Adam Yauch, founding Beastie Boys member, has passed away after a battle with cancer. Yauch was obviously known for his work in music, but he was also heavily involved with the production of independent films. Yauch, co-founder of Oscilloscope Laboratories, helped distribute films like, "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "Bellflower," the 2011 festival sensation directed by Evan Glodell.
Following the passing of Yauch, the Huffington Post spoke to an emotional Glodell about Yauch's absolute devotion to getting "Bellflower" distributed. (And how Yauch used his Beatie Boys cred to pull some strings for the musical rights.)
Around the office, everyone feels blindsided. Do you know more about his condition than we did?
I mean, not a whole lot. I knew he was sick, but I thought he was getting better.
How passionate about film was Adam?
Oh, extremely. I had never been through this process before. We sold the movie to Oscilloscope and we were obviously excited that he was behind it because we all listened to his music. It was super stressful because we were talking to a handful of people and I knew it was big decision who we were going to go with. We picked them and I thought it was a good thing, but obviously I was still stressed out about whether we had done the right thing. When I met Adam at South By Southwest for the first time, afterwards, I called my mom and was like, "We did the right thing."
What about him made you feel that way?
There were a lot of things. He immediately seemed like a very kind, genuine person. Where it was one of those things where I know this person cares more about the art and what we're doing than anything else. When someone is coming from that place, there's no way something bad can happen. And he told me, "If anything is ever going a way that you're worried about, just call me and we'll make sure it gets fixed." Distribution can be an intense process. And it happened quite a few times when we talked and he always kept his word to help figure stuff out.
What's an example of that?
Adam had input on every level on every step of the way. He was very involved. We had had a problem with our sound where the post house had made a mistake recording our audio. They messed it up in the last step. And I wanted to re-deliver the audio and it was going to cost them extra money to re-deliver it to whatever remaining outlets were able to use it. I talked to Adam and he just made it happen. Which was obviously a huge thing for us.
He sounds like he was extremely hands on.
When we first me, I remember thinking, This is awesome, I'm going to meet one of the Beastie Boys. And I thought, Oh, he owns the company but isn't that involved. Immediately, instead of him being like, "Hey. what's up?" Adam just wanted to talk about the movies. It was obvious that he had watched the movie a number of times and he was talking about it in detail.
Did you two discuss film in general?
I know who people are, but I don't read up on who people are. I know every time we hung out, we basically talked about movies. We talked about movies that he had made and I know he wanted to start producing movies -- so he was really interested in other ideas that I had.
Did he mention his favorite movies?
Yes! Yes, he did. There were a lot of movies he told me to watch. I have a list on my phone somewhere -- from when we were talking the first time -- about movies that he was recommending.
Did anything stand out on that list as surprising?
I'd have to look through the list. I'm going to dig it up, actually.
Do you feel "Bellflower" would have been as successful as it was without Adam's involvement?
He was one of our biggest advocates. He really believed in the film and I know that went a long way. Oh! One of the other huge things that he did that was incredible ... We had all of this music that we couldn't afford. And he was calling people asking favors. I think he was at the Grammys and I got a text from him and he was like, "I'm at the Grammys right now sitting with the head of three different major publishing and music companies. And I'm telling them to make sure that things go through." So, I know he helped us get really good deals on music that we just would not have gotten otherwise. I don't know, it's just very sad news. It's not like he's my best friend, you know what I mean? But he obviously played a huge part in my life.
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
PHOTOS: Remembering Adam Yauch
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