Sausage Recipes of the Stars (You Don't Want to Know)
September 10, 2003
British film director John Boorman explains the nuts and bolts of contemporary film production, including this anecdote illustrating why the Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore:
In my memoir, Adventures of a Suburban Boy, I describe how Deliverance was made. Warners hired me to write a script. I submitted it. They said, OK, if you can cast it and make it for a price, go ahead. How naive that sounds by today's standards.[Link via Roger L. Simon, who knows a thing or twelve about movie making himself.]
Today, I would have received pages of detailed notes from a number of studio executives. I would have been obliged to hone the script down to a simple direct storyline that is clear and undemanding, and eradicate any eccentricity or quirkiness.
When the script satisfied their requirements, the studio would send it out to a star. If the star passed, the studio's response would be to hire a new writer. Further rejections by two or three stars and the project would be dropped.
If they found a star who was interested, the title, cast and storyline would then be test-marketed, asking people in the street if they would go to see such a film - four men canoeing a river and one gets buggered. Only with positive results would the studio go forward.