As announced earlier this month, RadicalMedia has added award-winning filmmaker Marc Webb to its US roster and will represent him while working in the US for commercials, branded content and music videos.
Marc is best known for directing some of the most iconic music videos of this century, including Green Day’s ’21 Guns’, Daniel Powter’s ‘Bad Day’ and several My Chemical Romance videos: ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise) ‘, ‘Helena’, ‘Teenager’, ‘The Ghost of You’ and more. He entered television and feature films in the 2010s, starting with the American version of The Office, the indie rom-com (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, and The Amazing spiders”. -Man’ films with Andrew Garfield.
Marc is currently working on Disney’s 2024 film Snow White with Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson, as well as a crime series for Hulu starring Mandy Patinkin (“The Princess Bride”, “Criminal Minds”) – while exploring the possibilities of the commercial Filmmaking Radical Media.
LBB’s Ben Conway caught up with Marc to talk about his new home on the Radical list, his enthusiasm for “Snow White” and his humble Midwestern upbringing. He also talks about working on The Amazing Spider-Man and reacts for the first time to YouTuber Trisha Paytas’ recreations of his My Chemical Romance music videos.
LBB> First of all, congratulations on joining RadicalMedia! What influenced this decision?
Marc> Radical embraces all areas of content creation with professionalism and panache. I like their spirit and their tireless competence.
LBB> What was it like growing up in Wisconsin? What creative content inspired or interested you the most in your childhood?
Marc > Music theater and Dungeons & Dragons – that was my youth. Although I indulged in a lot of daydreams and fantasies as a child, I still feel connected to the down-to-earthness of growing up in the Midwest. The people were friendly, smart and uncynical. I think the lack of cynicism is still present in most of my work.
I’m fascinated by what’s happening on social media – TikTok and so on. I think there’s a category of influencers who are rediscovering their own versions of what Keaton and Chaplin were doing years ago. Obviously the rules and culture are different, but the DIY spirit of creativity speaks to a wonderful universal desire to… show off. Sometimes that’s shameful and sometimes it’s fantastic. Sometimes both. Technologies and trends race through the zeitgeist at the speed of light. It’s super interesting to study as a form.
LBB> You were an editor before you started your directing career, how was this process of change? What lessons or mistakes did you make early on that still influence you today?
Marc> I still hop behind the Avid from time to time so it doesn’t feel like the path has changed – I just kept going in a pretty fun way. I think preparation is key, I learned that early on. Good preparation allows you to be free and alive on set.
LBB> Interestingly, it seems that you were destined to work on The Amazing Spider-Man – apart from your “Webb” surname, your very first music video was a superhero-inspired film for The Shame Idols. How was your experience with Spiderman “Webb-Verse”?
Marc: The Amazing Spider-Man years were a lot of fun and a lot of work. I got to work with such amazing actors and crew. I like to remember it.
Marc speaking for The Amazing Spider-Man at WonderCon 2012 (Credit: Gage Skidmore)
LBB> Is commercial filmmaking something you will explore more with Radical Media? And how is your approach different from shooting music videos or feature films?
Marc: I’m open to anything that’s creative. It takes years to make bigger films and to rely heavily on technology, which is simultaneously liberating and sometimes… boring. Working in a variety of shorter shapes can be more fun and nimble.
LBB> You’re working on a Snow White adaptation with Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson – what can you tell us about that?
Marc: I’ve been working on this for many years, partly because of the pandemic and partly because of the incredibly complicated visual effects elements we’re developing for the film. Not much to say about it now, but I can’t wait to show the world what we’re working on. It’s going to be awesome.
LBB> You have undeniably worked on some of the most iconic music videos of my life – “21 Guns”, “Bad Day” and your work with My Chemical Romance, all of which stand out among many, many others. Tell us about this part of your career!
Marc: That era was a magical time and I loved every minute of it. Of course, working with My Chem was very special as they had a great idea of who they are but were also open to ideas and collaboration. It was just so damn fun. They greatly appreciated the art form of the music video.
LBB> I’d kick my ass if I didn’t ask that – are you aware that a very popular YouTuber named Trisha Paytas remade several of your My Chemical Romance videos shot by shot? It’s pretty surreal. How does that feel?
Marc> I wasn’t aware of this until this question, but it seems like she cares a lot and puts so much work into it. Good for you!
LBB> Do you have plans to do more music videos soon? What is currently in the works?
Marc: For music videos, if the timing is right, absolutely. A crime thriller titled Career Opportunities in Murder & Mayhem, starring Mandy Patinkin, is due out on Hulu next year. It makes a lot of fun. Otherwise everything is Snow White!
LBB> What do you do outside of work to relax or stay fresh? And what drives you personally and professionally?
Marc> I play with my children. They are invigorating and exhausting at the same time. [What drives me is] find something new and try to get better at it.