“This is a cool idea for a book.” — Quentin Tarantino
My Best Friend’s Birthday: The Making of a Quentin Tarantino Film is the story of a group of friends who set out to make their own movie in 1983, financing it with Tarantino’s minimum wage earnings from his job at a video store. In most biographies and Tarantino histories, this unfinished $5,000 film is mentioned only in passing and is looked upon as little more than a curiosity. But with this oral history, author/editor Andrew J. Rausch details how each of the friends came together, other early film projects they worked on, and how they ended up making (or trying to make) a black-and-white screwball comedy.
He also makes the argument that My Best Friend’s Birthday is something far more meaningful than a curiosity. Not only did it mark the screenwriting and directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino, one of the greatest filmmakers in history, but it also launched the careers of two other professional filmmakers, Craig Hamann and Roger Avary. My Best Friend’s Birthday: The Making of a Quentin Tarantino Film provides an in-depth look at the film from its conception to its eventual demise and proves that even at the young age of 20, Tarantino already possessed the talent (in a still rough, unpolished form) that would lead him to make classic films such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Django Unchained, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film and screenplay for My Best Friend’s Birthday, rough as they may be, provide us a glimpse of an artist on the verge of real success, still trying to find and hone his voice.