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Roberto Orci: Blockbuster Duo Trades In Action For Real People


Transformers, Star Trek, and Cowboys & Aliens producer/writer Roberto Orci forgoes special effects for a realistic story about average folks in PEOPLE LIKE US.  Orci used his pull in Hollywood to get  PEOPLE LIKE US made,  the type of film he says is sorely lacking in this blockbuster-obsessed business.

Watch video interview below.

The Hollywood filmmaker reveals he intended to make personal stories before being sidetracked by Hollywood.  Roberto Orci co-wrote PEOPLE LIKE US with his writing and producer partner Alex Kurtzman who makes his debut as a director on the drama. Roberto and Alex Kurtzman have a long history together, personally and professionally.  The Hollywood powerhouse team met during high school and broke into show business together, becoming "Hollywood's Secret Weapons" according to a 2011 Forbes Magazine article. Born in Mexico, but raised in Los Angeles, Roberto got his start with Kurtzman in the late 90s with television series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Princess Warrior" as co-executive producing and writers. The duo later started collaborating on their first of many projects with JJ Abrams on the Jennifer Garner show "Alias." Orci and Kurtzman transitioned into films successfully, becoming the go to guys for blockbuster films with the first two Transformers movie, Star Trek and the upcoming 2013 sequel, Eagle Eye, The Legend of Zorro, and the upcoming Ender's Game and Van Helsing.  The two still find time to work on the television side as a consulting producer on J.J. Abrams' Fringe and executive produce Hawaii Five-O.

Roberto Orci tells CineMovie that while he dreamed of working on blockbuster films, he and Alex intended to write smaller indie fare when they started out. Orci calls it "an amazing detour" when they found success in Hollywood with "big movies."  And it wasn't until we had the success of our other stuff behind us that we were entrusted with making a movie that doesn't always get made much anymore, according to the producer/writer.  

PEOPLE LIKE US is a passion project written long before their Hollywood careers took off.  As usual, his writing and producing partner Alex Kurtzman co-wrote the script while Kurtzman made his directorial debut in PEOPLE LIKE US. They recruited Chris Pine after working with him on Star Trek (2009) and set out to make their film after proving themselves in Hollywood.  "I'm just so damned tired of aliens and robots in outer space," he joked with CineMovie, and added their fun family drama was a great way to exercise his storytelling muscles and leave behind the gimmicks of car chases, aliens, and robots.

During our sit down with Roberto Orci, he gave his reasons for collaborating numerous times with directors JJ Abrams and Michel Bay. He credits the mega-successful filmmakers with being secure with their work that they allow others like themselves to contribute ideas while on set.  Other directors are not open to input, he said. In addition, Roberto learned "scale" of a project from his frequent collaborators and admire their commitment to character, even while they're shooting the most outlandish action scene.


PEOPLE LIKE US arrives in movie theatres June 29, 2012.

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