If you’re anything like us, you’ve watched the trailers for The Social Network, the founding-of-Facebook movie, and wondered if the beginning stages of a website’s construction could possibly be as fraught with dramatic looks, musical kicks, and Real World-style explosive friendships as Columbia Pictures would like us to believe.
Turns out we were right.
The New York Times has an article up about the myriad ways in which the filmmakers consulted Facebook about their treatment of the company in The Social Network, listened carefully to their objections, and then proceeded to do whatever they wanted.
The makers of The Social Network began production without securing the rights to the story from Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook, relying instead on a thin tissue of diplomacy and the rights to The Accidental Billionaires, a Facebook origins book written by Ben Mezrich which heavily leaned on the recounting of disaffected Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Whether or not Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg are evil is neither here nor there, if you’re operating from a grudge-holding source anyway.
Aside from putting a slant on the interactions between Facebook founders, some scenes described sound patently ridiculous when you remember that they are about 18-22 year old computer programmers, in college, before they got famous. For example, a scene with:
Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder… delivering his dialogue while a pair of teenage girls offer partygoers lines of cocaine from bared breasts… A person who was involved with research for the film, and spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid conflict with the producers, said that sequence was one of several that were mostly made up.
[Scott Rudin, producer,] said his main concern about the scene involved how much could be shown without compromising the movie’s hoped-for PG-13 rating.
Mr. Rudin told the New York Times that
the movie was about conflicting truths, as recalled by Mr. Zuckerberg and his associates, largely in a pair of court cases that ended in settlements. “There is no such thing as the truth,” Mr. Rudin said.
Yeah, well, there is such a thing as bullshit.
You can read the entire article right here.