Much to the surprise of everyone on our end, Universal Studios just sent in a letter to the permissions folk at O’Reilly Media, asking for permission to include my book Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger in their upcoming film!
Here’s exactly what the letter says:
“Universal Pictures is in production on a theatrical motion picture entitled “You, Me and Dupree”. Joe and Anthony Russo (TV’s “Arrested Development”) are set to direct Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson and Matt Dillion in the lead roles.”
“A troubled newlywed couple finds their problems are compounded when the groom’s out-of-work meddlesome best friend moves in, and begins competing with him.
“The Set Decorator would like to use the book Learning Unix for Macs, OS X Tiger – by Dave Taylor as set dressing in our couple’s home. Dupree has the book for his job search. There are no dialog references to the publication.
“With this request we are endeavoring to maintain good community relationships and though it may, or may not be necessary to request your consent to allow us this use, it is our practice nonetheless to contact you in this regard. Kindly confirm that our use as proposed above is acceptable with you by signing the enclosed document and returning it to me as soon as possible.
“Thank you for your help and consideration.”
First off, you should run out and buy a copy of my Tiger book while it’s still available. Soon I expect Owen Wilson groupies to snatch up every copy from the shelves and electronic distributors!
Secondly, this letter offers a glimpse why films cost upwards of $100 million nowadays. Imagine the scope of the Set Decorator’s task when every single recognizable item has to be approved by the copyright owner in advance of filming. It’s certainly clear why when I visit my friends they have 10-30 books scattered on their table, counters, desk, etc., but in the movies, there are typically zero or one book visible. Even the geekiest movies, now that I think about it (think Hackers, for example, or Swordfish), rarely have any books shown.
In any case, this is pretty cool. I don’t know if I’d go to see this movie just to try and spot my book on the table for a quarter-second, but on the other hand, publicity is publicity! 🙂
Oh, here’s the IMDB page for You, Me and Dupree, if you care.