Author Topic: WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?  (Read 7005 times)

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Ghostboy

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2003, 09:20:06 AM »
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I'm still hugely idealistic, but everything Weak2ndAct said is true. Try delving into the business aspects of filmmaking and watch your creativity shrivel up...it's upsetting, but it really helps to know how to handle it.

Gamblour.

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2003, 10:21:53 AM »
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I started reading "My First Movie" again and am almost finished with Tom Dicillo's section. He talks about making Johnny Suede and how he got money to do it. Well, he basically started writing it in '84 and started getting it made in '89. Five years just to get a project going...that's one thing to think about.

Second, he applied for grants and got one for $25,000. He took his script to Sundance and got it workshopped. At one point, he got dicked around by some South African financer, dropped him, and got money somewhere else. His career has kinda fizzled since all of this, but I think if you avoid Hollywood, realize the amount of time and work you'll have to put in to counter it. I recommend the book for those still idealistic and optimistic, not hardened vets like Weak2ndAct  :lol:
WWPTAD?

©brad

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2003, 10:53:49 AM »
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average movie budget is $89.4 mill? no waaay.

the more i read about hollywood, the less interested i become.

NEON MERCURY

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2003, 12:20:17 PM »
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This thread is depressing..............lets' watch Kazaam......

aclockworkjj

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2003, 12:32:16 PM »
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ps.  weak..i wasn't calling you a prick, sorry after re-reading this, I didn't want you to think that...

yeah, I dunno...just clarifying.

Just to say "fuck the studio"...I say we all indulge in this.

ono

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2003, 02:24:56 PM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Sure, you think I'm some prick.

Yes.  Sure as hell have been today, anyway.
Quote
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.

See, this is what bothers me.  It's not so much the "telling me like it is" thing.  Because I already know how it is.  I've heard the horror stories, lived some of 'em (I didn't blaze through college straight after high school, not that that matters, either) read tons, done my homework.  But one has to maintain some sort of idealism.  It's that you think you're so much better than me, so much more knowledgeable, and so INCREDIBLY condescending and egotistical (and I hope that doesn't have anything to do with that deal you just got with .. Fox, was it?  Because lemme tell ya, if this if how you're gonna be, success doesn't suit ya.  Just look what it did to J-Lo.  Wait, bad example. :-P).  Anyway, just because you have a few years on me doesn't mean all that much, and I'm betting 1) it's really not that many years, and 2) the older you get, the less age really matters as far as wisdom goes.

What SoNowThen says is what suits me most.  You can say all you want about playing the game, following the Hollywood rules, yeah, and let me know how that works out.  Me, I'll just be doing what I've gotta do to be happy.

godardian

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2003, 02:28:25 PM »
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I often feel that Hollywood really despises the rest of us "civilians." They think we're stupid because we're so fickle; they want to be able to plan what kinds of creative effort will have what effect, but they can't pin us down. I don't think they SHOULD be able to pin us down into such tidy demographics that they can get all mechanical with the creativity, but the frustration is understandable. It's one of the few businesses that could only escape its intangibles through a complete obliteration of what makes it desirable in the first place.
""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.

classical gas

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2003, 03:19:11 PM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
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)



no, i agree...didn't mean to come off so harsh.  you're right about the way things are nowadays, it's just that 'the way things are' can get you a little upset.  so it was more of a comment on that than on you.  and no, i don't think you're an old man.

Ravi

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2003, 06:30:27 PM »
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That's the problem with movies.  It is such an expensive endeavour that it is no surprise studios and producers are so concerned with profitability.  Millions and millions of dollars can't always be spent on something very artistic, yet with little appeal, but I don't want to see a bunch of films calculated for maximum profit either.

Should novice directors get final cut?  I don't know.  If he got to the stage that his script (if he is a writer too) or if his previous work was impressive, possibly.  But an experienced producer can help iron out rough edges in a film, so maybe a first time feature director shouldn't get the sole responsibility.

A few times I've been given suggestions while editing on how to make a film better, and if my original version was never questioned, the film wouldn't have been as good.

Slick Shoes

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2003, 06:56:49 PM »
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Reading this thread makes me think about Scorsese and how he talks about filmmakers who are "smugglers." I just dig the whole subversive element of it -- giving a studio something other than what they think they are getting. I have always thought Election is a fine modern day example of this.

Ghostboy

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2003, 07:22:17 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Sure, you think I'm some prick.

Yes.  Sure as hell have been today, anyway.
Quote
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.

