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MacGuffin

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« on: November 11, 2003, 11:43:51 PM »
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Everyone knows the expression ‘Final Cut’ but who really has it - the studio or the director? And if the director has final cut does that necessarily mean the movie will be more entertaining?

The Hollywood Reporter explores these questions in this excellent article on film directors’ craving to have final cut.

Final cut
The once-powerful clause takes on new meaning in today's bottom-line-minded economy

When news leaked that Peter Jackson would receive $20 million to direct Universal's remake of 1933's "King Kong," it drew gasps within the film industry. It was the first time in history that a director had been paid as much as an A-list star. True, the fee also covered Jackson's duties as co-writer and producer, but these were quibbles in the minds of most observers, footnotes to what remained a mold-breaking deal.

The truth of the matter is that Jackson's salary was indicative of something else: an increased polarization between the very top directors and the rest of the directing community -- a community composed of filmmakers who are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain full control over their projects in a bottom-line-minded corporate world.

A decade ago, final cut -- the right of a director to edit a film exactly as he pleases and have it released in theaters that way -- was almost mandatory for any filmmaker who wanted to prove that he had arrived. It was granted to directors who had truly demonstrated their worth, either artistically or at the boxoffice, from Spike Lee to Kenneth Branagh, Martin Scorsese to Steven Spielberg.

Today, many directors say it is almost impossible to get final cut from a major studio, and if they are lucky enough to get it, it is a concession laced with provisos, often stipulating that the director's cut will stay in place only if test screenings prove highly successful. In other words, a director gets final cut provided that test audiences love his film.

"There was always a kind of tug-of-war between management and talent," says director Sydney Pollack (1985's "Out of Africa"). "But it has gotten much worse as (the business) has gotten more corporatized."

A typical contract, obtained from one major studio, reads as follows: The director will have his "artist's cut(s)" so long as: "(a) Artist delivers the picture to the studio in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 8 below; (b) The final negative cost of the picture does not, or in the studio's sole opinion will not, exceed 110% of the final below-the-line budget approved by the studio, (excluding costs due to force majeure, changes approved in writing by a business affairs executive of the studio, retroactive union scale increases, and losses to the studio reimbursed by insurance); (c) Production and/or postproduction of such a picture is not over-schedule by the lesser of three days or 10% of the total number of days of principal photography of such picture; and (d) Artist is not in breach or default hereunder."

Then, and only then, "subject to the studio's release date plans and release exigencies, Artist shall be entitled to have final United States Theatrical Cut (U.S. Final Cut) of the picture."

This language is not reserved for newcomers or unproven players. Michael Bay, one of the highest-paid helmers in the business, only received final cut on 2001's "Pearl Harbor" in exchange for promising the Walt Disney Co. that the budget of the film would not exceed $145 million. He also had to accept that overages would come out of his fee and agree not to take any upfront salary. Even then, he shared final cut with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "But that's fine because Jerry has never said, 'You have to take this out,'" Bay says.

Some studios never give final cut at all -- although exceptions can be made if Spielberg or James Cameron wants to sign onto a project. Most would rather offer a top director an exorbitant salary than surrender ultimate control of a film; top directors can now earn $5 million or more per movie, with a share of the back end.

"The studios are more willing to throw money at a problem than give up control," says one industry insider. "In this sort of 'tentpole' world, as you move toward a slate where you have $100 million-plus investments in (a film), not counting marketing and prints, the director may have much more economic power -- because you need that director to bring in the project on time and with a vision and for a budget -- but you are probably more reluctant to turn over final cut to him. Where the power is has shifted."

Executives say several factors are contributing to the studios' reticence -- the turbulent economy foremost among them. The average cost to make and market a film is roughly $89.4 million per studio release, and studios have recently had to tangle with directors who either had final cut or refused to cooperate with the studios' requests in the editing of their films.

The film some say triggered an apparent industry-wide review of final cut policies was the now-notorious "Gigli," on which writer/director Martin Brest had final cut. His editing decisions led to serious conflicts with Revolution Studios; Brest agreed to re-shoot the ending of the picture, as Revolution wanted, but that didn't solve its creative problems.

After "Gigli," Revolution put into place a "no final cut" policy -- unless, of course, they're working with an A-list director like Ron Howard, who won't work otherwise.

Brest and Revolution both declined to comment for this article.

The scandal surrounding New Line's 1998 feature "American History X" stands as another high-profile example. While director Tony Kaye did not have final cut on that film, the publicity surrounding it -- which lead to Kaye's exit from the picture and its recutting by actor Edward Norton -- soured the studio on the idea of giving any helmer too much liberty.

