How/why do really bad films get made?

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  • How/why do really bad films get made?
  • jambourgie
    Member

    Vanity project? Money Laundering?

    Dunno. Looks Australian 😆

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    Tax break, so actual box office income is irrelevant? Some films are made to retain rights, like that piss-poor Fantastic Four one in the 90s

    involver
    Member

    There was quite an amusing documentary about a couple trying to take advantage of tax breaks for making a film. They pretended to made a £20m movie to get £2.5m of tax breaks. HMRC found out there was no movie, so the couple decided to make a real movie in an attempt to get away with it. The clips from the film were hilarious. Oh, and the fake movie was called “A landscape of Lies”. 😆

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/documentary-chancers-shows-how-british-feature-film-producers-fraudulently-used-film-tax-relief-a6802096.html

    Such gems as this, for example – Beneath Loch Ness

    Yes, that is Bennett from Commando. Note the highly authentic Scottish police uniform.

    It’s beyond awful, and yet it was made. How? Perhaps more importantly, why?

    Do such films generate any revenue? Do they recoup their investment, or is it just an elaborate money laundering scam?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    With all the tax breaks and funding games come some of this but the other side is some people manage to pitch an idea and then just fail to execute it.
    In some ways it’s the really bad ones that are made and make money (Lame Idea 1-7) where you just keep remaking the original bad idea until you have milked it dry (Yes that is Michael Bay)
    Flip that totally around and there are people making low budget great films that will struggle to get distribution but will launch a career for some of the people involved.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    You know how some people are absolutely convinced they’ve got really brilliant ideas? Like, they’re going to go on Dragon’s Den, pitch their idea for a Bluetooth-compatible in-bath toaster/jukebox and make millions?

    And you know how some people are absolutely convinced they’ve got really good judgement? Like, they’re going to put their life savings into a timeshare in Malaga which will pay for itself in two years and only ever rise in value?

    Some people who have “brilliant” ideas want to make movies, and some people with really good judgement have loads of money…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Percy,_11th_Duke_of_Northumberland
    and on that note…
    I think the film failed to get a certificate, recieved no distribution and all the tennants of the Dukes property and farms recieved an invitation to the premiere in the local cinema/theatre

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    While I was on set for the filming of “He Who Dares 2, Downing Street Siege”, in which I am one of the bad guys I had a chat with the director about this.
    They get investors to put in say, 10k which is spread over 4 or 5 films. The films are made ‘quickly’, often on single camera, ultra low budget shoots. They basically look at what is doing really well at the cinema & churn out a similar thing. Tend to get picked up by low budget cable channels, the arse end of Netflix, that sort of thing.
    Each film probably won’t do mega well but overall there is usuals small return on the investment & who wouldn’t want to be able to say they were involved in financing the film industry whilst stirring a cocktail at a middle class dinner party somewhere, huh?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Do such films generate any revenue?

    Some films like this can be dodgy investment scams. Someone on this forum not so long ago was offered the opportunity to ‘invest’ in a movie. You line up a few small investors – make a movie – everyone making the movie gets paid (with the investor’s money) – theres never a hope in hell the film will get distributed but so long as the handful of people who’ve handed over their life savings get a DVD at the end of it they can’t actually say they’ve been ripped off.

    So yes they generate revenue – everyone gets paid. But the film doesn’t need to sell any tickets to do that.

    Yes, that is Bennett from Commando.

    It terms of how complicit everyone is in the making of a bad film… there are so many contributors to the production of a film its genuinely very difficult to know whether it will be good or not. A script has only got everyone’s lines in it but thats only one dimension of the film. You can’t look at script and know what the action sequences will be like, or how well cast it will be, or how well lit or shot it will be, or what the score will be like and so on. And the script isn’t sacred either – it’ll be re-written continually throughout production and even during post production.

    You agree to do it on the basis that you’ll do you’re bit as well as you can and everyone else will do the same.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex
    Subscriber

    there’s a great podcast called How did this get made?, in which the hosts (plus guests) will have watched a pre-determined, usually terrible film, then spend an hour or so dissecting the awfulness of it. They sometimes look into the background/finances/stats too, it’s very entertaining and eye opening at times…

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    there’s a great podcast called How did this get made?,

    ’Half in the Bag’s review of Adam Sandler’s ‘Jack and Jill’ is similar. Rather than a review its a lengthy review of a fraud, with Sandler creaming off production budget for his own pocket and his pals – all making a appearances as characters who don’t have anything to do. (flick past the first two minutes)

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I wondered this about the Sharknado series of films – and the only reason anyone watches them (yes, I’ve been guilty) is that some TV company buys the rights and shows them over and over. They’re not even so bad they’re good. They are just crap. But must cost shit-loads to make!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharknado_(film_series)
    Budget $1.5-3m so at the very low end

    New docco on film making 😉

    Jakester
    Member

    Isn’t it just the plot of ‘The Producers’ writ large? 😀

    edlong
    Member

    I think with new channels of distribution it’s possible getting worse – in the same way that music needs the whole dross of dozens of “landfill indie” bands who will never achieve any particular greatness but maybe a have a single or two on the radio that people recognise (in order to pack out the lineup for three day festivals – you need a few Starsailors to play the early slots before The Killers come out later) – equally Netflix and Amazon need a load of not-too-expensive-please movies to pack out their listings or they’d look pretty sparse.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-to-video
    It’s not exactly a new thing. Been going on for years

    lovewookie
    Member

    what else would they fill movies4men and the horror channel with?

