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The oral history of Office Space: Behind the scenes of the cult classic
Old 01-11-2019, 11:54 PM   #1
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The oral history of Office Space: Behind the scenes of the cult classic

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In 1991, aspiring animator Mike Judge was a touring musician and grad student living outside of Dallas, Texas, when he channeled his past cubicle-life angst – from his former life as an engineer – into a 16mm short film called Office Space, featuring Milton. The vignette about a mumbling office worker and his condescending boss – which Judge drew, voiced and scored –would air on Comedy Central. It was a low-key launch for one of Hollywood’s most singular comedic voices who brought us the generation-defining MTV cartoon Beavis and Butt-Head, the eerily prescient 2006 satirical feature Idiocracy, and HBO’s Emmy-winning tech-nerd lampoon Silicon Valley among others.

The short film also inspired Judge’s live-action feature debut, Office Space: a box-office-flop-turned-cult-classic that ultimately became one of the most relatable workplace comedies of all time. To mark the film’s 20th anniversary (Feb. 19), EW spoke to key on-and-off-screen talent about how the low-budget comedy – starring mostly unknown actors – became a timeless portrait of Everyman Peter Gibbons’ (Ron Livingston) revenge against smarmy bosses, menacing office equipment and T.P.S coversheets. (Did you get that memo, by the way?)
https://apple.news/A8kNSJ6SRqT66EpGd8fdA
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:47 AM   #2
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tapahelp, welcome to our forum. Why not stop by and tell us a little about yourself, here Hi, I am... - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Is there something about this article you would like to discuss?
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The oral history of Office Space: Behind the scenes of the cult classic
Old 01-12-2019, 01:05 AM   #3
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The oral history of Office Space: Behind the scenes of the cult classic

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tapahelp, welcome to our forum. Why not stop by and tell us a little about yourself, here Hi, I am... - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community



Is there something about this article you would like to discuss?
Michael
A lot has been said about “Office Space” already. :-) I was not sure what else could be said about a movie on working in office.

I remember seeing it a couple of times on Comedy Central or some other channel on TV before streaming. This EW interview/article reminds me people had ideas for FIRE back in 90s.

I am mostly a reader and an occasional poster of ER and MMM forums. I am just pursuing these forums just to learn about retirement as I have not done much about ER other than increase my retirement plan contribution to 70% this year.

I will post a blurb about me in the intro forum.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:14 PM   #4
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My favorite line in this classic flick:


Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.


Or more appropriately for this group:


Samir: You know what I would do if I had a million dollars? I would invest half of it in low risk mutual funds and then take the other half over to my friend Asadulah who works in securities...
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:39 PM   #5
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I really enjoy that movie and have seen it probably 100x or more. My DW threw an Office Space themed birthday party when we were dating and it was pretty epic. She made a "Jump to Conclusion" mat and a couple of HUGE paper mache red staplers that we kept for years. As a matter of fact, I haven't seen it in a few months, so I think I will watch it this afternoon.

My favorite conversation between Peter and Joanna:

Quote:
Joanna: So, where do you work, Peter?
Peter Gibbons: Initech.
Joanna: In... yeah, what do you do there?
Peter Gibbons: I sit in a cubicle and I update bank software for the 2000 switch.
Joanna: What's that?
Peter Gibbons: Well see, they wrote all this bank software, and, uh, to save space, they used two digits instead of four. So, like, 98 instead of 1998? Uh, so I go through these thousands of lines of code and, uh... it doesn't really matter. I uh, I don't like my job, and, uh, I don't think I'm gonna go anymore.
Joanna: You're just not gonna go?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Joanna: Won't you get fired?
Peter Gibbons: I don't know, but I really don't like it, and, uh, I'm not gonna go.
Joanna: So you're gonna quit?
Peter Gibbons: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh... I'm just gonna stop going.
Joanna: When did you decide all that?
Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago.
Joanna: An hour ago... so you're gonna get another job?
Peter Gibbons: I don't think I'd like another job.
Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and Bills and...
Peter Gibbons: You know, I've never really liked paying Bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:54 PM   #6
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It was a perfect movie. The characters weren’t as bright and memorable as Caddyshack or Bridesmaids, but it captured something special.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:29 AM   #7
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My wife quit her job and made enough converting her area-of-expertise's code for the year 2000 to finance our retirement. She went on COBRA for 18 months to do so. By 'finance' I mean enough, after being invested 18 years, to amount to a sum that pushed us over the edge and made slightly early retirement a "No-Brainer," as they say.