"If it comes to the issue of recutting a director, you are probably already in a lot of trouble," one high-level studio executive notes. "In 15 years, I can count on less than one hand the times when it became an issue, and the reason is because if you get to that, if both sides aren't listening to each other, then you are already toast."

In some cases, though, top stars and producers are awarded final cut. Tom Cruise gets final cut on his films, as does Bruckheimer (though Bruckheimer has been known to share it, as he did with Bay, and as he also did with Joel Schumacher on Buena Vista's "Veronica Guerin").

Among producers, Scott Rudin had sole final cut on last year's "The Hours." Yet when director Stephen Daldry was asked recently about the final cut issue, it was so far from his thoughts that he initially thought the question referred to the computer program rather than the contractual matter.

"For me, it depends on my relationship with the producer," Daldry says. "If one were in a combative relationship or didn't trust your producer, you'd argue for it. But then you could say you shouldn't be in that relationship in first place."

Daldry's success with "Hours" means that he now ranks among the directors who do get final cut, if he wants it. Other such directors include Woody Allen, James L. Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Michael Mann, Anthony Minghella, Pollack, Robert Redford, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone and Robert Zemeckis.

"Final cut is like being told you have a life-jacket when you get onto an airplane -- it's cold comfort," says Minghella, who retained final cut on his upcoming Christmas release "Cold Mountain." "The reality is that the distributor has authority over the film finally because the way the film is presented to an audience is in the distributor and exhibitor's hands."

"If every director were a final cut director, it would dramatically change the nature of the business," adds Jay Roth, national executive director of the Directors Guild of America. "Final cut is something that is earned, not a minimum condition, and therefore, our view is that the issue of final cut is not an issue of Guild negotiations."

Even if a director has final cut, he or she still must accept the reality that the clause has become a moot point for most studios, which can withdraw their full backing when it comes to marketing a film if they don't like the cut the director has given them -- or worse, never work with the director again. Kaye, for instance, has yet to be employed by a major studio.

Bernardo Bertolucci had final cut on his upcoming "The Dreamers," but Fox still insisted on trimming full-frontal nudity from the film. Bertolucci denounced the move publicly, even though the studio's pick up deal stipulated that he deliver an R-rated film. Bertolucci's producer Jeremy Thomas would only say: "We had a contract for an R-rated film, and unfortunately the film we made was an NC-17 film. We cut a short amount out of it."

Morgan Creek Prods. took matters into its own hands on its upcoming "Exorcist: The Beginning." Following the death of the movie's original director John Frankenheimer, Paul Schrader (2002's "Auto Focus") was hired to helm the "Exorcist" prequel, only to be let go when Morgan Creek decided it was unhappy with Schrader's cut of the film.

"I showed (my cut) to (Morgan Creek chairman and CEO James G. Robinson), and there was a conversation of maybe five or 10 minutes in the screening room," Schrader says, adding that he recut the film and offered to screen it again for Robinson. Rather, he says, "the editor was fired (and) I was told that Morgan Creek wanted to execute its cut. It was suggested that there was no reason for me to be there."
Renny Harlin was then hired to shoot an additional 10 weeks of material, for a cost between $6.5 million and $8 million, but he'll receive no directing credit when the film is released.

"Schrader gave us his cut, and I felt and everyone else felt that his cut just wasn't good enough," Robinson says. "So we went back in, and now we are going to reshoot."

The situation illustrates just how different a place the industry can be for directors who are not the Peter Jacksons of the world (though Jackson, who has final cut on his "Kong" remake, did not have it on the "Lord of the Rings" films). Then again, Jackson's work has made New Line billions of dollars richer, and that, ultimately, speaks the loudest in Hollywood. "This is all about economics," Pollack says. "And anybody who thinks it isn't is a fool."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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godardian

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2003, 12:33:24 AM »
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For some reason, the story about Renny Harlin and Schrader gives me chills. The reason "not good enough," coming from a studio head, is really vague and could very well mean the exact opposite: That it was too good and not easily marketable.

I think of final cut as something of a red-herring issue: The real question is, who are the decision-makers? Who are the people who set forth a lowest-common-denominator, guaranteed-succes product as the sole condition of a film's releasability, and who actually cares about the film itself? I feel like there are some decision-makers who do care and are reasonable about both the demands of the market and the creative element, and many, many times more who don't.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

ono

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Re: WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2003, 12:36:28 AM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin
"This is all about economics," Pollack says. "And anybody who thinks it isn't is a fool."

