Author Topic: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay  (Read 3824 times)

Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« on: December 11, 2018, 08:41:24 PM »
World War Z ended up re-filming the entire final third of the film and re-hashed a lot of the early story lines (hence fairly well known TV actor Matthew Fox in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it cameo; apparently he was due to have a much larger role).

Despite this, it made half a billion US dollars at the box office.

Any other films that recovered from a mess of a shoot?

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 08:45:10 PM »
'apocalypse now' springs immediately to mind- the near-death of sheen, the recalcitrance & general shitty attitude of brando, the insanity of hopper &.. well, most of the cast & crew... & the comings-&-goings of the helicopters on ferdy's whim as he used them in real gun-fights elsewhere on the islands.

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2018, 08:51:07 PM »
Jaws, if the story about the shark they got being so shit they couldn't use it is true.

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2018, 08:59:40 PM »
Fitzcarraldo

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2018, 09:09:20 PM »
'sorcerer', friedkin's favourite among his own works (above 'exorcist' & 'french connection' even), where they had to rebuild the bridge for the iconic river-crossing sequence several hundred miles away from the original location because of lack of rain- by the time they finished building the bridge, the river was dry. the same thing happened at the new location, so the scene was augmented with 'artificial rain'. the scene lasts 12 minutes & cost $3M, a significant chunk of the budget. friedkin likens his experience to fitzcarraldo, oddly enough.
he'd already lost steve mcqueen from the movie after refusing to give ali mcgraw a job on the flick.

(& so this is odd- "Scheider's then-wife, Cynthia Scheider, was an assistant film editor who had previously worked with Bud Smith on The Exorcist.[58] Since shooting the film required a prolonged stay in South America, the actor asked Friedkin if she could stay with him and have a job in an editing capacity. The director fulfilled his wish and was reportedly "delighted".)

the finished flick is a magnificent work.

Z

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2018, 09:16:06 PM »
Margaret sat in limbo at post-production for a solid 5 years where the studio and Lonergan were at odds regarding the final cut.

Got a bit of a rough going on release (with two compromised edits released, both with their pros and cons) but in general is fairly well received now, and it didn't seem to harm Lonergan's career afterwards either.

Like half of Orson Welles's films had issues, didn't they?



World War Z ended up re-filming the entire final third of the film and re-hashed a lot of the early story lines (hence fairly well known TV actor Matthew Fox in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it cameo; apparently he was due to have a much larger role).

Despite this, it made half a billion US dollars at the box office.

Any other films that recovered from a mess of a shoot?
In this line of thought, GI Joe 2 was pulled from release something insane like a fortnight before release (i.e. after quite a lot of money had gone into marketing it) and delayed for eight months. Came out in the middle of an extremely barren period and done great.
Not exactly a disaster, they knew exactly what they were doing, but smart move!

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 09:30:55 PM »
I can't remember any specific stories, but I remember what seemed to be months of rumours and jokes about Titanic being a sure fire dud.

mothman

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 10:15:33 PM »
Waterworld.

St_Eddie

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 10:37:07 PM »
Jaws, if the story about the shark they got being so shit they couldn't use it is true.

Please don't refer to Bruce as "the shark".  You'll hurt his feelings.

Waterworld.

Damn right it turned out okay.  Bloody marvelous movie, so say I.

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 11:16:50 PM »
Brazil

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2018, 12:38:44 AM »
The Empire Strikes Back was a tough shoot, and a financial gamble for George Lucas, despite the success of Star Wars.

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2018, 12:40:08 AM »
The excellent Last Seduction very nearly never happened because they'd blagged funding from a softcore porn production house and were making it on the sly.

