Troubled Production: Fictional Examples
Fictional examples of troubled productions.
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Anime & Manga
- Parodied in Haruhi Suzumiya when the cast tries to make a movie, and everyone's favorite Reality Warper starts causing...problems. Mikuru nearly kills Kyon with her spontaneously developed Eye Beams, a cat gains advanced intellect and the ability to speak, extinct birds appear out of nowhere, and so on. Also, Haruhi is even more of a jerk than usual.
- An episode of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 had Urara's first show, an outdoor stage show, go completely off the rails. The actress playing the main character falls ill during rehearsals, leading Nozomi, who was kicked out of the Drama Club after just two days, to decide to take over. Then, there was trying to get Nozomi to get through the show without klutzing out. Then, during the show, Girinma shows up and summons the Monster of the Week, forcing the girls to figure out a way to transform and fight the thing. And it is a hit! However, when Urara's manager asks her if she could pull that off again, she's left speechless and the other four vocalize what she wants to say: No way!
- (Darkly) parodied in Episode 10 of Paranoia Agent. It's hard to produce an anime series when your production staff just can't seem to get along. It's even harder when the crew starts getting killed off one by one.
- "Coppola's Dracula" by Kim Newman, which is basically Hearts Of Darkness ... In "Anno Dracula" Transylvania!
- Patrick Quentin's Puzzle for players consists entirely of this. At one point, the desperate Broadway producer explicitly writes down a list of "13 reasons why Troubled Waters cannot possibly see the light of day".
- Blown Away, the Discworld version of Gone with the Wind in Moving Pictures. The dwarfs object to being stereotyped as miners, the leading lady objects to the Romantic False Lead being a troll, the troll objects to that objection, and C.M.O.T. Dibbler is trying desperately to recoup his losses by sticking Product Placement wherever he can. At one point someone asks why all Dibbler's moving pictures are set "in a world gone mad", and gets the reply "Because Mr Dibbler is a very observant person."
- Day of the Locust (and its film adaptation) features a troubled production as part of its Horrible Hollywood setting. A Napoleonic costume drama is running behind schedule, and the crew therefore rush into shooting the climactic Battle of Waterloo action sequence on a sound stage that is still actively under construction. The structurally unsound "battlefield" soon collapses under the weight of hundreds of extras and crew members, causing numerous injuries and a lawsuit against the filmmakers.
Live Action TV
- Slings and Arrows has one of these every year. The first two turn out well; the third one ends with the lead actor dying and everyone else involved in the production being fired.
- Part one of the Young Indiana Jones movie The Hollywood Follies revolves around Indy engaging in a battle of wits with Real Life primadonna director Erich von Stroheim over Foolish Wives.
- Pretty much any of Vincent Chase's movies on Entourage (Smokejumpers, Aquaman, Medellin... pretty much all except Gatsby) fall victim to this trope.
- The Community episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" depicts the Dean trying to film a 30-second ad for the college and slowly driving himself and all the other characters to madness. The episode is shot as Abed's documentary, which explicitly described as the Hearts of Darkness to the Dean's Apocalypse Now.
- This Is Spinal Tap depicts a tour as snakebitten as the Victory Tour (see Music for details) would be that year in real life.
- The Producers, when they weren't troubling their own production, were overjoyed with the 'bad luck' that struck it, until the worst disaster: audiences loved "Springtime for Hitler".
- The play being performed in Curtains! is one big screwed-up mess, thanks to a lot of back-stage drama, an entire number being badly-choreographed, the lead actress giving a terrible performance, and a whole lot of murders happening. Fortunately, the detective investigating said murders is a Promoted Fanboy who puts just as much time into improving the quality of the play.
- The crappy student film Marble Hornets was called off due to "unworkable conditions," with the director getting increasingly hysterical and paranoid. Later analysis would reveal that in this case, "unworkable conditions" means "driven to near-insanity by the constant presence of a creepy guy with no face."