I think this last line here is what burns me more than anything.  Filmmaking isn't about money.  It's about art.  And anyone who doesn't realize that will always turn out crap films.  And the only reason those crap films make money is because that's what's pushed as entertainment.  It's in the studios' shortcomings that they can't market good films well enough to turn a profit.  Otherwise, the public is as stupid as we think, and I don't believe that.

Weak2ndAct

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Re: WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2003, 12:51:09 AM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Quote from: MacGuffin
"This is all about economics," Pollack says. "And anybody who thinks it isn't is a fool."

I think this last line here is what burns me more than anything.  Filmmaking isn't about money.  It's about art.  And anyone who doesn't realize that will always turn out crap films.  And the only reason those crap films make money is because that's what's pushed as entertainment.  It's in the studios' shortcomings that they can't market good films well enough to turn a profit.  Otherwise, the public is as stupid as we think, and I don't believe that.

A couple of years ago, I used to be that idealistic.  

But you are so dead wrong, it's not even funny.  It's all about the money.  Always has been, always will be.  Art is the lie you tell yourself, so you don't mind the machine chewing you up.  Sure, there are a rare few that can do as the please.  The only reason that's possible is that they make profits (like Tarantino).  The minute Tarantino starts making clunkers, the budgets will shrink.

It can be about the art when you're in school, or on your own.  But once you try to market/sell your project, or get inside 'the system,' it's all dollars and cents.

ono

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2003, 01:00:26 AM »
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For me, it's all about "playing the game."  I know where you're coming from, and I'm still in school so I have time to be idealistic.  But I know time's gonna come when I'll have to bullshit.

So, lemme know if I'm on the right track.  I have in mind what you call are a few bullshit films.  Films the public will eat up like candy so you'll get financial security and final cut to do whatever the fuck you want.  This is why I admire Gus Van Sant so much.  Lots of people seem to like to dump on Good Will Hunting, but I like it, and he credits it with giving him financial security.  BAM!  He remakes Psycho, then goes right into Gerry and Elephant.  That's living the dream right there.  See where I'm coming from?  All it takes is one film, and then fuck money.  For me, it'll always be about the art, and I'm not gonna let that burn out, no matter how many other people jaded by the "industry" tell me otherwise.  I figure, I've gotta have that attitude, or I'll just be sucked in that vapid vacuum of a system where all creativity is lost.

EDIT: And one more thing.  One of the things I've noticed Cecil saying every now and then is, "gimme ten bucks and a camera and I'll make a movie."  Now granted, it may take a little more than ten bucks (heh, fifteen), but still, I fully agree with that philosophy.  That I can make a good film with simply a good script, dedicated actors, and a loyal crew.  That's the kind of thing I'd like to do, like a Soderbergh or Allen.  In the Hollywood system, sure, it's always about money, but one doesn't always have to go that route, and one shouldn't if they expect to be in control of creative issues.

Weak2ndAct

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2003, 01:54:49 AM »
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Ah, to be young and full of hope.

First off: you're on the wrong track with your hypothesis.  It is so freaking hard to get any movie made, let alone one that you think is 'bullshit.'  That attitude usually reveals the product as such.  This is something I wish they would teach at school.  Remember: no one consciously makes a 'bad' movie.  It's not a decision, it just sort-of-happens for a myriad of reasons.    

And GWH isn't exactly a perfect example, b/c it's not your typical blah movie.  It defied expectations and succeeded enormously, not your typical-paint-by-numbers Hollywood story.  Sure, the mechanics and McKee business is there, but it's not your typical fare-- but that's besides the point.  What you should really be doing is writing the best material you can, and put the best foot forward.  Worry about what your filmography will look like later.

When I think of directors that I really admire, they never made a bullshit movie for the public.  They've stuck to their guns, made the execs some money, and that's how they have the final cut.  But by no means is that road easy.  In fact, it's just as arbitrary as playing the lottery.  There are plenty of filmmakers out there, despite having made brilliant films, can't get their next project of the ground because of well, the money.  Their film didn't gross enough, the budget is too high, etc. (The Fountain disaster comes to mind).  It's never going to be easy, no matter who you are.

P.S.  By the way, I've found most success in making myself happy with the material, not thinking about ratings, audience etc. and just writing the best I can.  The times I've 'faked it,' tried to be all 'Hollywood'... not so successful.

aclockworkjj

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2003, 01:59:37 AM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Ah, to be young and full of hope.

yes....this weak guy knows it...sad as it is....da truth knuth....

good article though...yet I laughed at a lot of it.

