We are Phil Lord and Chris Miller! Everything (especially THE LAST MAN ON EARTH) is awesome! Ask us anything!
Hey it's Phil Lord (@philiplord ) & Chris Miller (@chrizmillr ) and we're here because THE LAST MAN ON EARTH premieres TONIGHT on FOX at 9pm! It's a new TV comedy we made with our friend Will Forte (who did an AMA without us yesterday) and you will like it. Excited to A some Qs! Victoria's helping us get started.
Photo proof for me (Phil): http://imgur.com/KFqQf8a
Photo proof for Chris: http://imgur.com/G1t92Mi
Thanks so much for all the great questions and also the not-as-great questions. We hope you like our new show - it's TONIGHT, don't forget! 9 o'clock tonight on FOX! Watch it live, so it stays alive. - Phil & Chris
Mostly. Daniel Day Lewis wanted to do it, but we said NO WAY.
Daniel Day Lewis would probably try to turn himself into a lego for the role.
What a method actor.
Yeah he wanted to be tattooed yellow and to have his nose removed and fingers glued together, but we thought it wasn't safe.
Didn't stop RDJ in Tropic Thunder.
RDJ actually played emmet in the live action stuff. we did it with forced perspective all in camera
I cut the trailer for the Lego Movie, and I just wanted to say how amazing it was being a (really small) part of that project. Getting Abe Lincoln in the final cut was something I was particularly fond of.
thanks for doing that! Should we do a Lincoln spin off?
I love you guys' work! It's very inspiring to me.
What's your writing style like as a duo? How do you compromise on jokes and ideas when conflicting concepts arise?
edit: Cool, the tag from my own AMA transfers over to this. That means I'm on the Lego Movie 2 team now right?
When conflict arises we stuff it deep down inside for years until it eventually is expressed with an under-the-breath sigh...
You two really like taking on projects s that sound like a bad idea, then making them amazing. So the real question is, when will you be making the Duck Dynasty feature film?
For real though, you two are incredible and I've been a fan since Clone High. I really hope that you and Bill can one day get a movie made (or continuation of the show somehow)
Thanks for the laughs
novelization coming first (guess who's ghost-writing it for us?!)
When making The Lego Movie, was there anything you had trouble rendering in Lego form?
Would you thrice lay me?
if you bring me the amulet
I’m currently in a writing position for a campus television show that allows for a lot of freedom with the content that we create. Do you have any advice for writing with a limited budget in mind?
Use the limitation as fuel. write yourself into a corner, say a dorm room, and then write yourself out. have you seen the 4 obstructions?
Fantastic! I've never heard of it but Google is heavily suggesting a film called the five obstructions so I'll assume thats what you mean. I'll check it out immediately. Thank you!
YES! that's the one.
Hey guys, big fan. Seen 22 Jump 10 times now, one of my favourite comedies in the past decade. My question for you guys is: on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Last Man On Earth you guys directed the first episodes and then from there on are credited as producers. How involved in the projects are you guys after you've directed? Are you on set at all? Thanks guys, keep up the great work.
10 TIMES??! you got to hit that AFI 100 son!
we've remained really involved with LMOE, but B99 has people way smarter than us around and they definitely don't need us!
Which filmmaker(s) inspired you guys to go into comedy writing/directing?
Isn't it obvious? Ben Stiller, the Simpsons, Pee Wee Herman, Mel Brooks, and Chris Miller
You are given an unlimited budget with no restrictions. What would you do with this?
always wanted to make a billion dollar movie about making a billion dollar movie. In a brewster's millions scenario. With beatles songs covered by the rolling stones. set underwater. but I think Tim and Eric beat us to this concept?
Hey guys, first off I want to say I love your work--you're some of my favorite comedy directors. I can't wait to see "The Last Man on Earth" tonight.
My question is, what made you decide to do a story in the post-apocalytpic genre? As much as I love the genre, its quite overdone these days. What do you feel makes "The Last Man on Earth" unique to the genre?
always wanted to do a reboot of FOX's "WHOOPS!"
also no one has done a funny tv series version of the concept. let's see if we have!
I really loved the Lego movie and when I heard the rumor that you guys might do an animated spider-man movie I got super excited wether or not it's true. My question is are you guys planning on doing anything animated outside the Lego movie? If it was you guys fight to the death with the Russo brothers who would go up against who?
animation is our first love and we hope to do many more animated projects over our lifetime. Lassiter made us promise.
first off the Russo's are scrappers with broad shoulders and any one of them would beat both of us. we have some good tag-team moves but it's no match for the tag team of physical strength and italian passion
Where's the dolphin screech in Last Man?
good catch. emailing our post team now. look for it in a couple weeks.