The next Friday, Jan 25th is her last day. We will be finally BOTH retired. We are going to Florida for about 3 weeks for at least 3 Spring training games and a relatoid's wedding.

The Bride is a classic overspender.

Mike D.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:52 AM   #8
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My coworkers knew I was fond of the movie and got me an actual stapler! I've tossed all the plaques and other stuff from my work life, but kept this. It's useful too!
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:03 AM   #9
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My coworkers knew I was fond of the movie and got me an actual stapler! I've tossed all the plaques and other stuff from my work life, but kept this. It's useful too!
I've got that same stapler in my home office.

My last job, the name of the system we used was TPS. And, yes a whole bunch of worthless TPS reports came out of it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #10
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My favorite line in this classic flick:
Bob Porter: Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter Gibbons: I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.
The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care..
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:51 PM   #11
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Lawrence: Well what about you now? what would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I'd relax, I would sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin, he's broke, don't do ****.


Lawrence understands the nuances of the 4% rule.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:50 PM   #12
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  • Bob Slydell: Milton Waddams.
  • Bill Lumbergh: Who’s he?
  • Bob Porter: You know, squirrely looking guy, mumbles a lot.
  • Bill Lumbergh: Oh, yeah.
  • Slydell: Yeah, we can’t actually find a record of him being a current employee here.
  • Bob Porter: I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that he was laid off five years ago and no one ever told him, but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a paycheck.
  • Bob Slydell: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch.
  • Bill Lumbergh: Great.
  • Dom Portwood: So um, Milton has been let go?
  • Bob Slydell: Well just a second there, professor. We uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won’t be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it will just work itself out naturally.
  • Bob Porter: We always like to avoid confrontation, whenever possible. Problem solved from your end.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:07 PM   #13
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"So, what would you say you do here?"
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:29 PM   #14
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We had two guys in our department named "Bob." They were good sports. So, at meetings, a lot of times we'd ask, "So what do the Bobs think?"

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Old 01-14-2019, 04:24 PM   #15
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"Office Space" was one of the movies that inspired me to become financial independent and retire early. (Others were "Lost in America" and "Shawshank Redemption")

Much of "Office Space" was produced on location in Austin, TX. I loved the movie so much that I travelled to Austin all the way from NYC once and self-toured some of the location sites. I'll attach a photo I took of the building they used for Initech headquarters. They spruced it up a bit for the movie, but you get the idea.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:34 PM   #16
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Some of the story is bogus, but we forgive Mike. Some of the portrayal of software development and the characters is alarmingly real.


Now, things have changed a bit. I'm sure if it were written today, a "stand up" meeting would be inserted into the script. But TPS reports? They stay. TPS reports have been a staple since Roman times.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:29 AM   #17
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Some of the story is bogus, but we forgive Mike.
Perhaps, but he sure nailed "Idiocracy"
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:55 PM   #18
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’Office Space' at 20: How Mike Judge's Flop Became a Cult Hit
Mike Judge’s workplace satire “Office Space,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary Feb. 19, was a bona fide box office flop when it grossed a measly $10.8 million in 1999. But once the comedy was discovered on DVD and cable, “Office Space” became a cult sensation, spreading concepts like “flair” and “assclown” across pop culture.
The now-classic comedy will be celebrated at the upcoming Texas Film Awards, where it will be inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. Judge and the cast will reunite for a screening and panel March 7 in Austin.
https://apple.news/A8b7qvS01RqipPRUs30ekeg
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:36 AM   #19
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Perhaps, but he sure nailed "Idiocracy"
Idiocracy has the best intro that I have ever seen (language warning):

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Old 02-19-2019, 10:45 AM   #20
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JoeWas,
RE: Standup meetings.
I work at a Midsized Corp. About 2-3 years ago the engineering management team came up with a "new" idea. Short standup meetings to discuss daily progress for their projects.
- These meetings were held in a common space in the main office area, so they basically disrupted everyone near that area.
- We were now a hip and cool company for everyone to see.
- Because these meetings were so visible, and obviously the brainchild of a high up manager, my midlevel manager insisted that we go.
- The meetings kept getting bigger and bigger, and lasting longer and longer. All it ended up being is a method for some people to make their work more visible. No real work was being accomplished. It truly made me want to throw up in the corner. I quit going to them.
- One day they disappeared as fast as they appeared, and everyone started having their normal project meetings in the meeting rooms. Kind of funny. Yea!


Take care, JP
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