After two years of waiting and a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $2 million from fans, the release of the Blue Mountain State movie is almost here. On February 2nd, Blue Mountain State: The Rise Of Thadland will finally be released OnDemand. Pre-order your copy here!
Yesterday the first official trailer Here at BroBible, we’re thrilled to premiere the Red-band trailer for Blue Mountain State: The Rise Of Thadland. Watch it above. If you’d like to see the uncensored version (read: UNCENSORED BOOBIES!!!), check that out at the official Rise Of Thadland portal.
Yesterday morning I jumped on the phone to discuss The Rise Of Thadland with the show’s creators, Eric Falconer, Chris Romano a.k.a. Romanski, and Alan Ritchson, the actor behind the legendary Bro god Thad Castle.
Get ready to watch Thad mounds of cocaine with his $50 million NFL signing bonus and see Sammy’s penis for three minutes straight.
BroBible: I feel like there’s been a lot of build up over the last few months about the Blue Mountain State movie with not a lot of new information, especially in terms of a release date and a distribution plan. Now we know how people can see The Rise Of Thadland on February 2nd. But how did all that go down?
Eric Falconer: You’re right in what you’ve noticed. What we’ve learned from all this is what Kickstarter is. The Blue Mountain State movie is all about the people.
We hear them, we launch, they want more BMS, we launch a campaign that can allow us to provide them with that. Ultimately, in order to make a better movie, we sold it to Lionsgate. They’ve been amazing partners in this, but there’s a little bit of a disconnect in how they do business and how we have to do business in order to communicate with the fans. So there’s been a lot of quiet because we can’t release things anymore because we sold the movie to Lionsgate and put all that money on screen while we were shooting the movie. So we’ve really been between a rock and a hard place and it’s been a really hard thing to handle.
And on the other hand, we have people saying “F you! You guys stole our money! Did you guys buy an island? Did you take my money and you’re on a island now somewhere? My mother was right, you guys scammed me!”
So we’re like watching these kind of comments come in and all we want to do is share the movie and give them what we made already, but we’re also in a place right now where we’re working with an amazing distributor — a very large publicly-owned company who has ways of doing business. It’s not the way we were doing business before which was communicating openly about everything that we’re doing.
It was very tough and it’s been very tough not to share as much as we’d like. I think the majority of the fans have understood. But being able to finally release that clip and today being able to finally release the trailer proves that we not only made a movie, but an amazing movie that competes with any comedy ever. It’s such an exciting time.
Romanski: I think too that a lot of people at Lionsgate didn’t realize how big our fanbase is and how rabid they are until that clip came out and did a couple million views in like two days. So I think Lionsgate started to pay more attention to that once they realized like, “Hey, there’s a fanbase, like you guys were saying!”
BroBible: What is the distribution plan for the Rise Of Thadland? I know Lionsgate is involved, but very little has been said about it yet. I know people were throwing around Netflix a lot, so what was that process like?
Romanski: Unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury to add insight on distribution. It would have been great — we would have been doing a lot more different things if it was up for us to distribution. But we basically had to go to Lionsgate and get half of the financing two weeks before production because somebody else dicked us over and lied. So we had to go back to them with our tails between our legs and ask them for money that they had offered us before. So that was sort of how we ended up with Lionsgate. We didn’t have any options, it wasn’t really up to us as far as distribution plans.
Falconer: Also, for an independent comedy like this, we made it with a very low budget. And I think with the way that movies are distributed right now is a lot different than it was 10 years ago. For a small independent comedy like this, I think this is the perfect way to distribute it — straight to our audience. Even if we retained the distribution rights we would have done some version of this. At some point we’ll end up on Netflix. But I think being able to stream on Xbox and Playstation and iTunes and OnDemand and all of these platforms is really the way to go. Unless you’re a big, $50 million dollar movie, theatrical releases are really tough right now for comedy.
BroBible: Can you say what the overall budget was?
Falconer: Seventy bucks.
Romanski: Yeah, we shot on an iPhone 6S so that was an excellent buy.
Falconer: I’m sorry, I thought you said how much have we already made on the movie.
BroBible: You’re still on the family plan with that, right?
Falconer: I’m running out of minutes, we gotta hurry up with this call guys.