Hey guys, I am a massive fan of your work. But I've always wondered 3 things.
- How do you handle the level of succes you have had over the years in various projects?
- How does directing TV pilots like Brooklyn Nine-nine and Last man on Earth differ from live action movies like the Jump Street movies?
- Do you have any advice for Creating visual humor in movies? I'm a senior in high school trying to make a short film for my class and want to make something subversive rather than pretentious
1) we handle our entirely moderate success by being just as embarrassed about our work as if we had failed. 2) in both cases we were not directing our own scripts, so we actually had to follow them. 3) design something you can watch with the sound off. As far as pretense goes, it's easy to be cool. It's hard to be cool and appealing. and if you have to pick one, I'd pick appealing every time
Who are y'alls director influences?
Hal Ashby Tim Burton Buster Keaton Chris Miller
I'm sure I'm not the first to ask, but as someone who wants to get into the film industry and doesn't know how he'd cope with such a thing, I'm wondering how you guys felt after the lack of a Best Animated Feature nomination for The Lego Movie after all that hype? Like, right after you heard the nominees.
It sucked. really really bad. BUT immediately after that, all I could think about was how lucky we had been up to that point, and how we had already done everything we had set out to do-- make a smart movie for kids and parents that had something to say and not get fired for doing it
Will there ever be a 23 Jump Street?
Is there a chance we'll ever get to see a return of the Clone High characters, possibly in a reboot series?
I'd love to see a live-action emo reboot on CW maybe? Berlanti get on this
Did you expect The Lego Movie to be as critically successful as it was?
definitely not. the only person who believed was Jump street producer Neal H Moritz he is a seer
and MacGruber would be proud that it opened to 69 million domestic
If you could resurrect any other old '80s/'90s TV show and turn it into an R-rated comedy, what would it be?
How did you two meet?
Chris lit my girlfriend's hair on fire in college. Ended one relationship and started another
Hi guys! You've worked with Andy Samberg and Will Forte on your last two pilots, are there any other SNL players you really want to work with? Bill Hader? :)
We worked with Hader when he starred as Flint in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. He's amazing in Skeleton Twins and about to be amazing in Judd's new movie. Would love to get a chance to work together on some more live action stuff but I have a feeling we are going to need to get in line
We worked with Hader on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs but we'd love to work with him again. Did you see him in Skeleton Twins? The guy's got the goods!
Hey we gave almost the same answer! PARTNERS!
you STOLE my answer didn't you ?!!! BREAKUP
What was it like to work with Mr. T in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs?
he is an absolute ray of sunshine and we never stopped smiling. He brought snickers bars for everyone and ordered us pizza and laughed constantly with a high pitched giggle that made dogs bark. A goddamn delight of a man. Sorry for taking the lord's name in vain, T. He would scold me for that. That's how wonderful he is
Long time fan. I love the Cloudy movies, the Lego movie, the Jump Street movies, and I especially love Clone High. I've been watching your careers rise since 2004 (when I purchased my Clone High DVDs in Canada) and it is so cool to see all your tireless, high-quality work pay off.
You two are some of the most sought after voices in Hollywood now. What are the biggest factors in choosing your next project? Are you interested in ever treading romantic movies or dramas, or could you stick to comedy forever and still find yourselves evolving as writers/directors?
Chris Miller, GO SEAHAWKS (I live in Seattle) and how cool was it to watch them win the NFC Championship from Century Link with Macklemore and Chris Pratt?
Phil Lord, I really like your Ted Talk about collaboration. Though you told your stories through the lens of your career as a writer/director, the lessons I learned from your TedxTalk really helped me out in my career in the theatre. Big thanks!
That's all. You guys are awesome.
P.S. "I'll sleep when I'm dead!" "You'll die if you don't sleep!" was actually my motto in college.
P.P.S. My most popular party trick is my Kennedy impression, which is just the "Fo-ah sup-pah, I-er-ah wan-nah pah-tee plah-TAH!!" so thanks for that too.
our project picking process is pretty straight-forward. we sit around at coffee and see if we get an idea. and it's usually the most random things that inspire us. 21 Jump Street, Cloudy, Lego all made ideas pop into our heads. A bunch of much more successful stuff didn't. But without that spark you're dead in the water, so we just have to follow our very strange guts
keep getting restorative REM sleep!
Would you ever direct another episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine?
time permitting! animated episode?
Was there any character that you wanted to include in The Lego Movie but couldn't?
DOZENS. mostly Fabuland characters
What do you find awesome about your lives?
burritos whenever I want
Have you two ever considered making a video game?
I had an idea for one once and was told no one would ever buy it from me!
