Money Ruins Art

It’s really too bad what is going on with the film Fanboys.  If you’re not familiar with the controversy, Wired has the details.  (Make sure you also read their account of how Ernie Cline got the film made in the first place.)

You gotta love this, though:

Steven Brill, director of Little Nicky and Drillbit Taylor was brought in to do several days of reshoots to erase any reference to terminal illness… "Have you seen the cancer version of this movie?" writes Brill in an email to an angry fan. "I have. It is unreleaseable. It would be irresponsible to release it."

Let me get this straight:  The studio had the director of Little Nicky and Drillbit Taylor come in to "fix" the movie?  I guess he is a pretty good authority on what constitutes bad film making.  Too bad he didn’t deem Little Nicky "unreleaseable".

The problem is, basically, that this really should be an independent film, but it’s (unfortunately) being financed by a large company.  Large companies (in any industry) have a tendency to want to homogenize things for the masses.  The thing is, this really isn’t a film for the masses.  This is a film aimed specifically at a select group of people.  Since the Weinstein company has severely angered their target audience with this move, it’s hard to see how this move won’t back-fire on them.  If they don’t reconsider their actions, this movie will certainly flop.  (At least until the "director’s cut" comes out on DVD.)

The article ends with this last bit of irony, from Cline himself:

"Unless you’re putting up all the money yourself, making a movie seems to be an endless series of compromises," [Cline] says. "It’s hard to know what that means until you actually go through it. The Weinstein Company can do whatever they want. They put up the money. But it is against our wishes and it’s done purely for monetary reasons."

It was exactly this sort of interference that caused George Lucas to start his own company and start financing his own films.