Zac Efron played an EDM DJ in Catfish director Max Joseph’s We Are Your Friends, which bombed horrifically over the weekend, grossing less than a sixth of a bizarre Christian movie (War Room) which opened on half as many screens. WAYF‘s fate seemed to delight not only people who hate electronic music, and Zac Efron, but also prominent electronic musicians as well, like Deadmau5. It was like a Schadenfreude perfect storm.
Deadmau5 and another EDM artist, Trifonic, also took time to mock Efron’s pronunciation of a type of synthesizer.
And here we have a microcosm of why this movie bombed. People like me, who either don’t care about EDM or have a knee-jerk hatred of it, would never see it because of the subject matter. Those of us who did go either out of morbid curiosity or professional obligation actually ended up sorta liking it, probably because it was made for the EDM ignorant. And naturally, people who actually are part of that scene couldn’t handle all the inaccuracies and Hollywoodization of it.
It’s sort of instructive in a way, in that sometimes the thing that gives your project a sexy pitch is the same thing that ends up sabotaging it. The eventual movie actually didn’t even end up even being that much about EDM. But that didn’t stop the marketing department from trying to sell it as the sexy EDM movie. There are times when it might be best to just let go of the elevator pitch and let a story be what it ends up evolving into.
Or, maybe laptop music just isn’t that cinematic.