LAist Interview: Bob Gosse, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
On first blush, Bob Gosse seems like an unlikely choice to direct Tucker Max's ribald memoir, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. After all, it was Gosse who co-founded the seminal independent film company The Shooting Gallery while also producing the early indie hits, Laws of Gravity and New Jersey Drive as well as directing the superb Niagara, Niagara. What is this guy doing directing a movie about a narcissistic alcoholic who fucks midgets? LAist recently had a chance to talk to Bob about exactly that.
LAist: How did you -- of all people -- end up with Tucker Max -- of all people? It feels natural in terms of your personality. I think your sense of humor -- it's not right in-line with Tucker's, but I can see you laughing at his jokes. But as a filmmaker, your work has always been very different from this. So how did that all come together?
Bob Gosse: A friend of mine, Max Wong, is a producer. We were working on a project called A Prayer for Domenick Mizzoli, which is something we'd like to make someday. And we were working on this, developing the script for a few months when we were at lunch one day and she said, "Oh, my friend Tucker -- he's got a best-selling book and a big blog -- he's writing this script. You should take a look at it at some point when they're ready to go out." So I said, "Okay." By the time I got home from the lunch I had forgotten his name so I didn't even look it up. So a few months later I'm at Sundance and I got a text from Max and she said, "Bob, I'm sending you the script. When you get back, can you read it?" And I did. And I thought it was funny. I blew coffee out of my nose reading it. And I had been in movie jail for several years because Julie Johnson, which was the last film The Shooting Gallery made, got sucked into a bankruptcy when the company collapsed. So that movie basically ended my directing career. So I thought, "If I'm going to do another film ever, it's going to need to be a genre film." It should be a comedy. It should be a horror film. And this fit the bill. I met with Tucker and Nils and Max and Karen twice. And the second meeting I went in with this binder that they now call "The Magic Book", which was basically my take on the film and what I would do and how I would shoot it and who I would bring to it. I did shot diagrams; I did storyboards on FrameForge. And it blew them out of the water, and they hired me. And that was it!