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Commercially Successful Unknown Directors

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Scott Roberts
Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Jul 29, 2011 at 6:00:03 pm

This is a pretty alarming article about no-name film directors who's films make more money than a decent chunk of famous directors. Mainly because they direct family friendly things or "safe" pictures, which may or may not be terrible, but they draw in crowds. Not all of the movies listed in the article are bad (by a longshot), but it's an interesting look at how much you can make being a director even if no one in the general public knows who you are!

http://www.pajiba.com/seriously_random_lists/the-11-most-commercially-succe...


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Stephen Smith
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Jul 29, 2011 at 6:16:21 pm

[Scott]
Mainly because they direct family friendly things or "safe" pictures, which may or may not be terrible,

Creating films people want to see seems like a smart idea to me. I remember reading an article years ago about how rated G films make a lot more money then R rated films. But yet Hollywood likes to make more R rated films then G ones.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Stephen Smith
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Jul 29, 2011 at 11:32:11 pm

Also, the author writes, "They’re the guys who make the shitty films that fill up the multiplexes". If they are crappy then why are the filling up the multiplex? A lot of people like these films and they had a good time watching them.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Tim Wilson
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Jul 30, 2011 at 12:12:35 pm

[Stephen Smith] ""They’re the guys who make the shitty films that fill up the multiplexes". If they are crappy then why are the filling up the multiplex?"

I think there's always this thing that if it makes a lot of money, then it's got to be bad. Or if it's star-driven, rather than auteur driven, then it has be bad.

But if the star is a guy who starred on a top-5 sitcom for NINE YEARS, and he's doing a comedy about a preening mall cop that has some laughs in the trailer, I don't see it as a bad thing that somebody wants to go see it, or that they guy you're going to have direct it has a reputation of being nice to work with, and careful with the budget and schedule. Those are GOOD things, and far rarer than he makes it sound.

That's why I think his snarkiness isn't consistent enough to be entertaining. Because on his list, I found quite a few movies that I think are VERY entertaining:

A Christmas Story (genuine classic)
The Simpsons Movie (best DVD commentaries ever)
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (I own that one)
Galaxy Quest (own it; one of the ones I watch most)
Monsters, Inc. (own it; still my favorite Pixar picture)
Miss Congeniality
Enchanted
Tarzan (second-tier latter day Disney...but when the first tier is Beauty and the Beast and Lion King, nothing wrong with that)

And a bunch of "good enough" movies (Grumpy Old Men, Are We There Yet) spread through the list to make me wonder what his point was.

It could have been interesting if it was considering what being a successful director means, and the extent to which directors are responsible for a movie's success or failure at all - and for that matter, what a successful movie means.

It being me, I IMDb'd these guys and was pleasantly surprised what I found. For example, the guy who directed Beethoven and Are We There Yet also produced 66 episodes of Happy Days and Mork & Mindy.

The first guy on the list did all three seasons of The Equalizers, which I liked quite a bit.


[Stephen Smith] "I remember reading an article years ago about how rated G films make a lot more money then R rated films. But yet Hollywood likes to make more R rated films then G ones."

There's an element of truth to that, but I just read yesterday that that the 5 R-rated comedies this summer have made more money than the superhero movies, with one of the big comedies yet to open, and 2 more still rolling out worldwide - still, north of a billion dollars so far!

This exceeded every expectation... I can't imagine that ANYBODY associated with Bridesmaids was anticipating selling $250 million worth of movie tickets...but I think that expectations have changed. With most movies on a 2-ish year production cycle, it might take a bit, but count on a whole lot more of these as soon as H-wood can make it happen.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Jul 30, 2011 at 12:55:56 pm

The link takes me to an article whose first two sentences appear to be written by someone without a basic grasp of writing. The point if the article is lost on me. And is success of a director measured in box office? If I were a movie director who did work for hire rather than being the originator of the material I might measure success by my own salary and job satisfaction. If I got paid $150,000 to direct a movie starring Will Smith I would call that success. Getting repeat work would help. Just because these folks are not household names does not mean they are nobodies. Most people in film don't get on the cover of magazines. They probably don't seek fame. They are artists who get paid to make movies. Most films are not tentpole movies. And family friendly movies are in short supply so I think most do pretty well. Supply and demand us a good thing to take advantage of.
Mik Cohen


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Alex Hawkins
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Aug 2, 2011 at 1:08:02 pm

How about Chris Columbus. Would he be considered 'unknown'?

He's certainly commercially successful.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/people/chart/?view=Director&id=chriscolumbus.h...

Pretty good average for a directing career spanning nearly 25 years. And not only that, before he got into directing he also wrote Gremlins, The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Aug 2, 2011 at 2:43:28 pm

I recall when I saw the Home Alone TV commercials or maybe Home Alone 2 they said it was a Chris Columbus film. So they did brand it as his film for marketing. I have to say, Home Alone was a brilliant film.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Scott Roberts
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Aug 2, 2011 at 2:51:48 pm

I agree Home Alone was great. He definitely deserved credit at that point, as a writer of The Goonies, I assume he also invented the Truffle Shuffle. The inventor of that deserves praise.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Commercially Successful Unknown Directors
on Aug 2, 2011 at 2:58:04 pm

Scott, I totally agree. I used to live on Oregon and have been to the Goonies house a few times and I even have footage of me doing the Truffle Shuffle in front of the house. Great idea for a film.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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