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Film Experts: Cost of a movie...

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Film Experts: Cost of a movie...

Old 02-04-03, 02:41 PM
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Film Experts: Cost of a movie...

Just read Corman's bio, and he states when he made his "major" film, money was allocated to his film based on other's losses. There fore no matter how much he saved, he was overspent before he said "action".

Do movie studios still allocated losses (overhead) to other projects?

In otherwords, if Harry Potter costs 80 million, is it possible it could have TRULY cost only 60 million?
Old 02-04-03, 02:52 PM
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I don't believe so, mostly because there is no real correlation between projects. For example, Corman could do it because every film he made went through him personally--either through his production company or whatever.

It's like if Lion's Gate produces a film with a certain director, and they do another film with the same director, then I suppose they could do it.

But if Harry Potter One loses money (shyeah), they don't "add" the loss to the budget of the second. If I'm not mistaken, I think that studios can actually use losses of that magnitude as tax breaks. Warner Bros. had a lot of flops last year, but I'm sure the money lost on Pluto Nash and Ecks vs. Sever wasn't "added" to the budget of Kangaroo Jack!
Old 02-04-03, 04:19 PM
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I think it really has to do with whose making the project. Studios can shift certain costs of a film to different departments to make it look like they are not spending as much as they are on a project. For example, if they don't want to say that a film costs 100 million to make, they might shift 20 million in costs to other departments and call it something else. They could say those costs for marketing the film.
Old 02-04-03, 05:20 PM
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What you've stumbled on to here is a very important issue in reguards to film financing. We all know that in the '60s, '70s' and early '80s there were a lot of B films, sex, gore, schlock, etc. These films found a lot of easy money because at that time a film could be used by its producers as a tax shelter. I don't know all the specifics, but in the early '80s the gov. revised the tax code so that using films as a tax shelter could not be done anymore, and financing from private entities and small production companies dried up. I would wager that this was done at the behest of the emerging entertainment conglomerates who wanted to crush and absorb the "mini-majors"
Old 02-04-03, 06:11 PM
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As an Accountant, the issue facinates me.

Corman states that the "artistic" power didn't drive him nuts(late it did), but the financing of it did. All of the costs associated with a movie.

He also talks alot of the wasted Union work he was "assinged"...i.e. 5 guys moving lumber from one side of the studio to the other, just because 1) they were there and 2) the union contract stated they must work. So if they had 1 or 10 men doing nothing, they got assigned to him.

He also gives example of example of his style of shooting (quick) compared to others. Many times he would shoot another moive in 3 days on a set right before it was torn down, because he COULD.

I don't like all of Corman's movies, but his book is a fasinating look of getting the job done quick, and at the cheapest price. He goes into part of the waste in hollywood, but not as deep as I would have liked.
Old 02-04-03, 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
What you've stumbled on to here is a very important issue in reguards to film financing. We all know that in the '60s, '70s' and early '80s there were a lot of B films, sex, gore, schlock, etc. These films found a lot of easy money because at that time a film could be used by its producers as a tax shelter. I don't know all the specifics, but in the early '80s the gov. revised the tax code so that using films as a tax shelter could not be done anymore, and financing from private entities and small production companies dried up. I would wager that this was done at the behest of the emerging entertainment conglomerates who wanted to crush and absorb the "mini-majors"

Corman also goes into Distribution, which in the 50's and 60's for him was drive ins. The studios OWNED the theaters, so getting your film seen was almost impossible.

Today it can't be much different.

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