A million dollars isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? A billion dollars.
– Sean Parker
Ah, Facebook. What would we do without you? Where else could we see pictures of our friends doing things that look more fun than what we do, respond “maybe” to parties we definitely won’t go to, or read happy birthday messages from old acquaintances in high school and that one guy you had that one class with in college? If not for Facebook, how would we be able to see dozens of highly targeted ads a day and posts from brands we don’t remember liking?
As members of the Facebook Generation, we thought it would be fitting to watch The Social Network for the blog. We also thought we should probably post some of our embarrassing Facebook photos and posts as well as our “actual” facebook birthdates.
So, without further ado…
We put our tiger team on this and they figured out that the goal for the meal is to really capture the Facebook journey in food form. We agreed that this gave the full post a strong cadence. It’s a blue ocean strategy for sure, and we believe this kind of brand storytelling is really going to disrupt the content marketing industry.
The meal started simple, with a beer and cheetos. This was the kind of snack we could see Mark Zuckerberg munching on while he was coding the basis for TheFacebook.com in his dorm room. We were tempted to go for the low hanging fruit and just buy packaged Cheetos, but we really want to be known as thought leaders within the food blog space, so we stuck our necks out there and made our own. What can we say, innovation is part of our DNA. We picked Sam Adams as our beer because Boston (the location of Facebook’s inception). Believe us, we considered making our own beer but after a quick chat on our communication tool for modern teams we decided the MVP (minimum viable product) would be to make at least one of the two parts of the appetizer from scratch, and thought the Cheetos were more mission critical than the beer.
The Start Up
Next, we wanted to capture the Palo Alto startup vibe. At this point in Mark Z.’s life, he was still living simply, but had a little more money to spare than he used to, thanks to the VC’s and Sean Parker’s influx of cash. So, what would Z-berg cook at this point in his life? Something quick, easy, and relatively cheap, but he’s at the point in this life/website/meal where he can add a nice flair or two.
We figured ramen was the perfect food for this stage. We bought regular chicken-flavored Top Ramen, but we found a hack to better leverage the Top Ramen’s core competency than they do themselves. For those of you who are a big fan of the classic Top Ramen offering, this is going to feel like a paradigm shift, but trust us, this is amazing and moving forward it is going to be your new normal.
We cooked the noodles as is because that’s where Top Ramen excels. We iterated upon the flavor packets by adding miso, then built it out further by throwing in some bok choi, bamboo shoots, and seaweed as additional value adds.
The it factor in the ramen was definitely the marinated soft boiled egg. We believe it really elevated the meal and synergized well with the other flavors. It was that key element that really landed the dish as a whole.
And how best to close out the Facebook meal? With a dessert that tastes as good as a billion dollar payout feels. The rest of the dishes were laying the groundwork to ladder up to this big finish. We copied the flourless chocolate cake from Zuck’s BFF Jessie Cool and his Flea St Cafe menu (they’re neighbors). Our flourless chocolate cake was basically rich media in food form, flashy and interactive in our stomachs. It was drizzled with two sauces for better viewability and we decided it would be a quick win to add raspberries, since they would give a nice halo effect to the whole dish.
- Drink whenever someone says “Facebook.” (This is a very dangerous rule.)
- Drink whenever someone else in the scene drinks.
- Take a shot whenever someone takes a shot.*
*Our lawyer let us know that we can’t endorse this rule and therefore will not be held responsible for any damage that may occur to our readers or their surroundings after watching the hackathon scene.
Aaron Sorkin, you big beautiful genius, you’ve created your magnum opus with this one. From the plot to the presentation to the quippy dialogue you expect from a Sorkin production, The Social Network is a near perfect movie. And the point of view you created is really outstanding.
The story itself is about the creation of Facebook, but the movie’s emotional core was about the Cain-and-Abel-eqsue relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. Though not related by blood, Zuckerberg and Saverin’s characters certainly had a strong brotherly bond, and it hurt so badly to see Zuckerberg turn and betray his best friend.
The layering of stories and time periods really did wonders for keeping the plot moving. Whenever you’d start feeling great about Zuckerberg and Saverin’s friendship – bam! – you’d see them later in life, arguing at a table with their lawyers. We’re left wondering how they got there and wanting to see where everything went wrong.
The movie’s score and cinematography was on point. Trent Reznor’s eerie-but-moving soundtrack fit into each scene perfectly and really elevated the tension at the right points. The cinematographer’s excellent use of focus kept us entranced and also blown away at times. The next time you watch this movie, watch how people walk in or out of a scene. The field of focus never changes, people just walk in and out of the field. It’s great fun to watch. The best combination of the two distinctive art styles mentioned occurs during the crew race with the Winklevoss twins. Perfection.
We all agree, this was one of the best movies we’ve ever watched for the blog. We’re glad we were able to pivot out of the bad movie, good food space and lean in to the fun movie, fun food space. The Social Network is a very popular movie, so if you haven’t seen it, well, that’s almost as weird as not having a Facebook account, and you should probably work on that. You’re missing out on one of the best movies of the decade.
Andre likes this, or to use the classic Facebook cliche, I wish there was a love button. Every time I watch this movie, I find something new to like about it. I want to quote Steven King real quick here:
“There are books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story… Don’t be like the book-snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words–the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safers who won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.”
The Social Network has the rare mix of excellent story and masterful cinematic language. I think Mr. King would agree with me when I say this is a movie worth treasuring.
Leanna: 9 likes out of 10. I’m in complete agreement with Ben and Andre’s reviews, so there’s not much new insight I can offer. I deducted a point for Sean Parker / Justin Timberlake’s residual ramen hair… He still hadn’t figured that out and I’m amazed that nobody in hair and makeup tried to stop him. At least the bleached tips were gone at this point.
Ben: 92%. The Social Network is an incredible movie, full stop. It is a beautiful movie, full stop. And darn it, it is probably the best movie Munch has watched on this god-forsaken journey we put ourselves on. I try to pay attention to framing, where the focus is, and such during movies, and this movie was impressive on multiple occasions. At times, it even left the person talking out of focus to hone in on the reactions of the other characters. Simple, yet expertly done, and inspiring. All of it is held together by an expert score that is equal parts discordant and beautiful. The movie also presents one of the most interesting viewing experiences in that it is about the creation of website that most of us still use today (even if we may not actively use it).
Total buzzword count: 38.