Quote
Screenwriter Steve Barancik said he believed the film was originally pitched as a "standard skin-e-max" low-budget movie to ITC Entertainment even though the filmmakers had "an under-the-radar intention to make a good movie".[2] ITC Entertainment executives were upset with a shot scene in which Linda Fiorentino is dressed as a cheerleader and wears suspenders over her breasts. Barancik recalled, "Apparently, a guy from the company who was monitoring things and watching the dailies, saw the suspenders over Linda's nipples, and shouted out, 'Are we making an art movie?!' He shut down production and called the principals of the movie on the carpet and they all had to pledge that they had no artistic pretensions".[2] The scene was cut and the sexual roleplaying theme was lost.[2]

St_Eddie

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2018, 12:43:23 AM »
Brazil

In regards to its troubled production, I highly recommend this documentary; The Battle of Brazil, for those who haven't yet seen it.

samadriel

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2018, 04:37:43 AM »
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus recovered from Heath Ledger's death quite well.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2018, 09:02:52 AM »
'sorcerer', friedkin's favourite among his own works (above 'exorcist' & 'french connection' even), where they had to rebuild the bridge for the iconic river-crossing sequence several hundred miles away from the original location because of lack of rain- by the time they finished building the bridge, the river was dry. the same thing happened at the new location, so the scene was augmented with 'artificial rain'. the scene lasts 12 minutes & cost $3M, a significant chunk of the budget. friedkin likens his experience to fitzcarraldo, oddly enough.
he'd already lost steve mcqueen from the movie after refusing to give ali mcgraw a job on the flick.

(& so this is odd- "Scheider's then-wife, Cynthia Scheider, was an assistant film editor who had previously worked with Bud Smith on The Exorcist.[58] Since shooting the film required a prolonged stay in South America, the actor asked Friedkin if she could stay with him and have a job in an editing capacity. The director fulfilled his wish and was reportedly "delighted".)

the finished flick is a magnificent work.

Indeed it's a masterpiece, but I'm not sure it ever really turned out okay - it was savaged by most critics, shit-canned and buried after two weeks because of a little film called Star Wars and made about 50p at the box office, disappeared for several years before being released on video (but not before the studio butchered it and removed half an hour), and then there was a problem with the rights and who owned them, so Friedkin made no money from it, and that was only resolved about five years ago.  And, despite another go round at the cinema, a decent blu-ray release, and long-overdue critical re-appraisal, I think I'm right in saying it's still a LONG way off making any money and it'll probably be one of those films that actually costs money just by existing.  So, at the VERY best, critics and audiences came around to it 40 years after it was released.  Otherwise it's still very much an all-around failure.

Shaky

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2018, 12:19:06 PM »
Mad Max: Fury Road went through numerous iterations, recastings and outright cancellations over a 15-year period and I'd say it ended up pretty darn great.

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2018, 03:19:04 PM »
'sorcerer', friedkin's favourite among his own works (above 'exorcist' & 'french connection' even), where they had to rebuild the bridge for the iconic river-crossing sequence several hundred miles away from the original location because of lack of rain- by the time they finished building the bridge, the river was dry. the same thing happened at the new location, so the scene was augmented with 'artificial rain'. the scene lasts 12 minutes & cost $3M, a significant chunk of the budget. friedkin likens his experience to fitzcarraldo, oddly enough.
he'd already lost steve mcqueen from the movie after refusing to give ali mcgraw a job on the flick.

(& so this is odd- "Scheider's then-wife, Cynthia Scheider, was an assistant film editor who had previously worked with Bud Smith on The Exorcist.[58] Since shooting the film required a prolonged stay in South America, the actor asked Friedkin if she could stay with him and have a job in an editing capacity. The director fulfilled his wish and was reportedly "delighted".)

the finished flick is a magnificent work.

Another film which helped end the Auteur Age is The Exorcist 2, which had way too much character and personality for its own good,  It's more of a sci-fi/philosophy film than a horror, but it's got so many beautiful, dream-like touches.  Not 'OK' at all by most people's standards, but it's alright by me, Jack.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2018, 03:30:04 PM »
Another film which helped end the Auteur Age is The Exorcist 2, which had way too much character and personality for its own good,  It's more of a sci-fi/philosophy film than a horror, but it's got so many beautiful, dream-like touches.  Not 'OK' at all by most people's standards, but it's alright by me, Jack.

I think it's abysmal with no redeeming features whatsoever, but here's a funny story Friedkin tells about it (you decide how much salt to take with it) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D4cPXpvHjI

St_Eddie

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2018, 04:13:34 PM »
I think it's abysmal with no redeeming features whatsoever...

I'm with you on that.  It's one of the worst films that I've ever seen and a strong contender for worst sequel of all time.  Bloody awful film.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2018, 05:32:43 PM »
The excellent Last Seduction very nearly never happened because they'd blagged funding from a softcore porn production house and were making it on the sly.