Alan Ritchson: We put every penny we could get our hands on on the screen and in the end it wound up being a $3.62 million dollar budget.
BroBible: Groups of guys love to watch Blue Mountain State together. As a series, it’s a very social experience. Do a couple bong rips with your Bros and watch some BMS. Will you be doing select screenings? A college town tour?
Ritchson: Let me just jump in real quick before we answer that question. Because you just alluded to the fact that it’s a very dude audience. For the first time ever, I think it’s really clear to us that it’s not just a dude movie anymore, which is crazy because I don’t know why a girl would want to watch Thad do coke off a naked woman’s breast but they do. Girls who love watching that are everywhere.
Since the show has landed on Netflix, the brand has really exploded because of Netflix. I’ve had hundreds of girls come up to me and beg me to call them a “Sloot.” They’ll be like “Oh my God! Are you Thad Castle? Please call me a sloot!” I’ll be standing there with one of my infants and I’ll be like “Sloot? OK… uh… You’re a sloot. ”
The girls are absolutely loving the show. I have just as many female Thad fans as male fans so the demographic and dynamics have changed entirely since the show has blown up on Netflix.
Falconer: The social thing, yeah. Arizona State University won our Kickstarter challenge so we’ll be doing a screening there soon. We hope to put together a tour so we can expand and go to more schools. One of the things when the show was on the air was some of the schools doing Blue Mountain State night once a week in their dorms where everyone would get hammered and watch the show. We sort of want to share in that fun and that experience of this movie and get hammered with them.
Romanski: We were originally going to do the movie in Charleston, the College of Charleston was there. It was insanity how the people responded to us on the campus. I was nervous for Alan that he was gonna get raped, like… for real. I wasn’t worried about me because when Alan’s around I didn’t exist. But it was really, really crazy and it was both guys and girls. It was phenomenal to see the response from girls. I was like… ‘Jesus Christ… I have a daughter.’ And we did the same thing with Florida State, we tweeted at them like an hour before.
Ritchson: Yeah we were about two hours outside of Tallahassee in the middle of the night in an RV. We were actually in an RV driving posters — like five thousand posters across the country. We had to sign and deliver them as part of a Kickstarter donor obligation. We didn’t have the money to ship them because it would have been like ten thousand dollars so it was like “OK, I guess we’re driving an RV full of posters across the country.”
We’re like two hours out of Tallahassee and we’re like “Let’s tweet that we’re on the way and see if there’s a good place to hang.” So we tweet, “Coming to Tallahassee, where do we go?” We start getting all of these replies and going to this place, Potbelly’s.
You would think Justin Bieber was on our RV or something. Thousands of peoples were lining the streets and pouring out of this one place that was still open. They were freaking out and like pulling us. We ended up partying with the fans for like an hour. It was crazy. It was a madhouse and the longer we were there the more people that showed up. We had to leave because it was just anarchy eventually. So we got back on the RV and drove on a little bit. It was a cool reminder to us how rabid and widespread this fanbase is. It’s something I think we’ll never forget.
BroBible: Let’s get into the plot. I’d like to hear in your own words how you explain the Rise Of Thadland as its own movie independent of the series?
Falconer: First and foremost, it’s a party movie. We sort of had a choice to make and we were going to do the guys senior year and close things out and then we were like ‘What are we doing? We should make the biggest, craziest most insane party movie we can make.’
That’s what the Rise of Thadland basically is. A giant party to save the Goathouse. And everything that you can imagine that would be in a crazy college party movie, multiply that by a thousand and that’s what this movie is.
BroBible: In terms of a chronological timeline, how much time lapses between the last episode of Season 3, the cornfield National Championship game, and the beginning of the movie?
Romanski: 20 seconds.
Falconer: It really comes a few months later. We’re sort of new to the beginning of the senior year for all the guys and this movie happens over the span of a couple of weeks before the next season starts.
BroBible: You guys were able to get a lot of people from the show back in the movie like Radon Randell and Mary Jo, right?
Ritchson: We did our best to honor the fans and provide our obligations to Kickstarter but also give them the characters and cast they really wanted to see. So we were able to get Craig Shilo back in there — You’re able to see Radon for a moment. We did our best to sort of bring that cast back around to who we really wanted it to harken back to on the show and the future, so we get more we can set that up already.
