Earlier than Tom Hanks’ efficiency in Elvis as Elvis Presley’s supervisor Colonel Tom Parker, he performed an analogous, albeit far much less nefarious, position within the 1996 movie That Factor You Do! Identical to in Elvis, Hanks performs the principle characters’ musical supervisor Mr. White because the band, The Wonders, rises to fame. Hanks not solely acted within the film, however directed and wrote the movie as properly. Although the characters themselves are very completely different – Mr. White is a sensible and useful determine for the protagonists, whereas Colonel Parker is rather more villainous – Hanks performs the identical inventory character with relation to their respective movies’ protagonists, all of whom encounter an analogous destiny. Tom Hanks appears distinctly drawn to those sorts of tales, particularly within the music trade, and the numerous elements that may trigger a downward spiral after a meteoric rise to fame.
That Factor You Do! follows the story of a fictional band referred to as The Wonders via the eyes of its drummer, Man Patterson (Tom Everett Scott). In Erie Pennsylvania, whereas Man works in an equipment retailer, his acquaintances Jimmy Mattingly (Jonathan Schaech) and Lenny Haise (Steve Zahn) are busy beginning a band referred to as ‘The Oneders.’ Proper earlier than their first efficiency at a neighborhood expertise present, their drummer, Chad (Giovanni Ribisi), breaks his arm–figuring out he can play the drums, Jimmy and Lenny ask Man to fill in. They find yourself profitable the present and getting a gig enjoying at a neighborhood pizza parlor. They quickly purchase followers of their hometown who ask them to make a report. After recording “That Factor You Do!” and promoting 45s of it, Native expertise promoter Phil Horace (Chris Ellis) notices them and guarantees that, in the event that they signal with him, he’ll get them on the radio inside 10 days. They signal, and he each will get the music on Pennsylvania radio and books them a live performance in Pittsburgh. Phil introduces Man to Mr. White, an A&R consultant with Play-Tone information, with the information that Mr. White desires to be their supervisor. White rebrands the band as ‘The Wonders,’ provides them a signature look, and takes them on tour. Jimmy’s girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler), who helped kind the band, comes alongside as properly. The band’s recognition skyrockets, and “That Factor You Do!” quickly climbs to quantity 7 on the Billboard prime 100.
In the meantime, inner tensions mount. Jimmy grows more and more irritated at Mr. White’s administration model and desires to report new songs as a substitute of selling previous ones, and begins ignoring Faye. Earlier than a tv look, their bass participant (Ethan Embry) runs off with a gaggle of marines and must be changed, Man is hungover from an evening of ingesting along with his favourite jazz musicians, Jimmy has abdomen flu, and Lenny is cavorting along with his new girlfriend. After they’re lastly onstage, a TV caption declares that Jimmy is engaged. This makes him livid; he blows up at Faye and Mr. White, and he or she breaks up with him. The following day, Lenny is lacking from the recording session, having run off to Vegas along with his new girlfriend, and Jimmy quits as a result of he’s upset Mr. White isn’t having them report extra unique songs. Man is now the one one left, and Mr. White assures him that such tales are frequent within the music trade. Nevertheless, the film ends on an uplifting be aware. Man and Faye understand they love one another and keep in LA, getting married and founding their very own music conservatory. Onscreen textual content reveals that Jimmy grew to become a report producer, the bassist earned two purple hearts in Vietnam, and Lenny is a on line casino supervisor in Nevada (and is at present single).
When Collider interviewed Tom Hanks after Elvis, one of many questions he was requested was if he may make any movie he needed, what movie that may be. His reply was that he’d like to make a film a couple of singer named Dean Reed who achieved Elvis-level fame particularly in Chile and behind the Iron Curtain. Nicknamed “Pink Elvis” and “Comrade Rockstar,” he was the most well-liked singer within the Soviet Union, regardless of being an American. Hanks appears to have a singular relationship with the music trade, and the tales that that trade generates. He additionally almost made a film with Martin Scorsese about Dean Martin, which sadly fell via. Tales in regards to the music trade particularly present a singular stage for human drama by pushing their characters to their very own, and to one another’s limits–typically with unlucky outcomes. Nevertheless, a sure method doesn’t imply an identical tales: Elvis and That Factor You Do! technically share an analogous construction, however they’re basically completely different exactly due to the personalities at play inside them, and the relationships between these personalities. A part of the lightheartedness of That Factor You Do! lies within the reality the principle characters’ downfall doesn’t go a lot farther than the dissolution of their band and the lack of their fame. However, Elvis performs virtually like a Shakespearian tragedy. In an interview with EW, Hanks even says that the Colonel and Elvis’ relationship reminded him of Falstaff and Hal from Henry IV, and that this Shakespearian facet to the story was a part of what drew him to it; particularly, the untold story of the connection between Colonel Parker and Elvis. In the long run, what combines all of those film ideas, whether or not it’s Dean Reed, Elvis, or the Wonders, is the thought of particularly untold narratives inside the music trade–even when the movie’s topic is somebody as well-known as Elvis Presley.
