The world over have seen the airfield battle to capture the golden snitch in one of the most phenomenal recently wrapped-up teen-wizard movie “Harry Potter.” In another universe called Google campus where great thinkers converge to create something new featured in the movie “The Internship,” they have found a way to reinvent the game of quidditch on ground.
Starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, “The Internship” finds Nick (Owen Wilson) and his partner Billy (Vince Vaughn), as two newly unemployed watch salesman trying to find employment with a limited skill-set in a world that appears to have passed them by.
“As salesmen they are incredibly good at what they do,” says director Shawn Levy, “but the whole profession of selling in person, in an age where most people are increasingly buying their goods on the Internet, is on the wane. So they are downsized, suddenly unemployed, and Vince’s character comes up with this idea of applying for an internship at Google, a company that represents the vanguard of the new economy. It’s a long shot, but this possibility of self-reinvention is exciting to Billy and Nick and they take their shot.”
It required a certain amount of Googliness on the part of Levy and production designer Tom Meyer to reimagine a world where innovation intersects with fun and purpose. “We scouted Google a number of times. It’s quirky, idyllic, strange, and very specific,” says Levy. “But, it was clear to us that there’s no way the production could shoot at Google for an entire month and a half, because they’re an ongoing business. So we needed to find a way to replicate Google in Atlanta, which I initially thought would be impossible.”
But infrastructure alone does not a Google campus make. “When you go to Google, the most important thing that you take away from it is its non-traditional aspect and out of the box thinking,” says Meyer. “Google reps said to me when I was trying to recreate it, ‘Do it, but keep the spirit of what Google is about.’”
“For each one of the sets we did a photo-real illustration, or a model, or both, then sent it off to Google, and had conversations back and forth,” adds Meyer. “I tried to capture that feeling that you take away when you’re an employee or visitor there. There’s a huge sense of playfulness. And the idea of a healthy body and mind is central to Google.”
“This isn’t Owen and Vince being interns at Corporate Office Number 5. This is Google; this is Oz,” adds Meyer. “So, the film starts off in the first act at a normal, almost retro-office environment, which we call Kansas [as in the “Wizard of Oz” setting], our black and white atmosphere. And then, when you go to Google, you hit those primary colors, the clean glass, white walls, and wacky, crazy objects, which provided a real sense of a pop and wonder.’”
Ultimately, “The Internship’s Googliness is that it’s not just about life at Google. “It’s about every one of us who’d like to believe that another shot is possible,that another kind of chapter in the story of you is possible,” says Levy. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t relate to that; whether you’re 16, 22, or 40, we all want to believe that we can change our lives – that it’s never too late. And so, the movie is really about possibility.”
In other words, we must dare to search. Billy and Nick remind us that the best is yet to come, and that old dogs are capable of learning new tricks. With guts, grit and Googliness, everyone has a chance. So, dream big, dream again, dream some more. Because the world loves second acts.
“The Internship” opens August 14 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.