Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Editor

Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Editor

Article excerpt

PRODUCERS who like to hype the budgets of their movies remind me of the hotel whose stationery proclaimed it to be "the most expensive hotel in Miami." Presumably it was designed to help guests impress their friends back home with how wisely they were spending their hard earned savings.

It is possible to imagine a different planet where producers would be embarrassed to admit that they spent $40 million making two hours worth of entertainment, but many people in Hollywood seem to believe that the amount of money lavished on a movie is directly related to the value of the finished product. While it may be perverse to maintain that the relationship is actually an inverse one, it does seem clear that the connection is often tenuous. Money does not always buy quality-especially when it is the quality of an emotional experience.

Aside from the question of whether huge salaries should be paid to above-the-line people because of the box office performance of their past efforts, there is the question of how much money to spend on "production value." It is probably heresy to question the value of "production value" in these pages, and I would certainly never want to disparage craftsmanship or attention to detail; but it does seem to me that there should be rational ways for evaluating an appropriate level of production value for a given project. …

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