    I particularly like anything with volcanoes. the CGI is borederline, but they can’t afford polystyrene rocks, so just add a bit of shaky-cam in the hope that the single b list actor they have will go along with it.

    That and monster movies…

    PJM1974
    Member

    I’m all for there being an online repository for crap films, but I’d prefer it if it wasn’t Amazon Prime.

    bikebouy
    Member

    I often wonder how many of the films that appear on Sky Premier ever get funding too.

    Quite often the plot is similar to 400 other such films and character traits mirror themselves.

    Of all the dross out there, there are some crackers though.

    In the TV rather than film side of things I work at a production hire company, sometimes you just answer the phone, smile and nod whilst some PD or DoP rattles off their idea for the next hit TV series, there’s a lot of stuff piloted (or never even makes it that far) before they hit on the next Supervet or Love Island.

    I suppose with a film it’s a lot harder to get a sense of of it’s going to work from a trailer or pilot scene.

    Premier Icon mmannerr
    Subscriber

    I wonder when the actors find out that film is going to be crap one? Is it at first shoot or later in the process, I’d guess that initial phases of production are bit of mess in most cases anyway.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex
    Subscriber

    I wonder when the actors find out that film is going to be crap one? Is it at first shoot or later in the process, I’d guess that initial phases of production are bit of mess in most cases anyway.

    if you’re stephen baldwin, then you know the moment you get a casting call, i’d say.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Over $10 million has been spent on making the Sharknado films. Just think what decent things that money could’ve been spent on. I’m sad.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    I often wonder how many of the films that appear on Sky Premier ever get funding too.

    People pay to watch Sky don’t they? Thats you’re answer.

    Premier Icon monkeysfeet
    Subscriber

    While I was on set for the filming of “He Who Dares 2, Downing Street Siege”, in which I am one of the bad guys I had a chat with the director about this.
    They get investors to put in say, 10k which is spread over 4 or 5 films. The films are made ‘quickly’, often on single camera, ultra low budget shoots. They basically look at what is doing really well at the cinema & churn out a similar thing. Tend to get picked up by low budget cable channels, the arse end of Netflix, that sort of thing.
    Each film probably won’t do mega well but overall there is usuals small return on the investment & who wouldn’t want to be able to say they were involved in financing the film industry whilst stirring a cocktail at a middle class dinner party somewhere, huh?

    I loved that film.

    P-Jay
    Member

    I’ve been caught out by a few ‘soundalike’ films in my time. I don’t seem them as much these days, but they seem to make a film based purely on a title that sounds a bit like a blockbuster film and knock up a poster that sort of looks like the mainstream one and bang them out for £5 in the supermarkets.

    DezB – Member
    Over $10 million has been spent on making the Sharknado films. Just think what decent things that money could’ve been spent on. I’m sad.

    Just think how little money that actually is in terms of actually paying for people though.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    I’ve been caught out by a few ‘soundalike’ films in my time.

    Mockbusters 🙂

    Snakes on a Train
    Transmorphers
    The Davinci Treasure
    Sunday School Musical
    The Day the Earth Stopped
    18 Year old Virgin
    Independent’s Day
    The Fast and the Fierce
    Atlantic Rim
    30 Thousand Leagues under the Sea

    All by the same company as Sharknado 🙂

    Premier Icon verses
    Subscriber

    To learn a little more about the history of this I recommend you watch…

    Electric Boogaloo – http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/electric-boogaloo/32286/electric-boogaloo-review

    jonba
    Member

    Some people involved may simply not care if they need the money. If the person providing the money has no idea it will just keep moving along until it is complete and becomes apparent to everyone. Bit like the guys from the council painting cycle lanes on paths that head straight into walls.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    What I want to know is how come big budget high profile movies end up shit? Ok I can understand it if it’s a shoestring crap film from start to finish, but big studios should know better.

    How come Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was so ropey when the first one was pretty enjoyable? I think people get carried away with the hype, the effects, the stars and so on, and forget that you actually need a good script too. Seems like the cheapest part is so often overlooked and manipulated and no-one notices.

    Premier Icon mmannerr
    Subscriber

    if you’re stephen baldwin, then you know the moment you get a casting call, i’d say.

