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Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

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Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Old 10-09-09, 02:51 PM
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Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

I didn't really know how to phrase this question, and I don't think it's something that could be easily answered with a poll.

I have noticed (and it's no new trend) that Hollywood and studios seem to have a double standard when it comes to filmmakers and directors. Let me just give an example.

-Michael Bay makes , and has pretty much only made, blockbusters with large budgets. Most of them make good money, and for that one cannot fault a studio for gambling on him again after a flop/underperfomer(The Island). In short, he makes a flop or two, then he will continue to work. Same might be said for hired guns like Brett Ratner or Rob Cohen.

-Spike Jonze makes mostly art house movies that appeal to a smaller audience. He is currently been given the keys to a big budget movie with Where the Wild Things Are, which looks like it will be like his other stuff, just on a larger scale. However, I think that if this project fails he will have a more difficult time getting studios to finance his next endeavor if it requires a larger budget.

I guess another example would be David Lynch, who since Dune has only made smaller films. Granted, I don't think he has a desire to do a studio flick anymore, but it seems like that one big-budget flop was all it took to for studios to never trust him with money again.

In short: it seems like they are more forgiving if the less artistic directors make flops than if one who is more of the auteur type.

Last edited by Dr. DVD; 10-09-09 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 10-09-09, 03:17 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
I didn't really know how to phrase this question, and I don't think it's something that could be easily answered with a poll.

I have noticed (and it's no new trend) that Hollywood and studios seem to have a double standard when it comes to filmmakers and directors. Let me just give an example.

-Michael Bay makes , and has pretty much only made, blockbusters with large budgets. Most of them make good money, and for that one cannot fault a studio for gambling on him again after a flop/underperfomer(The Island). In short, he makes a flop or two, then he will continue to work. Same might be said for hired guns like Brett Ratner or Rob Cohen.

-Spike Jonze makes mostly art house movies that appeal to a smaller audience. He is currently been given the keys to a big budget movie with Where the Wild Things Are, which looks like it will be like his other stuff, just on a larger scale. However, I think that if this project fails he will have a more difficult time getting studios to finance his next endeavor if it requires a larger budget.

I guess another example would be David Lynch, who since Dune has only made smaller films. Granted, I don't think he has a desire to do a studio flick anymore, but it seems like that one big-budget flop was all it took to for studios to never trust him with money again.

In short: it seems like they are more forgiving if the less artistic directors make flops than if one who is more of the auteur type.
Michael Bay had an established career as a hit maker before The Island. One flop will not bring you down. Spike Jonez has not had any certifiable blockbusters. Nor did David Lynch at the time.

Tried and True directors are allowed to have flops, other folks are not -- why give them a second chance if the first didn't work?
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Old 10-09-09, 03:21 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

If the studios want a "David Lynch film" or a "Spike Jonze film," they'll hire those two to make them. (Or hire someone cheaper who's being touted as "the next David Lynch" or "the next Spike Jonze.")

But--guess what?--the studios generally do not want David Lynch or Spike Jonze films. Why not? Because they don't make a lot of money. Woody Allen can keep making films because he turns them out quickly and cheaply and one out of three (or so) does well enough to justify continued financing of his films. But even under those circumstances, Woody doesn't have a lot of options. In the course of 40 years of Allen making films, there have not been many studios willing to fund him. Scorsese does well, because his films are critically acclaimed and occasionally do well. He can get away with occasional failures like BRINGING OUT THE DEAD because his more high-profile films (GANGS OF NEW YORK, AVIATOR, THE DEPARTED) do well. And anticipation is high for SHUTTER ISLAND, which looks like a very commercial film (I could be wrong).

TRANSFORMERS 2 is one of the biggest hits of the year. The studios love Michael Bay, whether the film is crap or not. If his next film flops (highly unlikely), the one after probably won't. Guys like Bay and Brett Ratner work for the studio heads. Studio heads know they're gonna deliver the boxoffice. Guys like Lynch and Jonze work for themselves even when a studio funds them. If YOU were a studio head, who would you hire?

Me, I'd hire the guys who make the CRANK films and the lady who made PUNISHER: WAR ZONE. But the other studio heads would think I was crazy. And they'd probably be right. My business model's probably no better than the one adopted by the guys who sign up Lynch and Jonze. Could be why I'm not a studio head.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 10-09-09 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:23 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post

Tried and True directors are allowed to have flops, other folks are not -- why give them a second chance if the first didn't work?
I know, but Spike Jonze and other directors as well are Tried and True, just in the realm of lower budget/art-house movies. It seems like they would deserve a second chance as well.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:30 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

It's not that the studios are more lenient to "less artistic" directors. They're just more lenient to whoever has been more consistent at making them a lot of money.

