Let’s get one thing clear. Nobody sets out to make a bad movie. Not knowingly at least. Here are some things that could go wrong in the filmmaking process:
1) VANITY PROJECT
The filmmaker wanted to showcase their talents; or lack thereof. They have a crew, resources, investment, locations etc. but nothing that is story worthy. Having an iPhone doesn’t necessarily qualify you as a film maker. Don’t make a film because you can. Make one because you have something to express that resonates with audiences.
2) POOR SCRIPT
It’s easy to blame the screenwriter, but a poor movie script doesn’t always produce a bad film. Similarly, bad direction, bad acting and bad production value can add to the problems. Sometimes there are too many writers, too much input from well meaning people, or the writer simply doesn’t have a strong or clear enough vision. Poor production value won’t necessarily create a bad film, if the story is strong.
This often occurs when additional writers are hired for rewrites and each has a different artistic vision of the story. They either try and add their voice or add tot many external voices based on notes and dissipate story clarity.
3) HOT ELEMENTS SIGN ON
Okay. Some insanely popular star has signed on to a project with a legion of fans, investor appeal and a string of successful credits has shown interest in your project. They may be great for promotion, but not right for the project.
4) KEY ELEMENTS WITHDRAW
This usually refers to a director or producer with a specific vision. When one, or both, leave, the dynamics of the film change. The withdrawal of a key investor or a vital location integral to the story will also affect the outcome of a film.
5) TOO MANY ARTISTIC POINTS OF VIEW
This is usually a conflict of creative visions, often between the director, producer and principle actors. They are simply not working on the same movie. Sometimes, the financier or executive producer might inject themselves into the creative mix and dilute the original vision. A singular artistic vision is just as much about what a film is as what it is not.
The most common scenario is a substantial funding drop due an investor pulling out at the last minute. Or worse still, after physical production has started. Occasionally, a financier decides to make a small indie film become a blockbuster and bloats the budget so much that it doesn’t match its market performance.
7) AVAILABILITY WINDOWS
One of the main actors, directors, DPs or other above the line talents has only has a small window to work on your project. This may upset the production schedule and leave little or no room for reshoots and pickups.
8) PRODUCTION AND RELEASE SCHEDULES ARE LOCKED IN BEFORE THE SCREENPLAY IS READY (AND THERE’S NO WAY OUT)
This shouldn’t be a problem if everything goes to plan. However, problems arise when there is no or insufficient margin of error for unanticipated delays and a completed project MUST be delivered by a certain date.
Physical production schedules may me difficult to change especially for studios and equipment rental. Executives may change their minds on the final product and demand reshoots, edits etc. in impossibly short time frames.
Another scenario is that film production has either gone over schedule or over budget and changes are made on the fly.
Film distribution schedules are also locked in months and even years in advance, so your film must be delivered by a due date regardless of how you feel about the project.
For in depth Film & TV script analysis visit Script Firm.