‘Project X’ Finds ‘New Way In’ To Teen Party Movies

'It has a very music-video kind of vibe,' one star tells MTV News of found-footage film produced by 'Hangover' director Todd Phillips.
By Kara Warner

Jonathan Daniel Brown, Oliver Cooper and Thomas Mann in "Project X"
Photo: Beth Dubber/ Warner Bros.

For those of you who've seen the "Project X" marketing campaign and wondered, "What is that movie?," the stars and producer have the answers you seek.

Yes, this is a film about a high school party thrown by the not-so-cool kids that gets so out of control an entire suburban block is engulfed in flames. But it's not just about the action; it's the unfinished, citizen-videographer feel that defines the film.

"How do you make a movie for a high school audience today?" producer Todd Phillips ("The Hangover," "Old School") asked MTV News, talking about how he and first-time director Nima Nourzadeh approached their new take on a classic concept. "It wasn't so much about jumping on a found-footage bandwagon. It was more about: How do you make it feel current and different? When you're making a comedy, it's always, 'What's the way into this movie? What's the new way in that we haven't seen before?' For us, that's what this was."

"It's stylized in a way that's never been done," added star Jonathan Daniel Brown, a.k.a. J.B. in the film. "It's got three amazingly funny people, if I do say so myself, and it's crazy. It doesn't hold back."

"This movie has so much style, a lot because Nima directed it," continued Oliver Cooper, a.k.a. mischievous instigator Costa. "It has a very music-video kind of vibe."

Thomas Mann, who plays the birthday boy and party host Thomas, said audiences will feel like they're actually inside the party. "It's really raw for a comedy. It's not polished in the way that other comedies like 'The Hangover' are," he said. "I think it wants to feel more personal, like kids hanging out, rather than set-up jokes, which is helpful, I think, with a found-footage film."

In addition to all the talk about fancy style and camera techniques, the film is basically a roller-coaster ride that quickly runs out of control.

"I don't feel that there are any other high school films that reach this level of insanity," said Alexis Knapp, who plays the "popular pretty girl" Alexis.

"It's a whole other level," added co-star Kirby Bliss Blanton.

Check out everything we've got on "Project X."

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