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Warner Bros. threw one of the better premiere afterparties in awhile Wednesday for its youth-skewing Project X, the found-footage comedy about a high school party that escalates out of control.
The movie hails from Todd Phillips, who successfully combines merriment and mayhem with The Hangover movies and Old School, and Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures.
Usually afterparties following screenings at Grauman’s Chinese Theater are held in the same vicinity, but for this one guests made their way to The Lot, a movie studio complex in West Hollywood. The grounds were converted to mimic the movie’s party scene in suburban Pasadena, complete with a bouncy house and several food trucks, including one from In-n-Out Burger.
What energized the party beyond the norm was the infusion of a horde of teens and college-aged guests, as well as the performance of rock band 100 in the Hands, rapper Tyler the Creator, front-and-center spinning by DJ A Trak and a surprise set by Kid Cudi.
Most execs or agents over 45 didn’t know who those performers were and didn’t spend too long at the party, leaving the youngins to run the asylum. And run it they did.
Ken Jeong, who appeared in Phillips’ Hangover movies, posed for a picture at one point and found himself hoisted up by fans. The bouncy house collapsed onto itself several times due to overuse, while two young boys who play party security guards in the film offered their services to Johnny Knoxville. And many mid-level execs and agents spent their time at a row of tables playing Beer Pong.
The movie, a kind of American Pie by way of an American Apparel photoshoot, engendered a debate over whether or not it could be imitated by its audience, something that was pooh-poohed by Project X director Nima Nourizadeh.
“I don’t want to speak whether it is irresponsible or promoting certain things it shouldn’t,” he said. “It’s an R-rated movie. It all depends on the individual whether you take inspiration from it.”
Michael Bacall, who co-wrote the screenplay (unlike many other found footage movies, this one had almost no improv in it), said adults are forgetting what they were like when young. The clothes and music may be different but “teenagers are teenagers….Everybody has that side to them that they just want to go nuts.”
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