MacGuffin

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2003, 02:06:21 AM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
EDIT: And one more thing.  One of the things I've noticed Cecil saying every now and then is, "gimme ten bucks and a camera and I'll make a movie."  Now granted, it may take a little more than ten bucks (heh, fifteen), but still, I fully agree with that philosophy.  That I can make a good film with simply a good script, dedicated actors, and a loyal crew.  That's the kind of thing I'd like to do, like a Soderbergh or Allen.


How will you find that "fifteen dollars" to make your film? You're gonna have to deal with some money people that might put some restrictions on you (change this part of the script, cast this person, etc.). And if you finance it yourself, you're gonna have to deal with a distribution company/studio who could also want their say in how the final cut should be, otherwise how will you get your film seen?

Quote from: Onomatopoeia
In the Hollywood system, sure, it's always about money, but one doesn't always have to go that route, and one shouldn't if they expect to be in control of creative issues.


Even indie is Hollywood now, and it's always about the money. How else will they make a profit to finance future projects?
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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ono

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2003, 02:06:42 AM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Ah, to be young and full of hope.

First off: you're on the wrong track with your hypothesis.  It is so freaking hard to get any movie made, let alone one that you think is 'bullshit.'  That attitude usually reveals the product as such.  This is something I wish they would teach at school.  Remember: no one consciously makes a 'bad' movie.  It's not a decision, it just sort-of-happens for a myriad of reasons.    

And GWH isn't exactly a perfect example, b/c it's not your typical blah movie.  It defied expectations and succeeded enormously, not your typical-paint-by-numbers Hollywood story.  Sure, the mechanics and McKee business is there, but it's not your typical fare-- but that's besides the point.  What you should really be doing is writing the best material you can, and put the best foot forward.  Worry about what your filmography will look like later.

When I think of directors that I really admire, they never made a bullshit movie for the public.  They've stuck to their guns, made the execs some money, and that's how they have the final cut.  But by no means is that road easy.  In fact, it's just as arbitrary as playing the lottery.  There are plenty of filmmakers out there, despite having made brilliant films, can't get their next project of the ground because of well, the money.  Their film didn't gross enough, the budget is too high, etc. (The Fountain disaster comes to mind).  It's never going to be easy, no matter who you are.

P.S.  By the way, I've found most success in making myself happy with the material, not thinking about ratings, audience etc. and just writing the best I can.  The times I've 'faked it,' tried to be all 'Hollywood'... not so successful.

That "bullshit" comment was quite tongue in cheek, and quite frankly, your pessimism and condescension is boring.  *yawn*  It's not hard to get a movie made (and by MADE I mean, scrounge up actors, a crew, and just fuckin' shoot).  It's hard work getting it picked up, distributed, and it's a combination of luck, too.  It's hard work, yes, in the process, too, I know.  But still, you neglected to even comment on my quote of Cecil's.  And that's what's missing.  The love and the drive.  And I do write a lot, and I do have some of the most creative, fucked-up ideas, but maybe that's me just getting my own hopes up.  There are many paths to succcess; not just the Hollywood "bullshit" route I mentioned.  It takes two things to succeed: luck and talent.  I've got the talent; I see that everytime I sit down to write, and sigh in satisfaction at the product.  It's just a matter of luck.

Now, I'm outta here before your negative attitude really bogs me down.

MacGuffin

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2003, 02:14:59 AM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
There are many paths to succcess; not just the Hollywood "bullshit" route I mentioned.  It takes two things to succeed: luck and talent.  I've got the talent; I see that everytime I sit down to write, and sigh in satisfaction at the product.  It's just a matter of luck.


But in "Hollywood", you aren't the judge of your own talent. The people wanting to make your film have that say (actors, producers, financers, etc.). And the audiences that might or might not come to see your films have that say ("You're only as good as your last film."). The luck comes from finding those who agree.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Weak2ndAct

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2003, 02:57:59 AM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
That "bullshit" comment was quite tongue in cheek, and quite frankly, your pessimism and condescension is boring.  *yawn*

Condescending and pessimistic?  It's called BEING REALISTIC.  If you can't appreciate a bit of common sense from someone who's actually having deal with all of this crap in the real world, on a day to day basis, fine.  But if you honestly think you're going to slap together some 'Hollywood crap' and make yourself a bunch of money and get some creative freedom, you are so sorely mistaken.  It's easy to think big and plot how you're going to manipulate the system when you've never gotten within spitting distance of it.
Quote from: Onomatopoeia
It's not hard to get a movie made (and by MADE I mean, scrounge up actors, a crew, and just fuckin' shoot).  It's hard work getting it picked up, distributed, and it's a combination of luck, too.  It's hard work, yes, in the process, too, I know.

