a nation, and began to assimilate western territories as their own. A bloody but short civil war began and ended with a stalemate between January and February 2008.
The barbarians who had defeated Seltzer at the battle of Goshen had continued to rampage Eastern Hollywood's territories. Eventually, the barbarians arrived at the gates of the city. Michael, having no prior military experience, thought that the marauding invaders were just guests visiting his kingdom. Despite numerous warnings from his servants, he opened the gates and allowed them to enter. The barbarians wreaked havoc on the city and took Michael prisoner. Although he eventually escaped, he recounts the experience as having a profound impact on his life.
“I won't do THAT again!”
Michael later went on to found another republic, the Neverland Ranch.
Friedberg's last standAfter the death of Seltzer and the destruction of East Hollywood, Friedberg lost much of his will to live. Family and friends had noted a change in him prior to his death. Audiences also noticed a change in tone in Friedberg's films. Friedberg's next film, Spoof Movie, had such an emotional impact on viewers that it created worldwide anarchy and riots. The barbarians used this anarchy as fuel to progress their campaign of destruction.
West Hollywood had been completely surrounded by August of 2008. Friedberg dispatched the 300 Spartans he had been personally training to the gates of the city. Many of them knew it would be a last stand.As the gates of the besieged Hollywood burst open, the outnumbered Spartans let out one last battle cry and rushed the barbarians. After a long and bloody battle, the barbarians forced their way into Friedberg's estate.
“I am tired of all these mother [expletive] barbarians, in this mother [expletive] town!”
With one mighty blow, Friedberg smashed himself and the barbarians out of physical existence.
Triceratops (try-SERR-ə-tops) is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that lived during the late Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period, around 68 to 65.5 million years ago (Mya) in what is now North America. It was one of the last non-avian dinosaur genera to appear before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The term Triceratops, which literally means "three-horned face", is derived from the Greek τρί- (tri-) meaning "three", κέρας (kéras) meaning "horn", and ὤψ (ops) meaning "face".
Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on its large four-legged body, and conjuring similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and the best known ceratopsid. It shared the landscape with and was preyed upon by the fearsome Tyrannosaurus, though it is less certain that the two did battle in the manner often depicted in traditional museum displays and popular images.
The exact placement of the Triceratops genus within the ceratopsid group has been debated by paleontologists. Two species, T. horridus and T. prorsus, are considered valid although many other species have been named. Recent research suggests that the contemporaneous Torosaurus, a ceratopsid long regarded as a separate genus, represents Triceratops in its mature form,though this is disputed.
Triceratops has been documented by numerous remains collected since the genus was first described in 1889, including at least one complete individual skeleton. Paleontologist John Scannella observed: "It is hard to walk out into the Hell Creek Formation and not stumble upon a Triceratops weathering out of a hillside." Forty-seven complete or partial skulls were discovered in just that area during the decade 2000–2010. Specimens representing life stages from hatchling to adult have been found.
The function of the frills and three distinctive facial horns has long inspired debate. Traditionally these have been viewed as defensive weapons against predators. More recent theories, noting the presence of blood vessels in the skull bones of ceratopsids, find it more probable that these features were primarily used in identification, courtship and dominance displays, much like the antlers and horns of modern reindeer, mountain goats, or rhinoceros beetles. The theory finds additional support if Torosaurus represents the mature form of Triceratops, as this would mean the frill also developed holes (fenestrae) as individuals reached maturity, rendering the structure more useful for display than defence.
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have been honored as heroes. They won every Academy Award in every category posthumously, as well as winning the Pulitzer Peace Prize in the category of Best War Strategy. They have also been praised by the green community as the greatest environmentalists the world has ever known for recycling the same movie concept over and over again. The duo were survived by their sons, Michael and Jason Jr. The two have hinted that they would like to continue in their father's footsteps and become film directors. On September 10th, 2008, the new duo announced plans for a new film dedicated to their fathers simply entitled "A Movie". Upon release, it received mixed reviews; Michael and Jason Jr have vowed to do better in their next film, which will reportedly be a pornographic buddy cop comedy.
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