The Russo Brothers plan to premiere the final episode of their Pizza Film School web series on Friday with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely as well as their special guest, Bob Gale, the writer & producer of Back to the Future. And we have the new trailer for you to see!
Unaware of what Pizza Film School is? The Russo Brothers have been hosting a weekly event series where they discuss iconic films that have either impacted their filmmaking career or that they admire with special guests whilst supporting local pizzerias. The series has featured a number of guests including Taika Waititi (where they discussed Flash Gordon), Mark Hamill (The Empire Strikes Back) and Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Man) among many more.
The idea for Pizza Film School was suggested from Joe Russo’s children, as he noted in a brief interview with us: “My children are the ones who actually came up with the idea for Pizza Film School. So it’s been an amazing family project during quarantine. I love any project that brings me closer to my children.”
It may be no surprise to fans that The Russo Brothers are massive fans of Back to the Future, given their exploration of time travel in Avengers: Endgame as well as the iconic line from Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man “So Back to the Future is a bunch of bullsh*t?” Not only that, but the film is regarded as one of the best sci-fi classics with many directors citing Back to the Future as one of the films that made them want to pursue filmmaking.
For any season finale, it is almost essential for it to be impactful on its viewers and creators. Joe Russo explains the decision to choose Back to the Future as the focus of their season finale: “Back to the Future had incredible impact on us as children and was hugely influential in us wanting to become filmmakers. We have often remarked to each other that it’s the greatest commercial screenplay ever written. It’s so inventive, so layered, so high concept — there isn’t a wasted word, a wasted line, a wasted scene in the script. It is an impeccable example of writers having full command of the craft, and a master class in setup and payoff. It was also hugely influential on the Avengers Endgame script. So for all of these reasons, it seemed appropriate as our season finale.”
The Pizza Film School series has not only provided entertainment for filmmaking fans who are stuck at home, it has also acted as an educational tool for aspiring filmmakers to learn more about the development of their favorite classic films. Joe Russo discusses how “our intent is to demystify the process of telling stories on film. It’s very daunting to write a screenplay. Understanding structure is critical to that process. My brother and I, and Markus and McFeely, have attempted to codify that process through our collaboration over the last decade, and we use pizza film school as a forum to share what we’ve learned with others.”
With Pizza Film School coming to a close, Extraction becoming the most popular film on Netflix and Cherry aimed to release later this year, it is evident that despite COVID-19 limitations, The Russo Brothers are still managing to thrive post-Avengers: Endgame.