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About The Film
Ten years after the release of "Office Space,” a bona fide cultural landmark, Mike Judge is still rankled by the memory of a studio executive explaining to him that "nobody wants to see your little movie about ordinary people and their boring lives.” It was further explained that the movie was a huge failure, even though it made almost its entire budget back in its initial release. According to the studio, there was no problem with their confused release of the film on limited screens – instead it was all Mike Judge's fault for thinking that "Office Space” might connect with people that were stuck in a work world they hated, just as he was at one time.

Mike was already about 40 pages into his follow up script, set in the world of an extract factory, when he was convinced by his representative team that he needed to shelve that and concentrate on something more "commercial.”

"The only idea that I had that anyone was interested in was what eventually became ‘Idiocracy,'” says Judge. "Everyone said ‘Oh, that's a commercial idea; it's high-concept. It's set in the future and everyone's stupid. That's a big, booming, commercial idea.” The next several years were spent realizing his vision of a dysfunctional future - but by the time of the film's release, audiences had decided they, in fact, did want to see Judge's little movie about "boring people” - "Office Space” had struck a chord, becoming an enormous hit on basic cable and one of the most successful DVDs in history, quoted openly by fans who felt that someone was finally actually speaking for and to them.

"As we showed ‘Idiocracy' to focus groups, they all said pretty much the same thing: ‘Oh, it's funny, but we really wanted something more like ‘Office Space,'” Judge recalls. "That film spoke to a generation in a way that few movies have,” notes EXTRACT producer John Altschuler. "Nobody does this kind of material. It's all about the weirdness of real people in real life.” In response, Judge dusted off those early pages of EXTRACT and showed it to his "King of the Hill” partners, Altschuler and David Krinsky,. "Dave and I read it, and we were, like, ‘This is vintage Mike Judge.”

Seeking to keep their new project below the radar of the studio system, the three set up a production company, Ternion Productions, and arranged private financing - while partnering with Miramax for domestic distribution. "That gave us the independence to do exactly what we wanted,” says Altschuler.

Meanwhile, Judge dug deeper into an industrial world he knew only too well: "I actually worked in a factory a little bit myself,” the director recalls. "I worked as an engineer in a company that made bass and guitar amps. There's such a unique set of personalities in a factory setting. I just felt it would be a nice backdrop.”

"Mike and I are both addicted to watching shows like ‘Unwrapped' on the Food Network, where you're just watching chocolate bars being made,” says John Altschuler. "He wanted to do a movie where the background was that industrial world that is slowly disappearing, where things are actually being made.” Back home in Austin, Texas, Judge would regularly pass by the old Adams Extract plant. After finishing the script, he arranged for a factory visit and was happy to see it was as he imagined.

Assembling a cast for a Mike Judge project requires a group of actors who are able to tap into his specific blend of the real and surreal: "Mike wrote a script with incredibly vivid characters that are fun and funny without being jokey or stupid,” says Altschuler. "The characters are smart, interesting, and complex. Fortunately, we were able to find great comedic actors who could find all of those qualities in their characters and bring them to life.”

"I imagined very specifically who each character was, and I really worried whether I could


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