BroBible: Did you guys actually hand-deliver Kickstarter perks around Southern California?
Romanski: Oh yeah, we did. Eric and I got into our cars and drove around.
Falconer: Yeah, this summer we hand-delivered things all over and I had to go to New England for about a month so I brought about 50 packages with me and hand-delivered all over New England. Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachuessets. It was amazing because I got to actually meet these people face to face who had donated and given their money and made this movie possible and hand them their gifts. It was great, it was a nice, personal experience to meet some of our donors.
Romanski: Yeah and then we actually sent out a thing on Twitter in L.A. saying we’re going to be at this bar with a few boxes so if you want to come and see if we can narrow down our drive and we wound up having like 30 people, 25 people, something like that.
Falconer: We had lots of people show up and we all got drunk together and it was great.
BroBible: In the Kickstarter update back in September, you said you “ran into a little snag when the MPAA” when they screened the movie. What happened there?
Romanski: Oh yeah! Well apparently I was getting fucked by a goat for too long and I wasn’t supposed to say it. They wanted a certain line cut out from a certain goat sex scene…
Falconer: It was actually really strange. Of all the stuff in the movie…. We thought if we were gonna get an NC-17 rating for about 50 things. We had no idea what was going to come back from them.
So what came back from them is that they wanted two lines cut and one shot. And, yeah, a particular goat-man love scene. But everything else stayed in, the drugs, the partying, the girls — a lot of full frontal from Romanski. All that stuff is in there, it was really incredible because it was just a couple of lines they wanted to cut out.
Ritchson: I still remember the phone call that we got. We sent them a screener and they’re very professional about the whole thing: “Have a messenger bring it to the back gate and we’ll have our carrier bring it in and the screening will begin at 2 p.m.”
We know that they are watching the movie on this date. And we really are hoping beyond hope we’ll get an R rating and we’re not gonna have to recut the movie for this organization who doesn’t even have a real set of rules.
So we’re waiting by the phone and they call and he goes: “[Sigh] Uh, hi it’s… [whatever his name is] from the MPAA and we just watched your movie.” and he’s breathing heavy like he just ran the Boston Marathon. “Uh… a lot of strong content in there and we gotta talk about some things.”
He basically pointed to all of the things he’s really concerned with. And he said the one thing we’re going to say that you have to change is you have an NC-17 rating right now and if you want it to be R this is what you have to change. And it’s the little minor scenes that we talked about, this one little scene between a goat and Romanski.
I couldn’t believe that was the scene because there’s a giant fight scene with Romanski’s character completely naked fist-fighting. It’s crazy and that’s what we had to do and it was absolutely hilarious hearing these professionals reactions to our film.
BroBible: Romanski are you full mast on camera?
Romanski: Well, as Falcie would know that is my dream. I don’t think anyone else’s dream — I don’t think we share the same dream.
Falconer: Let’s just say our director had to talk him out of a lot of things.
Romanski: One of the things is I wanted a GoPro pointed up at me in a certain place and I was not allowed to do that.
BroBible: I read somewhere that guys wanted to set a record for most boobs shown in a movie after dealing with cable TV censorship for the series. How close does the movie get to the record? Does it shatter it?
Falconer: I think he meant to say balls — the most balls, because we definitely broke that record.
Romanski: Yeah I don’t know what the record is but we couldn’t do it because of money. I had an idea for a shot that would’ve done it and we just couldn’t afford it.
Ritchson: Boobs are expensive just from a production standpoint. It’s a lot of money to show a pair of boobs on screen.
Romanski: Yeah, but I didn’t get any money to do what I did.
Falconer: There’s plenty of boobs in there. I don’t think we beat Wolf of Wall Street. But that’s what the sequel is for — we’ll get money and come for Scorsese then.
BroBible: Any fun cameos you can disclose?
Romanski: Let’s just say Leonardo DiCaprio’s in the movie and you can rent it and find out.
BroBible: Any fun debauched or depraved stories from set?
Romanski: I think this might sum it up… it should just be “trust everyone.”
Ritchson: But what he’s talking about is what the fans and everyone else will never really know about all we had to endure.