    He is not only one on the “Guaranteed to be shit movie” list though.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    How come Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was so ropey when the first one was pretty enjoyable?

    I enjoyed it, laughed a lot.
    I made the mistake of watching the latest Transformers – it was an entirely different category of shit, Anthony Hopkins looked like he was thinking of what he was buying with the cheque all the way through

    jimjam
    Member

    Those Sharknado films are made for students and you adults who like to like to laugh at how bad they are in a knowingly ironic way because it’s cool to laugh at bad films.

    The problem is most bad films are just bad, not so bad they’re good. So there’s a market to make films that are trying to be “so bad they’re good”. I have a friend who tries to tell me about them when I try to tell him about actual B-movies.

    molgrips – Member

    What I want to know is how come big budget high profile movies end up shit? Ok I can understand it if it’s a shoestring crap film from start to finish, but big studios should know better.

    How come Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was so ropey when the first one was pretty enjoyable?

    Sequels are tricky because they have to be like the first, but not too similar and they have to go beyond so generally that means bigger, which means more complexity.

    $200 million dollar movies are rarely made by auteurs with a singular vision. It’s a committee process.

    bikebouy
    Member

    I don’t think paying for Sky supliments film making, all that money goes an F1 and Football.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Sequels are tricky because they have to be like the first, but not too similar and they have to go beyond so generally that means bigger, which means more complexity.

    Yes, and when there’s more money at stake, there are more controlling interests.

    Saw a good one once about why Highlander 2 was so bad. They ran out of money and the studio only agreed to give them more if they met their conditions. Well the conditions were based on what made a ‘successful’ movie in their committee/statistic/business driven world, and not in an artistic sense.

    Sequels are tricky because they have to be like the first, but not too similar and they have to go beyond so generally that means bigger, which means more complexity.

    $200 million dollar movies are rarely made by auteurs with a singular vision. It’s a committee process.

    That and sequels/franchises are money making machines, so it’s less about the individual films and more about cash flow. Michael Bay doesn’t go to the studio with a really good idea for a Transformers movie, they just churn them out paid for with the receipts from the last one. It doesn’t actually matter so much if the film is rubbish, the people who liked the last one will go and see the next one. See also: The Walking Dead, which has become an exercise in cutting the budget each season and seeing if it still makes a proffit.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    oh and as for King effin arfur mate guvnor it did seem like Guy Ritchie had a lock stock draft that he found and didn’t want to get typecast doing gangsta shooter flicks….

    Man that was crap
    At least low budget b movies are meant to be crap. It’s the big budgets that grate the most.

    P-Jay
    Member

    What I want to know is how come big budget high profile movies end up shit? Ok I can understand it if it’s a shoestring crap film from start to finish, but big studios should know better.

    Death by committee.

    The bigger the budget, the bigger the risk (and committee).

    If you’re going to spend $200-$400m to make a film, you can’t rely on a single audience type to make that back – so you need elements to appeal to kids, men and women (old people don’t go the cinema is seems).

    If you want a film to blame, TopGun isn’t a bad example – it was one of the first films to appeal to multiple audiences – if you’re a Man between 35-50 and haven’t seen it since you were a lad you’ll probably remember an action packed ‘war film’ with jet fighters and the usual Tom Cruise story arc (it might be his first go at it actually). Watch it as an adult though and you might see it as a soft focus love story with seemingly pointless homoerotic scenes – with some jets thrown in. There’s even a sad moment when a well-loved character dies – classic ‘girl film’ stuff. It made a tonne of money because Men who liked things blowing up, and girls who liked oiled up men both liked it.

    With a big budget film You end up with 30-40 decision makers, all pitching in at every stage of the 5 year process adding and excluding scenes, characters and plot lines to react to how other films have done, test audiences and egos. Not to mention, like politics everyone of those people cares more about how it helps them, than the film.

    Big Budget sequels are the worst, they’re not trying to make a great film, they’re trying to keep their captive audience by not making a crap one – if it made $200m profit on the first one, most of those people will go to see the sequel unless the reviews are absolutely terrible, if they’re lukewarm they’re still go.

    It doesn’t really matter what the storyline is – if you going to see a $200+ (which seems to be today’s yardstick) it will probably have:

    A bloated plot to appeal to as many people as possible.

    Few or no scenes you haven’t seen before in some way shape or form so whoever signs off the budget can prove to the backers that this works because of X, Y.

    A lot less dialogue than films of the past as non-English speaking sales are more important than ever and dubbing and subtitles aren’t great.

    A seemingly unrelated aspect stolen from another recent film that made lots of money – see, ‘Logan’ having lots of swear words added to the script that were jarring and unneeded to give it an R-Rating, something that they would have done anything to avoid a few years ago, until Deadpool make a fortune.

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