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Shorts that Became Features: The End of The World

Industry News

Written by Amy Olson, NFFTY Intern

Seth Rogen’s YouTube Sensation Goes to the Big Screen

In 2007 Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, and Jason Stone made a 90 second comedy called Jay and Seth Vs. The Apocalypse. Only a minute and twenty seven seconds long the short brilliantly starts out by setting the stakes high, it is the end of the world as we know it. The punch line, instead of getting your I Am Legend type character ready to battle and take on this doomsday event, you have Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel playing characters that are more so hiding away than battling the outside forces.

Ideas for the short film sparked right after the production of Knocked Up (a 2007 American romantic comedy Drama, a production both Seth and Jay were in.) And pretty soon ideas turned into a script. The script for Jay and Seth Vs. The Apocalypse was then written in about three weeks and with not much time, a budget of 3,000 dollars, and a downtown L.A apartment as a set, over three hours of footage were filmed. But inevitably the footage was cut down to make a short film. The short film was put up on YouTube in 2007 and received over 50,000 hits within the first few weeks.

With many production companies wanting the buy the rights, the short caught enough attention to get the green light to turn Jay and Seth Vs. The Apocalypse into a full feature length film, now titled The End of the World. Production for the film is currently under way and it is rumored to have a full thriving cast including actors like James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson. As Rogan quoted: “It’s now much more than just Jay and Seth — there’s many other people versus the apocalypse now.” It is also said that the actors will be playing themselves which should provide some great comedy and celebrity commentary. The End of the World imagines the apocalypse from the vantage point of a celebrity-stacked Hollywood party at James Franco’s house.

The End of The World is expected to be released in 2013. But with talent like Rogen working on the project, you can expect it is going to be a pretty funny film. “It’s going to be a pretty offensive vision of the apocalypse. And I want a lot of dead celebrity cameos. Because L.A. is full of famous people, I’d like all of the cameos to be them as corpses.” –Rogen

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