Google Inc. employees were a bit star struck this week as Hollywood descended on the company’s Mountain View, Calif., campus to film scenes for the 20th Century Fox comedy “The Internship,” starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
The Internet search giant gave the film crew access to its campus this week and even consulted on creating a Googley office at Georgia Tech, where the film is being shot.
Apparently Google has decided the film could generate some positive publicity – with consumers and with Hollywood, where relations can be famously strained. The company has made the crew feel quite welcome. Google employees got to be extras, Eric Schmidt interviewed Vaughn for an employee talk and Google co-founder Sergey Brin hosted a dinner for some of the crew at his home. Bonus footage for Google: Google Glass and driverless cars may also have a role in the movie.
Certainly the filmmakers are getting a warmer reception from Google than "The Social Network" got from Facebook Inc.
In "The Internship," Vaughn and Wilson play fortysomethings who lose their sales jobs and go after internships at Google. Vaughn told Bloomberg TV reporter Jon Erlichman, who spent time on the set at Google during the last day of filming, that he wrote the first draft of the screenplay about a generic technology company but decided to make it Google because it's the "chocolate factory" of tech.
According to Erlichman, Google does not have a financial stake in the film but is in talks with the producers about marketing the film in "unconventional ways."
Erlichman asked Vaughn if he would go to work for Google if his movie career fizzled.
"I can't confirm or deny that," Vaughn deadpanned. "That's under wraps at this point."
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