Welcome to episode nine of the Hey Eleanor podcast. This week, we’re talking about moving to Hollywood and making all your dreams come true… sorta.
Meet my brother, Andy Mogren. He’s a Minnesota transplant living in LA, who’s spent the last five years pitching an ever-evolving television concept that he writes, produces, directs, scores, edits, animates and stars in. I talk to him about what it’s like to move to LA (or as our dad likes says: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California), rejection, plus screening a movie you spent a year creating in front of a live audience. Sometimes, it goes great! Other times… well….
Here’s an excerpt of our conversation:
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Molly: Who are you and what do you do?
Andy: I’m Andy, Molly’s brother. We grew up down the hall from each other. We’re both doing similar things and are kind of the master of our own domains. I think we both learned that from our dad, and he learned from his dad. We come from a long line of entrepreneurs.
Molly: That makes it sound like we know what we’re doing.
Andy: But none of us do. And I’m trying to do that here in Hollywood.
Molly: You’ve been doing that a long time. When did you move out there?
Andy: 2007. So, about eight years ago.
Molly: Why did you feel like you had to move there?
Andy: Before I moved out to LA, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in order to make it in the entertainment industry. I want to be able to do it out here, and do everything myself. There’s a generation of people here that do that, but there still a degree of old Hollywood where people don’t realize that one person to be the writer and the editor and the director. I can pretty much make a whole movie right in the house. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, and that’s what I have been doing for the past five years.
Molly: Sounds like a shit load of work.
Andy: It’s a lot, but… look at the credits of the movie. There’s thousands people that work on a movie, and it only takes one of them to fuck it all up, you know? If you’re in control of your own vision, you can achieve something that nobody else can do… The stuff I do is really unorthodox, I think that’s help me in the long run.
Molly: So, explain what you do.
Andy: I’ve always loved the B-movies, the bad movies. The movies that are cheesy. The kinds of things you turn on at midnight.
Molly: Like Attack of the 50-foot Woman, or… what’s the killer tomatoes one?
Andy: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Do you know that I have the same birthday is the famous B-movie director, Roger Corman?
Molly: Can’t believe it.
Andy: Is that a coincidence or what? Quentin Tarantino said that’s his number one influence: Roger Corman, because he’s such a crazy B filmmaker and stuff…. The first party I went to out here was with a bunch of my film school friends. They were taking everything so seriously. So I started pitching them all of these terrible movie ideas I was going to make now that I’m out here in Hollywood. And they were so bad. For example, all of the animals would go against all the people in the world and it would end in an all-out war. All these people told me that I was crazy and stupid. I started to turn into a real-life stand-up bit, and if you were in on the joke, it was super fun, and if you weren’t in on it, it was even more fun.
Molly: You’d go to parties and pitch terrible ideas as a joke.
Andy: Yeah, and bars and stuff like that. People who thought they were the big thing… it would stroke their ego to think they were giving me notes on my script… but it’s literally the dumbest idea time.
Molly: I love that. And I’m guilty of this too… but it’s just so fun to play with someone like that.
Andy: Absolutely! It’s so fun. The first book I remember reading in high school was Andy Kaufman Revealed by Bob Zmuda. I love reading about the history of entertainment because it’s such a young town, Hollywood. It’s only been around for 100 years. Really, think about that, just a handful og people really made a huge impact. And I love looking at that kind of stuff. I love learning about the things that really worked, because it’s still what works today. What’s old becomes new again.
To learn how Andy turned his terrible show ideas into an award-winning short film, check out the whole episode of the podcast here.
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