Sunday, March 19, 2006

"Disasters" That Weren't, 2

"You're freaking script is no freaking good..." Okay, back to this sentence (which I've cleaned up. The original speaker used a word different than freaking, but it also starts with an "f.") It was uttered by a veteran of the movie business who was dead-bang sure he'd been hired to work on the biggest disaster of all time... The film this man was hired to work on? It had already been in production and pre-production for two-and-a-half years. The first director had been fired.... A dozen writers had come and gone (the board artists remained)... Production, which had started, ground to a halt while the script was reworked yet again... Two months after production started back up, the director (speaker of the above quote), walked off in disgust and exhaustion, said he wasn't coming back and went home. The producer, slightly stressed and already taking handfuls of dexedrine, hired another director (#3) and kept things rolling. The second director was persuaded to come back, but things were so far behind that the third director was kept on to help the flick stay on some kind of a schedule. The script was rewritten on a daily basis. The money ran out. The producer ran to The Bank of America, screened some completed footage, finagled another loan to finish the movie. The production went grinding on. Near the end of the whole thing, the second director -- the one who ultimately got screen credit -- told a friend: "This thing is going to be one of the biggest turkeys of all time..." What movie was this? (Click on "Disasters" That Weren't -- above -- to find out...)


Anonymous said...

I believe there was only ONE "board artist" on this film. William Cameron Menzies. He boarded the entire script--in color--prior to the film being shot. Along with the producer, David O. Selznick, he was the only person on the film from the very beginning to the very end.

Steve Hulett said...

I THINK Menzies had an assistant. But let's assume you're right. We'll amend "board artists" to "board artist."

Anonymous said...

In fact, Menzies and Selznick's art director Lyle Wheeler supervised a crew of seven artists that did 1,500 storyboards breaking out every shot in the movie. Look here for more info.

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