Linda clothed > Linda unclothed in all her movies

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Ok
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2018, 08:10:40 PM »
I'm with you on that.  It's one of the worst films that I've ever seen and a strong contender for worst sequel of all time.  Bloody awful film.

Being a fan of both John Boorman and films with their own internal logic completely at variance with your own can't but help.  Like Zardoz, there are so many ideas and shots that stick out (the way they shot that whole psychic interface sequence is particularly beautiful, and apparently influenced by Powell & Pressburger).  It's one of those quixotic endeavours that don't get made anymore where huge sets are built for single shots, and it flits about all over the strip just because it can.  It's basically a giant messy Descartesian arthouse film about matter vs the spirit, and it speaks to me because Boorman's id-vomit is so tasty.  He's a totally different kind of fish to Friedkin, who's always shown a distaste to cinematic fantasists, and he probably should never have landed the gig to begin with, but he certainly made something novel in the end...

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2018, 08:12:56 PM »
The Island of Dr Moreau remake had an abysmal production but it's not horrible.

St_Eddie

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2018, 08:39:19 PM »
The Island of Dr Moreau remake had an abysmal production but it's not horrible.

I think that it's a reasonably decent flick, up until the last act, at which point it fully warrants its infamously awful reputation.

Catalogue Trousers

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2018, 09:04:44 PM »
Gilliam's Munchausen, while it eventually turned a profit and is now widely-regarded as rather marvellous, turned up often in the late 80s in articles about cinema's biggest flops. It certainly had a troubled production - Charles McKeown apparently buttonholed Gilliam in his office at one point and pretty much browbeat/guilt-tripped the latter into finishing it. One clear example is how the Moon segment was originally much grander, with a vast banqueting scene and numerous courtiers, including Michael Palin as the Prime Minister, while the King was set to be either Marlon Brando or Sean Connery. This ended up as a lot of scenery flats and an apparent total Lunar population of Robin Williams and Valentina Cortese.

Andrew Yuill's Losing The Light, easily found cheap online, is a good book on the whole shebang.

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2018, 04:22:24 AM »
Jaws, if the story about the shark they got being so shit they couldn't use it is true.

Of course it's true, it's a well-documented saga.

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2018, 06:49:35 AM »
Gilliam's Munchausen, while it eventually turned a profit and is now widely-regarded as rather marvellous, turned up often in the late 80s in articles about cinema's biggest flops. It certainly had a troubled production - Charles McKeown apparently buttonholed Gilliam in his office at one point and pretty much browbeat/guilt-tripped the latter into finishing it. One clear example is how the Moon segment was originally much grander, with a vast banqueting scene and numerous courtiers, including Michael Palin as the Prime Minister, while the King was set to be either Marlon Brando or Sean Connery. This ended up as a lot of scenery flats and an apparent total Lunar population of Robin Williams and Valentina Cortese.

Andrew Yuill's Losing The Light, easily found cheap online, is a good book on the whole shebang.

The Lunar section worked quitre well in the end though I'd say, not just Williams unhinged performance but the idea that the Kings and Queen were the only ones there making it seem a lot stranger/lonelier, all those cut out buildings acting as a "crowd" on arrival before you switch to that as well.

Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2018, 07:02:04 AM »
Of course it's true, it's a well-documented saga.

Well-documented isn't the same as true though.

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2018, 07:53:06 AM »
It is when the well-documented truth has been documented in painstaking detail by people actually involved with the production on a daily basis. Have you read Carl Gottlieb's The Jaws Log?

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2018, 08:53:06 AM »
It is when the well-documented truth has been documented in painstaking detail by people actually involved with the production on a daily basis. Have you read Carl Gottlieb's The Jaws Log?

There's also several bits of footage of it not working in the numerous docs that have been made over the years.  I seem to also remember an out-take where it grinds to a halt mid-bite and you hear loud hissing as the pneumatics/hydraulics get fucked up.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Production Disasters that Turned Out Okay
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2018, 09:31:39 AM »
Yep, you can see it not working in all of that footage. I get why people might be suspicious of the story behind the making of Jaws, as it almost sounds too good to be true, but the documentation is all there.