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Tag: Producer Meltdown

Producer Meltdown

by on Feb.23, 2010, under Filmmaking, Projects

Some folks can't keep their cool.

It seems like there are a million ways a film or television project can die, but one of the saddest is Producer Meltdown.  It’s also surprisingly dangerous because it always seems to hit when success seems assured.  I’ve seen it on several projects and I’m currently witnessing it again.

Here’s how it typically works:  Over the course of months or years, a group of filmmakers get together to try to will a project to life.  People combine their contacts, resources, creativity, and good karma to build someone’s crazy idea into a project that has a chance of getting made.  It’s an amazing moment when something is on the cusp of transitioning from dream to reality.  But it’s also the time when people’s expectations, real or imaged are about to be solidified into concrete terms.

Invariably, one participant thinks he deserves a bigger piece of the pie.  Maybe the original deal terms were loose (or non-existent).  Maybe someone did a hell of a lot more work than the others involved.  Or perhaps someone’s connection to a distributor, star, or money was the lynch-pin for the project.  As a dream gets locked down on paper as who-gets-what-when-and-how, it’s pretty typical for someone to feel that their contribution is being given the short shrift.  Or maybe that person is just a douche who thinks he can grab a little more than he’s due.  The reasons vary, but the results tend to be the same…a project that was a “go” is suddenly just gone. (continue reading…)

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