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getting their money right

Spike Jonze: Looking for Where the Green Things Are

Spike Jonze has nearly completed Where the Wild Things Are, the epic children's-book adaptation he directed from a script co-written with Dave Eggers, but after coping with studio clashes, reshoots and rewrites, and special effects "unlike anything I've dealt with before," he's feeling bummed about one thing in particular: "I've been working on the same movie for four years and basically haven't been paid anyway," he said at MoMA last night, following the premiere of Patrick Daughters and Marcel Dzama's new music video for Department of Eagles. "When you break down how much you're making [over that time] ... Yeah, it's kind of crazy."

But Jonze is relieved to be putting the finishing touches on the film, which is due in October. And he's excited about another labor of love: a documentary about Wild Things creator Maurice Sendak, which he hopes to finish in time for the release of the main event. "He's awesome and amazing," said Jonze of the 80-year-old writer, who wrote the book when he was living in a basement apartment on West 9th Street, and who now lives in Connecticut. "But yeah, this year I should probably get back to work on other stuff, and start making money again," the filmmaker said with a shrug. "I haven't made money in a long time."

Maybe more music videos — like the "short film" he just made with Kanye — would be in order? "No way, I don't think so. There are no budgets at all. We support ourselves with commercials. That's how I make money." Our all-time favorite was that Gap ad in which customers rip a store to shreds. Well, "It's a good thing to get paid to destroy a Gap."

Related: Wake Up, the Where the Wild Things Are Trailer Is Here

Photo: Patrick McMullan