The enemy is a prop that doesn't work. A guest star who can't say the word "soup". Another who can't say the word "phenomenon". Writing the stage direction "Beach in Paradise", and finding yourself on a wet winter day in Rhyl. The enemy is reality, and reality is, unfortunately, everywhere.Sometimes, no matter the quality of the work itself, it just takes the creators so much effort and heartbreak to make it that at the end of it all, they can be forgiven for wondering to themselves "Was It Really Worth It?" These sort of productions tend to range from complete disasters to the slightly more benign ones, but what they always have in common is frayed tempers, patience, screw-ups, delays and breakdowns. Reality Subtext may happen too. Both Protection from Editors and Executive Meddling can exacerbate this phenomenon. Epic Movies are particularly vulnerable to this. This trope always applies to small or start-up studios, due to how little experience the show runners or head businessmen have in running a new one. Troubled Productions frequently will end up with a final product that:
—Grant Naylor, Red Dwarf: The Least Worst Scripts
- is bloated, disorganized and confusing picture that makes little sense.
- is ambitious but falls short of its intended goal in a spectacular way.
- uses the gladiatorial on-set mood to create performances that are impossible to achieve otherwise.
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