This is basically going to read like an alternate version of Empire Records or something, and I realize that some of you aren’t going to have a real frame of reference because not only have you never seen Empire Records, but you’ve also never heard of a video store.
But stay with me. Also, watch Empire Records.
If you’re a fan, you’ve probably heard that Quentin Tarantino spent time working at a video store (that’s a type of store you used to have to physically go to in order to rent a movie you’d like to watch on your VCR. Look it up.) before making his first movie, Reservoir Dogs.
You may not have heard that Empire creator Danny Strong met Tarantino at that video store when Strong was ten years old, and that the older film enthusiast would leave a lasting impression on the young boy’s life and dreams.
If you’re not familiar with Strong or his work, he had quite the eclectic start as “that actor you know you’ve seen somewhere.” He had roles on Buffy, Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, and a long list of others before going behind the scenes to pen pretty successful scripts like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Butler.
Like the majority of people you’ll find in the film industry, he loved movies as a child. And when he went to rent movies? Well, little Danny took advice from a guy named Quentin. Apparently, he spent so much time in the store taking movie recommendations and talking shop that he even earned the nickname Lil Quentin.
One day, when Danny Strong came in to chat, he was told that Quentin was taking some time off to make a movie – his first – which would soon be followed by his first Oscar winner, Pulp Fiction. The two are still friendly, and I guess Strong can actually mean it when he says he’s always been a fan.
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