Michael Bay is usually a hit maker. So, even though The Island unfortunately flopped, it's easier to take a risk on his next movie being a hit. Spike Jones just makes niche films. Even if Where The Wild Things Are becomes a mega hit, studios wont be throwing money his way. They may offer him another movie with an equal or slightly larger budget but he doesn't have the track record to warrant the kind of trust Michael Bay enjoys.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:33 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
I know, but Spike Jonze and other directors as well are Tried and True, just in the realm of lower budget/art-house movies. It seems like they would deserve a second chance as well.
He would get a second chance, but not in the blockbuster realm. Michael Bay has proven that he can deliver to huge audiences, hence another shot at those audiences.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

I kind of see how studio heads/greenlight people are more likely to go with Bay or give permission for another brainless action flick. If you give Bay $200 million and he doesn't deliver, you would most likely get to keep your job as one of your next project will most likely deliver, and he will again in the future. If you give $200 million+ to a niche director and it flops, you might be out of a job.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

And then there's Terry Gilliam, who God personally hates.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:40 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
And then there's Terry Gilliam, who God personally hates.
^ this (and I'm an atheist!)
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Old 10-09-09, 03:44 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Me too.
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Old 10-09-09, 03:55 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
If you give Bay $200 million and he doesn't deliver, you would most likely get to keep your job as one of your next project will most likely deliver, and he will again in the future. If you give $200 million+ to a niche director and it flops, you might be out of a job.
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Old 10-09-09, 04:02 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
And then there's Terry Gilliam, who God personally hates.
After Orson Welles died, Terry took his slot.
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Old 10-09-09, 04:20 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
Is this sarcasm?

Singer, even with Superman Returns and Valkyrie under his belt, hasn't lost money for a studio yet. All of his films, even the disappointments, were able to make money.

M. Night on the other hand has lost over $100 million for Warner with Lady in the Water and barely pulled in a profit for Fox with The Happening. If The Last Airbender doesn't pull in a profit, his days doing a big budget picture will be numbered.
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Old 10-09-09, 06:09 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

I think M. Night really needs to go away. He is a prime example of a director whose ego will always take precedent over making a good movie.
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Old 10-09-09, 09:12 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
I think M. Night really needs to go away. He is a prime example of a director whose ego will always take precedent over making a good movie.
Watch out. Next time, maybe we'll get have a subplot about a DVDTalker who gets murdered.
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Old 10-09-09, 11:53 PM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by troystiffler View Post
Watch out. Next time, maybe we'll get have a subplot about a DVDTalker who gets murdered.
I think you just ruined the twist.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:53 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
I think M. Night really needs to go away. He is a prime example of a director whose ego will always take precedent over making a good movie.
He's one of my favorite film-makers and someone I consider a genuine artist. To each their own.
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Old 10-10-09, 01:09 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Uwe Boll?
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Old 10-10-09, 03:32 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by RocShemp View Post
It's not that the studios are more lenient to "less artistic" directors. They're just more lenient to whoever has been more consistent at making them a lot of money.
This is true, but less artistic generally means less layered/complicated and/or easier to sell, which makes less-artistic the same thing as more money.
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Old 10-10-09, 03:50 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by Tarantino View Post
Uwe Boll?
I wouldn't call any of his movies big budget, and if they are then he needs to stop snorting the money and actually make a decent movie with that money.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:44 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

I still think it's amazing that some studio head trusted Peter Jackson with a 300 million dollar epic trilogy based on Jackson's weak resume.
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Old 10-10-09, 09:10 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

^^ And even more amazing, that studio head's faith turned out to be so justified!
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Old 10-10-09, 09:58 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
I still think it's amazing that some studio head trusted Peter Jackson with a 300 million dollar epic trilogy based on Jackson's weak resume.

I have to say, I still don't quite get that leap of faith. He really only had Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, plus some really strange zombie and puppet movies. On top of this, they let him shoot this entirely in New Zealand with minimal studio interference.

In terms of M. Night, he might be an artist, but he's definitely one that started to make himself more and more of a focal point in his work.
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Old 10-10-09, 11:13 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Bump to Peter Jackson ... obviously the studio had not seen some of his work -- talk about one sick and depraved mo-fo. As for justified, overall, yes ... LOTR was a magnificent accomplishment, but there some areas where it fell short of being "perfect."

M. Night Shamalyan, IMO, has some fantastic potential ... I won't say on the level of Hitchcock, but certainly in the vein of Hitchcock ... but I think he suffers from GLS (George Lucas Syndrome) in that he needs to let another writer make a pass over his work. 6th Sense and Unbreakable were fantastic ... I am a fan of The Village even (still don't get why that one gets so much hate) ... but I had wonderous expectations for Signs (I've railed on about me re-write numerous times) and the Happening ... sure, M. Night has been shoe-horned as "the twist guy" ... but to crap on two wonderful concepts with no twist was awful.
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Old 10-11-09, 11:05 AM
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Re: Double Standards for Different Directors? (Not just a simple question)

Originally Posted by glassdragon View Post
I wouldn't call any of his movies big budget, and if they are then he needs to stop snorting the money and actually make a decent movie with that money.
Rumors are that Rampage (not based on the video game) might actually be decent or watchable. That's actually tough to write.
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