Being the supervisor for a musical act is the epitome of being behind the scenes, and the last word position from which one witnesses untold drama unfold– generally even being the reason for that drama. In an interview with The Ringer, Chris Ellis describes That Factor You Do! as having been Hanks’ dream mission for a very long time. In the identical interview, Hanks cites his fascination with the rock group Jan and Dean whereas he was in highschool–a band that solely stayed collectively solely lengthy sufficient to make it via their first tour. He additionally remembers questioning what life was like for Jimmie Nicol, the English drummer who changed Ringo Starr in The Beatles for eight exhibits when Ringo got here down with tonsillitis. Each of those are the tales of what the adoring viewers doesn’t get to see, and this thriller offers the chance for the type of compelling dramatic storytelling that Elvis and That Factor You Do! reap the benefits of, every to a wildly completely different impact.
A biopic of Dean Reed, if instructed from a really private angle, would equally present the inside workings of a person who, on the surface, appeared very contradictory and weird. Each Elvis and That Factor You Do! are equally in regards to the inside dynamics of a musical act in distinction to what’s seen by the general public eye. The Wonders have a rigorously curated public picture: the matching fits, the boy band wholesomeness, the truth that Man at all times wears sun shades. This picture, in the meantime, is hiding the disintegrating relationships between the band members. Elvis can also be in regards to the cautious effort made to keep up a sure look. For instance, when the media condemns Elvis for indecency, Parker tries to create a brand new, extra healthful Elvis, even to the purpose of sending him to the navy when Elvis rebels and reverts again to his earlier persona onstage. There’s a fixed battle between the veneer that Elvis desires to mission for himself and that which Colonel Parker needs to craft for him, and it’s this energy battle that types a lot of the battle between the 2 males. The viewers sees the efficiency kinds, the altering costumes, however what they do not see is the parasitic relationship between the musician and his supervisor inflicting these shifts from behind the scenes. The ardent followers of The Wonders see this fun-loving, healthful boy band, considered one of whom is even seemingly engaged to his longtime girlfriend. What they do not see is that the boys’ actual personalities are wildly completely different from these projected onstage. Jimmy’s cruelty to Faye and his rage upon discovering that, for publicity, Mr. White has insinuated that they are engaged is in full opposition to the charming persona he initiatives to followers. Paradoxically, Man, whom Mr. White has trademarked because the «unhealthy boy» of the group by making him at all times put on sun shades, is definitely probably the most selfless and healthful.
Being Elvis’ and the Wonders’ managers places Colonel Parker and Mr. White on the middle of each their purchasers’ private and non-private lives. The strain between these two lives makes up a lot of the stress of the movies. Whereas the musician’s life is break up into these private and non-private personalities, the supervisor has a foot in every, and is the glue that ties them collectively. Whether or not that man is nice or unhealthy would appear to have a big half in figuring out his shopper’s future. It’s attention-grabbing, due to this fact, that regardless of Mr. White’s professionalism, the Wonders nonetheless disintegrate. Nevertheless, the distinction between the story of The Wonders and Elvis is that the previous exhibits that generally even a very good supervisor like Mr. White can’t prevent from your self. In the meantime, a villainous one comparable to Colonel Parker could deliver you down regardless of your greatest efforts. It is smart that Hanks’ curiosity in these distinctive dynamics would stem from greater than only a love of music. In fascinated with Jimmy Nicol and Jan and Dean, he asks «What’s it that we do not see?» Regardless of the seemingly comparable trajectory of a musical act that crashes and burns after a meteoric rise to fame, it’s in the end this query that actually ties Elvis and That Factor You Do! collectively. Hopefully, Tom Hanks will proceed to reply it sooner or later, whether or not it’s with the music trade and Dean Reed, or another topic completely.