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Run Away Production-a different point of view


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#1 David Allen Grove

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 08:52 AM

"Cold Mountain" opens Berlin film fest
Fri 6 February, 2004 08:32
http://www.reuters.c...53253§ion=news

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - The British director of the Civil War epic "Cold Mountain" that opened the Berlin Film Festival has rejected U.S. criticism for making the film about a sacred piece of American history in Romania.

But Anthony Minghella admitted it was ironic the film was made with a multinational crew starring Australia's Nicole Kidman and Britain's Jude Law speaking in Southern accents. He said he was surprised by the attacks from some U.S. quarters.

"This is what happens when people become tribal," Minghella told a news conference after showing "Cold Mountain" to about 1,000 journalists at the opening of the Berlinale. "It's ironic that this should cause so much trouble."

Minghella, whose film is not in the competition for Golden Bear awards because it has already opened in the United States and Britain, said countervailing pro- and anti-war movements and other U.S. divisions were to blame for the attacks.

"It's a difficult time there at the moment," he said. "In times when a country feels under attack, there may be more of a nationalistic approach."

Kicking off the 11-day festival where 23 films are competing for Golden Bear awards, Minghella rejected arguments foreigners had tampered with American history or cheated Hollywood workers out of jobs with the big-budget film made overseas.

"It's not just an American film," Minghella said of his 155-minute production.

"The content speaks to everyone. It's universal. Maybe it's ironic that so many non-Americans were involved. But that's the beauty of films. No one asked me to show my passport before making it and no one asked to see the actors' passports."

Minghella has faced U.S. attacks for making the subtly anti-war film about a Confederate soldier, played by Law, who deserts near the end of the Civil War to return home to Kidman in Romania rather than in North Carolina.

"We were able to make the film more efficiently and beautifully in Romania than we could have in America," Minghella said. He said he spent five months looking at U.S. locations but abandoned those early plans because the budget would have been a staggering $150 million (81.8 million pounds), twice the $78 million in Europe.

Executive producer Harvey Weinstein told journalists in Berlin there had been a nefarious campaign against the film from pro-American quarters that may have hurt its chances for Academy Awards -- even though it got seven Oscar nominations.

He said it was especially lamentable considering that Hollywood films traditionally rule the box offices of most countries in Europe and in many nations around the world.

"American films dominate the European box office and I think we should be celebrating this is a European film," said Weinstein, co-chairman of Walt Disney Co's Miramax Films. "When it comes to films, America benefits 100-to-1."

The Berlin festival, the first of the major European festivals each year, is ranked alongside Venice and just behind Cannes as one of the world's leading film fests.

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#2 David Allen Grove

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 09:04 AM

"American films dominate the European box office and I think we should be celebrating this is a European film," said Weinstein, co-chairman of Walt Disney Co's Miramax Films. "When it comes to films, America benefits 100-to-1."

"and by America, I mean me." (harvey Weinstein)

Now read this...

http://www.hollywood...tent_id=2085613
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:23 AM

boy am I glad the Egyptians didn't get pissed off when we made Cleopatra here...or that the actors in such an important piece of their history weren't even Egyptian! The aliens didn't seem to mind when their story was shot in England by Ridley Scott.

But I guess it would have sucked if the Egyptians did make Cleopatra, but shot it here in LA because of a better exchange rate, cheaper/free locations, cheaper crew, cheaper extras, cheaper food, cheaper horses/wranglers, cheaper hookers, and there were none of those pesky Egyptian unions to contend with in California. Then, after making it for a fraction of the cost (keeping the profits from raping the locals) the producers take it back to Egypt and show it for full price. Ouch!

Ahhhh, life is sweet!

Ron B
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:35 AM

The aliens didn't seem to mind when their story was shot in England by Ridley Scott.

I don't know about that, they seemed pretty pissed off to me.
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#5 Mitch Gross

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 11:59 AM

boy am I glad the Egyptians didn't get pissed off when we made Cleopatra here

Of course it was actually shot mostly at CineCitta Studios in Italy, which is the country in which a large portion of the story takes place.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 04:52 AM

Hi,

Sorry, still not feeling fluffy about this. Allow me to list the films currently showing at the local multiplex:

Big Fish
Brother Bear
Cheaper by the dozen
Some "Looney Tunes" thing
Lord of the Rings
Lost in Translation
Peter Pan
Scary Movie 3
School of Rock
Something's Gotta Give
The Last Samurai
Tooth

I'm sure it's unnecessary for me to point out that every single one of those movies was US financed and poured cash back into the US industry, with the exception of "Tooth." The first IMDB comment for "Tooth" begins:

"This kind of kids film should be left to Hollywood. They know how to do them properly, and are willing to cough up an adequate budget."

