Monday, March 1, 2010

Boot-strapper Breck Eisner Finds a Way

In today's economic climate, independent artists have generally gone the way of the dodo and, due to the modest and measured release slate, even companymen have dwindled in number.

Despite all this, the virile Breck Eisner has found a way to flourish. He's got a movie out right now and potential tentpole Flash Gordon in the works at Sony, on the slate for 2012.

On his experience as the director of the universally-loathed (except by this someday serial killer) Sahara:
I wanted to ask you about Sahara. Looking back now, the dust having settled, what have you learned about the perils of launching a franchise, and working from pre-existing material?
For me the biggest lesson in the perils of making any movie, whether it’s a franchise or costs a dollar or a $100 million — you got to have a solid script going into production. It’s crucial. That’s your blueprint. You can make a bad script an OK movie if you work really hard, but it’s really easy to make a great script an OK movie. Which is not the goal any of us want. But what happened in Sahara is that we had an author who by contract had absolute script approval, and who wouldn’t approve any script. And they had a date they had to shoot by before they lost the rights. And those two do not mix well. And so on production we were having to make it up as we went. We didn’t have a clear path. We were only allowed to make script changes once we started photography, and at that point it’s just too late. So the perils of that is that you have to be sure you have a good script no matter what it is you’re making. That was the biggest lesson I learned from Sahara. And it’s a lesson they seem to forget over and over again in these big movies. They figure out a release date, they figure out the rights, and sometimes a script doesn’t come together but the commitments have already been made. And that’s a dangerous situation.
(courtesy movieline)
He is the son of Michael Eisner, former head of Disney/ABC for 21 years, who is worth over $800 million, and he didn't know he needed a good script when you start shooting a movie? He had to learn that lesson while on the payroll of an enormous corporation, as captain of a coulda-been blockbuster?

Huh. I wonder what the future has in store for the ruggedly handsome young Eisner, one of the finest artistic minds in the vanguard of his generation...

Only the fates know for sure, but I'll bet whatever it is, it's of a rosy hue.


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