When making a movie — when you’re making a show you’re working with executives from Spike and Lionsgate and they’re all very professional and straightforward people. Everybody does what they say they’re gonna do and you never question if there’s gonna be money the next day because somebody’s gonna run off with a bunch.
In making a movie you deal with the fuckers who love to steal like $75 grand overnight in cash when they were supposed to be the main financier for the movie. So you deal with people like that left and right. When you’re trying to make an independent film, you’re often dealing with some of the best people in the world who just haven’t been discovered by the big studios yet or the big filmmakers. We did see some of that. We also dealt with some bottom of the barrel people who will always be swirling around in the toilet of independent filmmaking. They’ll stay there forever because they’ll never be at the top. For us, there’s a lot of vitriol there for some of those people who made it next to impossible for us to finish what we overcame.
But I think, as far as a film perspective as far as what you see on screen, I think just the freedom and the imagery and the height of the party and the debauchery of what they’re actually doing with their bodies. What exists in Thadland and what Thadland becomes… Just so much decay. It’s all the height of human ecstasy. It goes places that you just couldn’t go on cable. Everything is elevated in the film and we get to do things like show Sammy’s penis for about three minutes.
So the stuff people really wanna see, we do.
Falconer: The big difference from the TV show and the movie is we were the producers on this. We raised the money, so there was no one to tell us no. There was no standards and practices, no network or anything. We would be standing behind the camera I’d be shooting a scene and in the middle of shooting I would just have a panic attack. I wish somebody just told us “Holy shit. No, we shouldn’t be shooting this. Someone should be telling us no and there’s no one here.”
And it turned out that everything we shot was amazing on screen. Like the naked fight scene between Romanski and Jimmy Tatro. We’re looking at the camera angles and Romanski’s honestly trying to fluff himself behind the camera for the scene. And it’s like “What are we doing with our lives right now?”
So there was a lot of that but it all turned out really well.
Romanski: I really, honestly think this will be the last thing we get to shoot everything we want. I don’t know when else we’re gonna get to just… everything we write down, we got to do on camera. It’ll never exist again. Honestly, I don’t think it will and I feel lucky we got to do that at least one time. It was pretty major.
BroBible: Very last question. You’ve said in the past that it’s possible for someone to bring back the show if the movie is a success. Do you stand by that as a possibility with what you’ve created in the movie? Or is the last time we’ll see Thad Castle and the gang?
Alan, actually you’ve said, “a lot going on” behind the scenes. How is that going?
Ritchson: Well, there has been a lot going on. I won’t say who but we’ve been approached by somebody who wants to make the show.
I know it’s a goal of Lionsgate — our biggest, best partner in this who helped create the show, obviously. It’s a goal of theirs that they second what our dreams are, which is to continue this amazing brand and franchise in one shape or another.
It all hinges on the performance of this film. Everyone’s a little unsure on that end. Distributors are saying the show was on a while ago but are people still watching. We can’t really measure Netflix so we don’t know, but they don’t see what we see which is you can’t even walk outside without people going “Oh my god you’re Sammy!? OMG you’re Thad!? You’re my hero!” But millions and millions of people have seen the show and fallen in love since it was cancelled. We were the ones playing those parts, but nobody sees it the way we do.
So everyone’s kind of playing catch-up. But to that end they’ve still been very vocal about the fact that they share the same goal because they want to continue this. We know the possibility of TV is very real because we’ve spoken to people that want to help us do that. They came to us. So it’s hard to really go into detail, but fingers crossed the movie does well because this is one of the funnest shows and films to make so in whatever sense we can continue this so if this does well enough, this will continue on.
Falconer: I just want to echo Alan on the point of this really all hinges on this movie.
If this movie performs really well, people are gonna want to make more movies or bring the series back — Lionsgate originally didn’t want to do a movie, so we did the Kickstarer and raised $2 million and that raised a lot of eyebrows because nobody knew we had that kind of fanbase until that point. So now we have this movie.
If we can prove through through this movie that we have the fanbase that we think we have, people are gonna be chomping at the bit — studios and whoever — the people who make those kind of decisions are going to be chomping at the bit to bring the series back.
Like Alan said, it’s a very real possibility but it all hinges on whether we make this movie.