The rest of the comment makes quite interesting reading, and no, I didn't write it.

You people own the world, and you're griping about it.

Phil
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#7 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 11:46 AM

Phil,

The difference between you and many Europeans I've met is that you don't distinguish between the 1% of our population who do in fact own the world and the rest of us. The distribution of wealth in our nation is becoming so absurd that it is manifesting itself in many ways. We simply want to support our family, etc.

"American films dominate the European box office and I think we should be celebrating this is a European film," said Weinstein, co-chairman of Walt Disney Co's Miramax Films. "When it comes to films, America benefits 100-to-1."

Statements like this are so twisted I don't even know where to start. Like he gives a damn about celebrating Europe. He cares about his pockets and nothing else. As for America benefiting? Yeah, sure he and the rest of that 1% do.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 01:42 PM

Hi,

Alec, the alternative is the system we have here, where nobody has any money to make productions ANYWHERE, let alone locally. With Miramax on your doorstep there's at least some chance that some of that cash will find its way back into local production. Even if you suppose that "Cold Mountain" was shot using entirely Romanian crews, and I think it's much more likely that they shipped over truckloads of Americans, the result is a boost for the US economy, the US film industry, and Miramax in particular; the net result is that there is money to be spent no matter how great the ideas or noble the intentions.

Given the choice between no production, and some local production with some overseas production, I'll take the latter. Unfortunately I'm not lucky enough to have that choice.

Phil
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#9 David Allen Grove

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 02:11 PM

You people own the world, and you're griping about it.

Phil

You people? You aren't generalizing,.... naaaa.
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 03:38 PM

Even if you suppose that "Cold Mountain" was shot using entirely Romanian crews, and I think it's much more likely that they shipped over truckloads of Americans

And exactly how would flying over all those Americans, putting them up in hotels, feeding them three meals a day and a fat per diem, how would doing all that save money for Miramax? Go on location, hire locally, pay them the local rates. That's how they save money.
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#11 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 04:34 PM

Hi,
Even if you suppose that "Cold Mountain" was shot using entirely Romanian crews, and I think it's much more likely that they shipped over truckloads of Americans

Phil,

Are you REALLY That ignorant about production?

Cold mountian was shot with a local Romanian crew. Only the Keys (DP, Prod Designer, etc) were brought over.

Really Before you even try to argue you should at least get SOME of the facts straight.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 04:57 PM

Fletcher - read, if you know how:

http://www.imdb.com/...365/fullcredits

I admit I'm going by etymology of names, but it looks like a lot of imports to me. Almost entirely, in fact. If people are going to hotly contradict me without even having bothered to check, I can't really apologise for being repetitive.

Anyway, that's not the point: any production which puts money into the local industry, irrespective of where it's made, is better than no production at all.

Phil
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#13 Mitch Gross

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 06:52 PM

It's amazing how many arguments are based on conjecture rather than fact. It's especially true of the internet, where partial facts and search engines can propogate plenty of misinformation.

It so happens I have friends pretty high up at Miramax. One had to fly to Romania repeated for her work. Of the roughly 350 names listed in the credits, a little over 100 were regular on-set crew (there's a lot of post and office people listed in credits). Of these, more than 60 were Romanian, some were Italian and a few were from England or Australia (DP John Seale for instance). Not listed are the dozens of tradespeople who were temporarilly employed by the production to build sets, cater meals, stitch costumes, and provide scores of other direct services to the production. Indirectly, hundreds of Romanians profited from the production through hotel and restuarant income, travel and living expenditures, an ample tax base fee, and per diem spending by the cast and crew. And then there were the thousands of Romanian extras employed for various scenes.

Even with the large above-the-line costs of the production, Miramax spent something on the order of $70 million that stayed in Romania. That's how these things generally work.
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#14 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 12:57 AM

Fletcher - read, if you know how:

http://www.imdb.com/...365/fullcredits

I admit I'm going by etymology of names, but it looks like a lot of imports to me. Almost entirely, in fact. If people are going to hotly contradict me without even having bothered to check, I can't really apologise for being repetitive.


Phil,

Go out and buy a clue please, It's painfully obvious that you don't have one. At least you serve one function as your villiages idiot.

I can read and I know how movies work and are crewed and since I ACTUALLY work in the industry I know all too well about run-away production. While your surfing the IMDb you might want to read the story about why mirimax thinks that cold mountian is getting the snub oscar wise...

If you don't believe me reread Mith Gross's post.

Why is it that your here again???
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 05:28 AM

Hi,

> Why is it that your here again???

To correct your punctuation - there's an apostrophe in there somewhere...

Phil
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