It's easy to make a movie with no money that no one will ever see.  
Quote from: Onomatopoeia
But still, you neglected to even comment on my quote of Cecil's.
 
I wasn't aware I had to.  
First off: I agree with what MacG wrote, that sums it perfectly.  
Second: One shouldn't expect to make a living at it if they shun the system.  It's all give and take.  What you're willing to sacrifice for your art, sanity, and checkbook.  Just be prepared to accept the consequences, whatever they may be (whether they are artisitc compromises for a studio or waiting tables to pay for the film to be developed).
Quote from: Onomatopoeia
And that's what's missing.  The love and the drive.  And I do write a lot, and I do have some of the most creative, fucked-up ideas, but maybe that's me just getting my own hopes up.
 
You're young, and think you know it all.  You're the most talented guy out there.  That's the RIGHT ATTITUDE to have.  Now your goal is to convince the rest of the world this (I'm being serious here).
Quote from: Onomatopoeia
There are many paths to succcess; not just the Hollywood "bullshit" route I mentioned.  It takes two things to succeed: luck and talent.  I've got the talent; I see that everytime I sit down to write, and sigh in satisfaction at the product.  It's just a matter of luck.

This is the truest thing you will ever hear: there is no such thing as luck when it comes to this stuff.  'Luck' is the result of hard work paying off and having the chips fall into place because the homework has been done.  I feel like I keep writing this over and over again on the site, but it's worth repeating.
Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Now, I'm outta here before your negative attitude really bogs me down.

Sure, you think I'm some prick.  That's okay.  But I can't help but smile at this.  Just wait and see.  Soon enough, you'll find out what the real world is like.

aclockworkjj

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2003, 03:11:03 AM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Sure, you think I'm some prick.  

u are.  but you also tell some truth...I support the effort.  Fuckin' hollywood will eat you up and is a joke...yet it's the place to be.  No negative attitude about....try yer luck, then have an opinion young buck....

weak, knows the deal....prick or not.

classical gas

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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2003, 05:10:44 AM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Ah, to be young and full of hope.


Ah, to be old and play by the rules.  

whatever happened to having a little balls and a little imagination?  if we went by your philosophy, great movies would have never been made.  i know, times have changed, you should change with them.  :)

Weak2ndAct

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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2003, 05:33:01 AM »
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Quote from: classical gas
Ah, to be old and play by the rules.  

whatever happened to having a little balls and a little imagination?  if we went by your philosophy, great movies would have never been made.  i know, times have changed, you should change with them.  :)

You're right that times have changed.  I am by no means happy with the way things are, just trying to roll with the punches.  Sundance is dead.  It used to be a great festival, but has turned into a place to stage world premieres and to exhibit the few modestly budgeted pictures w/ name actors that don't have a distributor yet.  The days of making a cheap indie w/ no names and making a career off it are vanishing ('George Washington' is the closest thing I can think of to a success story in recent times-- and that was even rejected by Sundance, go figure).

Where to go from here?  Who knows.  But with the trend of all of the studios absorbing all the indie distribs, everything's on shaky ground (for instance, Cowboy pictures, distributor of GW, recently went under).  These days, making an independent film with no recognizable faces and no distribution guarantees down the line is a risk of epic proportions.  God Bless anyone who can buck the system and pull it off.  Me, I'll settle for my place in the overblown-high-school that is Hollywood.

And by the way, I'm hardly an old man 8)

SoNowThen

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2003, 09:07:14 AM »
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I don't wanna read everything that was posted, I'm in a lazy mood, so sorry if I repeat something that's already been said.

Here it is:

I don't wanna ever do a movie without having final cut. I'm willing to work with small budgets, on tight schedules, and deliver the rating I promise, but I need final cut. Now, final cut doesn't mean if the producer gives a great suggestion that would make the movie better, you don't take it because it wasn't your idea. If anybody suggests something that improves the movie, you'd be a fool not to try it out, especially with the ease of today's editing machines. That being said, if some fucko wants to change the sad ending of a script HE approved in the first place, to some happy ending because he figures it will play better in the midwest, it's not worth selling my soul to listen to him. Life is too short to dick around with a film you've put your heart and soul into for a year plus.

One example of the horror of studio final cut is the whole Brazil debacle.

To take final cut away from the director is biting the creative hand that feeds the industry. Conversely, a director who goes over budget and over schedule, and is a jerk to work with, is biting the economic hand, and I rest the same amount of blame on him. So I guess it's all about responsibility and integrity -- hehehe, and I suppose most folks in Hollywood don't have that in abundance...
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

 

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