The following article makes a case for why many movie budgets are (way!) out of control.
If more green screen work can be done in virtual locations that should be saving a ton of money over visiting physical locations to shoot.
“You don’t need to hop from exotic location to exotic location for a day or two of work,” he added. “You can plan out your sequence where you don’t have to do that. You can take advantage of the digital backlot and you can basically replicate what you can get on location. It doesn’t take long to master it, if you understand how it works, how to control it, what every set up is, how to light it, and how to color correct it.”The Mandalorian’s Real-Time Virtual Production Saves Hollywood | IndieWire
I keep hammering on movie budgets at this blog because I believe fiscal irresponsibility contribute to less creative movies being made. Instead of getting more movies on modest to low budgets, we get fewer big budget movies where stupid cost overruns happen and studios become gunshy about “taking chances” on more creative films, simply because they are worried about the budgets.
This leads to us — movie fans — getting too much of the same, tired cycle of reboots, remakes and “known” projects. Lower budget studios and filmmakers enjoying financial success help break the cycle.
Overzealous directors can and probably are a big part of the problem here. Martin Scorsese is an amazing director, no argument there, but why can’t or won’t he make movies for lower budgets any more? See: Martin Scorsese – Great Director Struggling Staying Within Budget
James Cameron is filming four movies at one time, but still, one freaking billion dollars for four Avatar sequels? Sure, he’s one of the greatest directors ever with a proven track record but that’s an enormous amount of money budgeted to four films (see: $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid). Will we see all four films? Perhaps not in the theater, but you can bet all four will hit Disney+ at some point in the future.
Another side effect of larger budgets is the potential for crooked hands in the cookie jar.
Sadleir opened a bank account for a fake company and transferred $25 million of BlackRock’s investment that he’d claimed would be used for advertising, Department of Justice authorities said. Instead, Sadleir used $14 million from the funds to buy a Beverly Hills home.Former Hollywood movie CEO charged with $30M fraud
Smaller, tighter budgets, please.
Some studios are known for their fiscal frugality like Blumhouse. I may not like every movie Blumhouse does, but am digging that they are fiscally responsible with their movie budgets. For that reason alone, they are among my favorite studios.
Once we come back from the pandemic, and movie theaters and studios will definitely be back, then budgets will likely be even further scrutinized.
How can we as movie fans make a difference? Keep supporting good low budget movies.