Advice for a 20 year old who really can't figure what he thinks is the best thing to study in school that will most benefit him as a screenwriter?
anything but screenwriting. you need to know something to screenwrite about. I studied art history. It's basically a communications degree but fancier.
and you should probably take a screenwriting class. to get the formatting right:)
I l loved listening to you guys on Doug Loves Movies - any chance you'll go back soon?!?!?
I think we definitely bombed hard enough to never be invited back. but we loved doing it!
Was it ever confusing having at least three different people named "Will" in the recording booths for The Lego Movie?
luckily they were never in the booth at the same time? there's always lego 2
You know how Steve Soderbergh releases a list of everything he saw/read during the whole past year? You probably don't have the time/patience to do this, so can you tell us what you guys have been enjoying lately? Thanks! :)
WILD TALES to the max, bro.
Totally random question.
Can Keanu Reeves voice a character in a future Lego film?
he can voice every character Jim Carrey style
Do you give yourselves your own Lego Oscars?
I want oprah's
If you guys had the chance to work on a big budget superhero film, which one would you choose??!
I would love to see your two's take on a cinematic universe!
HOWARD THE DUCK REBOOT
What was the most fun part of working on Alvin and The Chipmunks 4?
coming up with the subtitle "Chiplets." it's about even smaller younger higher-pitched child chipmunks with hotter recording careers
I feel like you guys would make a great Dick Tracy reboot. Any interest in that property? You know you want some Pruneface!
sometimes when my hair gets too long I look like Flat-Top so we're definitely qualified
Hello Phil and Chris! Thanks for doing this AMA. I've been a fan since I saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (which was the film that got me to study film/animation in college) and I'm looking forward to Last Man on Earth tonight!
I suppose I should ask a question, so I'm wondering if there are any new updates you could give on the Lego Movie 2 script?
Also, any chance Lego Batman will be a full fledged musical, because I'd kill for a soundtrack full of songs like Untitled Self Portrait.
I can tell you that Lego Batman's inner life as a frustrated recording artist will be fully explored...
Hey, guys. There are some dumb people out there saying the show won't last more than a season, so that got me curious: do you have a plan for a possible second season already? Also, are you scared of terrible ratings? How do you deal with that?
there's a plan, and a lot of hope. I'm not scared of bad ratings only making a bad show. if you make something you love that no one else gets, you can live with that. Being stuck making something forever that everyone loves that you hate is total misery.
i know this is too soon to tell but...
will there be a The Last Man on Earth movie? You know what I meant
5 seasons and a movie!
Is there any project you guys recently REALLY wanted and didn't get?
a couple that we got invited to do and chose not to. you never stop wondering if you should have made them. like a girl you had to break up with but still think is great
(1) Most filmmakers don't flip between animated projects and live-action projects the way you've been able to. What has doing animation taught you about doing live-action, and vice-versa?
(2) I loved "Cloudy" (I am 32 years old, incidentally) — such a funny, smart, rich take that respects the intelligence of the viewer. Could you discuss the process behind developing the whole Flint / Sam / machine / "Roger & Me" / etc. plot to graft onto the book — were there suggestions or concerns from the studio, is the story we see largely true to your pitch or were there notable alternate takes/pitches/plots along the way?
they are honestly really similar-- we just try to serve the idea with as good a story as possible. tone is obviously different. Live action has influenced our animation a lot because of all the improvising we did on set with jonah and channing. we wound up doing our voice records in a much looser way
our take on cloudy was originally a lot sillier and less emotional. Amy Pascal taught us how to make it a lot more moving, and as a result it got a lot funnier.
Hey guys! Both 22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie are fantastic, and I'm really looking forward to The Last Man on Earth!
How involved will you both be with 23 Jump Street? :-)
we're helping our friend Rodney Rothman who is writing the screenplay... mostly by calling and asking when he'll be finished
Because you work as a two man team how does that operate? Does one focus on a certain aspect of a screen play and one another?
I direct the left side of the screen and chris does the right side. NOT EFFECTIVE but it's too late to change now you can't argue with success
How do you get your inspiration for these AMAZING works of yours?
they sort of pop in to our heads. Aliens? I have no idea
Any comedy tv shows you guys are absolutely (or moderetaly, whatever) enjoying right now?
honestly? I can't stop watching Downton Abbey. It's the only thing on TV that doesn't stress me out or make think about how much funnier everyone else is
Is it a coincidence that the main character's name on THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is "Phil Miller"?
not remotely a coincidence. It's a hazard of working with Will Forte
What was your guys favorite part of The Lego Movie?
emmet touching the piece for the first time? so nuts for a kids movie
Was Abraham Lincoln in The Lego Movie just so Will Forte could voice Abe Lincoln again?
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