Last night I went to the Aero Cinematheque for my second screening of The Social Network. After the screening there was a Q&A with Aaron Sorkin. However, to my surprise. Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer showed up. I was a very happy camper to see Andrew Garfield. He played Eduardo Saverin, Mark Zuckerberg's best friend and co founder of Facebook, who eventually sues Zuckerberg for $600 million. Andrew's British in real life. He's funny, charming, and fumbley, like a Hugh Grant 2.0 in tights. (Andrew's landed the role of the next Spiderman.) He's so yummy I could eat him with a spoon, go in for seconds, and lick the bowl. But enough about that...
Aaron Sorkin started off (after a few jokes and jabs at Armie's gig on Gossip Girl) that he was drawn to The Social Network not because it was a story about the birth of Facebook, but because it was a "classic story of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal." Aaron began working on the script before the book "The Accidental Billionaires” was published. Aaron's script and the book began at the same time, but "on different tracks." Research was key for Sorkin's script. He had Mark Zuckerberg's blog, legal documents, and the courtroom depositions. The Social Network begins in the fall of 2003 when Mark Zuckerberg was a sophomore at Harvard University. We're introduced to Mark, the genius with an astounding IQ, a perfect 1600 on his SAT's, and gifted in computer programming- right as he's dumped by his girlfriend, Erika Albright. "You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like you because you're a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole." That breakup is the catalyst for Mark to create FaceMash, a site that compares the hotness of the girls on Harvard's campus. That opening scene took 99 takes. It sets the film and Mark's character up perfectly. Mark may be the world's youngest billionaire, but as Sorkin said, "you can't judge them... you have to find what's relatable about their character." And throughout the film, Mark is propelled by that desire to be wanted and gain the attention of Erika. That's how we can empathize with Mark. As Justin Timberlake said, "what makes the movie tick is what we don't know about them.” He also added that without Andrew’s character Eduardo, “there is no heart to break in the film.” Sorkin compared The Social Network to Rashomon, because there are many different sides to this story. While there is still a lot we don't know.
Sorkin had to write "with an internal moral compass and fear of the Sony Legal Department" to keep as truthful as possible. Sorkin added that Mark was a good sport about the whole thing. "No one wants a movie made about them when they were 19. Especially when they were being sued." On October 1st, when the film was released, Mark bought out a movie theater and took the whole Facebook staff out to see the film, and out after for appletinis. Eduardo Saverin's representation had contacted them about seeing the film. They set up a private screening for him to see the film. Sorkin said that he was quiet and after the screening looked as though he was a "deer in the headlights." Reliving a very difficult and very emotional time in his life that was obviously still very raw. Sorkin said that Eduardo had settled and received an undisclosed amount of money in the hundreds of millions and basically disappeared after he signed the non disclose agreement. They made a crack that Eduardo had his screening just before Lady Gaga had her's. Andrew jokingly shook his head in disapprovement, giving me yet another reason why I adore him. That was the hardest part of crafting the script and these characters. There was not much to go off of after the non-disclosure contracts were signed. Apparently the Winklevoss twins have never cashed their check of $65 million dollars, because once they do they have to accept the agreement, keep mum, and watch as Facebook takes over the online world.
There was a lot of talk about the creation of Facebook and the development of the story and the actor’s process, but I wanted to know more about the future of Facebook and the impact that it’s had on the world. That’s the one thing that I thought was missing from the film. As a filmmaker I was keen on knowing more about David Fincher’s directorial approach. “He makes typing, and talking about typing look like a bank robbery,” said Sorkin. I can’t talk about the film without praising the wickedly awesome music by Trent Reznor that adds and electronic, dark “impending doom” undertone to the film. The actors only had glowing praise for Fincher. They did shoot an astounding number of takes, but “it never felt superfluous,” said Armie Hammer. It was “like a security blanket” for them at night, knowing that they had exactly what they needed for each scene. As a lover of IMDB movie trivia, I got more than I could ask for last night. Hearing Armie Hammer talk about his process for playing the Winklevoss twins, how the actors came across the script, and the “where are they now” of the real life Facebook team, all made for a fantastic evening. All in all, I highly recommend the film. Not only is it sharp, smart, and witty, but seeing it a second time it has a tremendous replay value. You can watch the Social Network as a fantastically well-crafted film, or have it on in the background with friends over. The Social Network is our generations Oscar worthy story about the birth of Social Media. You could say it’s a Law & Order meets American Pie, but that would be selling it short. If you haven’t seen it, you should (... and I’m sorry for all of the spoilers)