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December 18, 2017, 01:45:01 PM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Let's Talk About Production Companies « previous next »
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Author Topic: Let's Talk About Production Companies  (Read 725 times)
A.J. Bauer
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« on: March 30, 2017, 08:24:15 AM »

So the trailer for the new Stephen King's IT came out to moderate praise.
Others say it's standard horror schlock. What I find interesting is that supposedly the film
was supposed to be directed by a man named "Fukanaga" who wrote a script that was
very deep, dark, and cerebral. However the production company fired him because they
wanted a more standard, by the numbers, jumpscare horror film.

I don't know if this is true but it does get me thinking about the nature of production companies.
How many movies have been screwed over by production companies that were too scared to try something new?

Supposedly the Smurfs film was supposed to be "like Princess Bride meets Lord of the Rings", an epic, fantasy, comedy, adventure.
What we got were CGI abominations sharing a house with Neil Patrick Harris in an attempt to emulate the also unambitious and dogs**t
family animated picture: Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I didn't realize how f**ked up production companies could be until I watched Tim Burton's "Ed Wood".
In that film Plan 9 From Outer Space was being produced by a Christian movie company that threatened to pull funding if Wood didn't alter his script
and would later on shame him for crossdressing. Maybe that's a bad example since Plan 9 was always going to suck regardless but it did bring my attention to this.
Knowing that a production company can simply pull funding makes me wonder who's really directing the movie here.
It almost comes across as bullying to me.

What's funny is that these companies almost always shoot themselves in the foot when they don't back a good director.
They didn't go with Fukanaga's IT because they thought it wouldn't sell as well as they wanted since they've seen what's been successful in the past.
I think this kind of cowardice is the reason so many s**t movies get made. Almost all of the best movies were the ones that studios didn't interfere with.
I find it pretty disgusting that they always default to what was popular in the past since they don't know it's getting stale.

What's ironic is that if they were more brave let Fukanaga direct the film he could have made a truly amazing film that may have sold even better.
These people fail to realize the power of word of mouth.
After Earth cost Fox millions of dollars simply because there were people warning others not to watch a film so bad.
They also knew Shyamalan's name would be toxic so they omitted him from the advertising. (Which begs the question on why they'd fund the film to begin with.)

I would imagine production companies are in the right sometimes though. After seeing what happens when you don't put George Lucas on a leash it tells me
that some movies only succeeded because the studios could smell disaster a mile away. So it makes me wonder exactly what a production company's job is.
Should they just fund a movie or should they also have some creative say?
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javakoala
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 06:58:25 PM »

Back in the 60s and 70s, it was a tax write-off to invest money in the arts. Plus, if you were on the right side of the deal, you could pull in a profit. Double-win. Then you re-invest your profit and keep the ball rolling. They didn't give a flip what was going on as long as the money came in from both directions.

Well, government got to looking at that and said, "Well, we can't have this." They take away the generous tax write-off. If you want conspiracy, then there is the idea that the major corporations behind the major studios bought the changes in tax law to drive the independent market into the ground so the majors could step in to pick up indie films for lower percentages.

So, if they invest in stuff now, they have a much more serious stake with their money on the line. Yeah, you might hit gold with the new John Carpenter, but it is financially sound to stick to what is currently popular.

It is understandable.

Doesn't mean I don't think they are a bunch of tw*ts.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 01:44:34 PM »

We'll probably never know whether the "rejected" version would have sold better than the "accepted" version, but the trailer for the "accepted" version is getting a lot of hits on youtube.com, which is normally a sign of interest in the "accepted" version.

As for tax breaks, there may be no federal tax benefits for shooting a film, but there are states, including the state in which I live, and localities that still offer tax breaks for shooting a film in that state or locality. Of course, such is controversial, as there is some question as to the benefits of shooting a film in a particular state or locality = or exceeds the loss of taxes. Even if the benefits exceed the tax loss, as in my state, where it is found that for every tax $ loss, 3 $ are spent in making the film, which otherwise may be shot elsewhere. Still there are some state legislators that want to do away with the tax break, because they only see the loss of tax revenue. Of course, sometimes the state legislators are not the sharpest tools in the shed.

And there are other factors involved in shooting a film in a state or locality, other than tax breaks. For example, when the Georgia legislature passed a law, that some saw as being anti-gay, there were other opponents, the charge of the opposition was led by Pinewood/Marvel Studios/House of Mouse, who were heavily invested in the state, who went to the Georgia governor, who by the way was a Republican, and basically told him, that they had a lot of employees who were gay, and if the Governor signed the bill, they take all they had invested in the state and go somewhere else, and the Governor seeing that it was better to offend the supporters of the bill rather than the opponents, vetoed the bill, and that was that.
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SynapticBoomstick
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 07:35:38 PM »

I have little knowledge of the actual business involved but "ALIEN 3" is booming in my skull as a shining example of when production steps in it chest-deep.
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javakoala
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 02:58:22 PM »

I have little knowledge of the actual business involved but "ALIEN 3" is booming in my skull as a shining example of when production steps in it chest-deep.

From what I've read about "Alien 3", the money side of the equation wanted a more marketable film. The writers and director wanted to bring a sense of closure to the series, and make Ripley an icon that was Christ to the nth degree: she was both breeder of the aliens and mankind's savior. Light and Dark.

Hard to sell that heavy stuff to an audience who was still drooling over the action set pieces in "Aliens". Producers weren't happy, so they threw their weight around as much as they could.

Ultimately, everyone blamed everyone else, and the fan base was p**sed off because they wanted Ripley and Newt in another shoot-em-up.
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Trevor
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 07:06:03 AM »

United Artists and Michael Cimino: that is enough of a horror show right there.  Buggedout
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claws
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 06:35:39 PM »

Up from the Depths (1979)

Roger Corman trimmed 75 (!) minutes footage from the movie and hired 2nd unit cameraman Ted Boehler to shoot and add additional scenes. Director Charles B Griffith's original version was a straight comedy, apparently something Corman didn't like. The result is a hot mess.
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Pacman000
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 04:19:46 PM »

Up from the Depths (1979)

Roger Corman trimmed 75 (!) minutes footage from the movie and hired 2nd unit cameraman Ted Boehler to shoot and add additional scenes. Director Charles B Griffith's original version was a straight comedy, apparently something Corman didn't like. The result is a hot mess.

http://sensesofcinema.com/2005/conversations-with-filmmakers/charles_b_griffith/

Interview with the director.
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