Q&A with Slick Gigolo, the Force Behind George Lucas Strikes Back
|Mike Litzenberg (left) and Bridge Stuart are Slick Gigolo.|
Litzenberg and Stuart, both 25 and graduates of Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television in Los Angeles, did what film students do after college: get an apartment and make home videos. Three years and 20-odd videos later, they're still in it for the love of the craft, because Lucas remains the only one cashing in. Regardless, their viewership is increasing thanks to a presence on the humor site Funny or Die, and with this latest video, they've taken on an empire. May the force be with them.
How did Slick Gigolo come about?
Bridge Stuart: I did some comedy web stuff before. We were thinking, "Why don't we do our own videos?" We started with a little video, "Cookin' Time!" We were still working out the kinks and we lost all of the original sound. It just evolved from there.
Mike Litzenberg: We wanted to see what we could do and became more and more ambitious.
BS: The big thing that's helped us along was our third video, "We Are Douchebags." It went viral a year and a half ago. It gave us confidence.
How many roles do you play when making these videos? Does anyone else help out?
BS: We have a solid group of friends from school, and we recruit them and collaborate around everyone else's schedule. Except for some money we make from YouTube advertising, we're doing this all for free. We write, direct and edit all of it.
ML: We act as well.
BS: Our friend Andrew Crighton was the director of cinematography for the George Lucas video.
Where did the idea for George Lucas Strikes Back come from?
ML: I was watching Oldboy, the Korean film, for the first time. It was the same day I heard Lucas was considering converting the original Star Wars movies into 3D. I thought, "What's the most recent stuff from Lucas? Wouldn't it be fun to see him get revenge and kick ass the same way the character from Oldboy did?"
So the original intention wasn't to express disdain for his most recent work?
BS: We'd like to think it was pretty good-natured.
ML: We tried not to be mean-spirited. The latest movies just weren't on the same level as the originals.
What's been the reaction so far since the video premiered May 31?
BS: People seem to love it so far. A lot of people seem to want to make it into a real movie.
ML: If we don't get sued for this, we'd probably get sued 1,000 times if we'd tried to make this into a movie.
BS: One of the things we're most proud of is the actress who played Princess Leia. Not only was she a great actress, but she's a dead-ringer for Carrie Fisher. We've been getting a lot of comments on that.
And who was George?
BS: I was George Lucas. That was my real beard. I acted, but we both came up with the character and the eye squint. Mike suggested the eye squint. I tried to look and sound like him ... tried to put on that higher voice. We actually looked at the parodies of George Lucas more than the actual George Lucas. Cartoons and stuff that has been done with him. He's an iconic-looking person.
Are you satisfied with your portrayal?
BS: I think so. He was given humanity.
What projects are on the horizon?
BS: We're going to keep making videos and parodying pop culture.
ML: We'd like to make a feature film at some point, even though short videos have a more immediate reward. We had a vague idea about two dudes who started a social networking site, but that got made into a movie called The Social Network.