See, this is what bothers me.  It's not so much the "telling me like it is" thing.  Because I already know how it is.  I've heard the horror stories, lived some of 'em (I didn't blaze through college straight after high school, not that that matters, either) read tons, done my homework.  But one has to maintain some sort of idealism.  It's that you think you're so much better than me, so much more knowledgeable, and so INCREDIBLY condescending and egotistical (and I hope that doesn't have anything to do with that deal you just got with .. Fox, was it?  Because lemme tell ya, if this if how you're gonna be, success doesn't suit ya.  Just look what it did to J-Lo.  Wait, bad example. :-P).  Anyway, just because you have a few years on me doesn't mean all that much, and I'm betting 1) it's really not that many years, and 2) the older you get, the less age really matters as far as wisdom goes.

What SoNowThen says is what suits me most.  You can say all you want about playing the game, following the Hollywood rules, yeah, and let me know how that works out.  Me, I'll just be doing what I've gotta do to be happy.


But there may come a point where you need to make some money, too. I don't think Weak2ndAct is being condescending or egotistical...he's just being realistic. Not everyone gets the chance to do nothing but what they really, truly want to do for a living. There's a median between idealism and reality(capitalism) that

Personally, I'd love to be like David Lynch or PTA and have final cut and the freedom to do whatever the hell I want (for the most part). I realize that there's very little chance that this will happen, and I'm very willing to play the Hollywood game, if I can, just so I can afford to work outside it. It sure beats working a nine to five, like I am now.

The best example I can give is John Sayles, who makes the movies he wants to make, and can afford to do that because he gets hired to write screenplays for Hollywood movies. Even crappy ones.

MacGuffin

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2003, 07:54:58 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
See, this is what bothers me.  It's not so much the "telling me like it is" thing.  Because I already know how it is.  I've heard the horror stories, lived some of 'em (I didn't blaze through college straight after high school, not that that matters, either) read tons, done my homework.  But one has to maintain some sort of idealism.  It's that you think you're so much better than me, so much more knowledgeable, and so INCREDIBLY condescending and egotistical (and I hope that doesn't have anything to do with that deal you just got with .. Fox, was it?  Because lemme tell ya, if this if how you're gonna be, success doesn't suit ya.  Just look what it did to J-Lo.  Wait, bad example. :-P).  Anyway, just because you have a few years on me doesn't mean all that much, and I'm betting 1) it's really not that many years, and 2) the older you get, the less age really matters as far as wisdom goes.


I suggest this book:



For three years Frolick, a graduate of NYU film school and now a film industry journalist, tracked seven would-be directors just graduated from the major film schools and newly arrived in Babylon/Hollywood. They had serious things to say, and worthwhile, even noble, projects in mind. They came to make art, not sell out. But would they get a chance? Frolick documents their trials, mostly in their own voices, with various agents, producers, and veteran directors offering comment and advice. The seven prove to be an intelligent and likeable bunch, and Frolick succeeds in showing each as a rounded character. However their experience is depressing: ideas are dumbed down, creativity ignored, and people trashed. In short, Hollywood is everything these neophytes had feared, and worse.
“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


Skeleton FilmWorks

ono

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2003, 09:39:42 PM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin
I suggest this book: (*snip*)

Thanks, I'll check it out when I have some spare cash.

SoNowThen

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2003, 09:41:49 AM »
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I think this whole discussion is predicated upon the idea that we all wanna go make movies in Hollywood. In which case, the fact that one will have to whore oneself out is absolutely inevitable.

But while I would at some point like to do some script-doctoring there, the last place I wanna make movies is in LA. In other words, since I don't wanna play the game their way, I will take my toys to a different playground. Then perhaps when I have slugged my way through several smallish projects and proven that I can show a return on a small investment, then I will venture toward some tinseltown backing, if they'll have me.

But of course Weak2nd is right in regards to Hollywood. Think about the music biz -- everyone knows a "great" local band that will never get anywhere. Why? Because they won't write the easily digestable FM-friendly album that the record companies know they can shove down people's throats for a big profit.

...or they just suck ass and don't deserve to make an album.  :wink:
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.

©brad

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WHO HAS FINAL CUT - THE DIRECTOR OR THE STUDIO?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2003, 10:37:05 AM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin

I suggest this book:

For three years Frolick, a graduate of NYU film school and now a film industry journalist, tracked seven would-be directors just graduated from the major film schools and newly arrived in Babylon/Hollywood. They had serious things to say, and worthwhile, even noble, projects in mind. They came to make art, not sell out. But would they get a chance? Frolick documents their trials, mostly in their own voices, with various agents, producers, and veteran directors offering comment and advice. The seven prove to be an intelligent and likeable bunch, and Frolick succeeds in showing each as a rounded character. However their experience is depressing: ideas are dumbed down, creativity ignored, and people trashed. In short, Hollywood is everything these neophytes had feared, and worse.


sounds as uplifting as watching concentration camp footage from auschwitz.

 

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