backpack on Apr 27th 2014 at 7:00:12 AM
Last Edited By:
Lawman592 on Feb 22nd 2018 at 9:33:52 PM
Page Type: Trope
This can be done indirectly by, for example, an actor or director doing project for money and then turning around to put the money into an indie film he or she wanted to do. In this instance, however, the creators still have to deal with all the problems faced by indie film directors. The paycheck is rarely that huge, they have to find a distributor, and they have to hold casting calls.
The funding can also be done directly when, as part of a multi-film contract, a creator agrees to do a commercial project for a studio while the studio, in exchange, agrees to fund the creator's artistic project. This version ends up being far more convenient for the actor/director. First, the studio is frequently willing to fork over more money for this, as they stand to take a share of the box office cut, so even if the artistic film takes a minor loss they're not out that much. Second, with the power of a major studio behind them, the actor/director now has A-list stars on speed dial, and doesn't have to worry about finding a distributor.
Compare Paying Their Dues for when an artist needs to take smaller gigs before they hit the big time. Contrast with Only in It for the Money, in which the work made for making money clearly is not for personal projects. See also Auteur License.
Can lead to Magnum Opus Dissonance if the project done only for the money is the one that takes flight while the project done for the art never gets off the ground.
- After alienating much of the comic-book industry with his embrace of Objectivism (and losing the rights to many of his most famous creations to DC when they acquired Charleston Comics), Steve Ditko spent the 80s taking low-prestige jobs like drawing for coloring books in order to fund his own Objectivist-themed comics.
Film - Animated
- Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman used the money they had made off the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise to finance The Chipmunk Adventure (because possible distributors wouldn't meet their proposed budget) - which they later admitted was a big mistake, citing that producers funding their own movies is the Hollywood equivalent of a lawyer representing himself, quoting Abraham Lincoln, "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."
- Richard Williams agreed to do Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure to get funding for his passion project The Thief and the Cobbler.
Film - Live Action
- Emilio Estevez used his money from the third The Mighty Ducks movie to indirectly fund The War at Home.
- Christopher Nolan agreed to do The Dark Knight Rises if the studio would fund Inception.
- Michael Bay originally intended to make Pain and Gain before Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The studio agreed to foot the bill for P&G if he would wait and do T3 first.
- Chirstopher Reeve did Superman IV so the studio would produce Street Smart.
- The Wachowskis made Bound to prove they had the chops to handle The Matrix.
- Orson Welles spent much of his career doing this with money from projects like the animated Transformers movie and TV commercials for Paul Masson wine used to fund directorial ventures. Even his memorable role as Harry Lime in the classic film noir The Third Man came about so he could get the money for his production of The Tragedy of Othello. Welles used this strategy to good and bad effects on all the films he made abroad. In his interviews with Peter Bogdanovich, he justified this on the grounds of it being a Sadistic Choice between being a director-for-hire on stories he didn't care about and acting for others in roles beneath his talent, he chose the latter as he felt he couldn't devote interest and attention on a subject he'd rather not direct, becoming in the process one of the first independent film-makers.
- This practice was commonplace during the New Hollywood era of the 1970s with numerous directors agreeing to do studio pictures in order to get the funding for the more personal pictures that they wanted to make. However, the studio pictures, which were usually made under some level of overseeing by the studio (however minor), would often go on to be widely acclaimed as great films, whereas the director's more artistic pictures would bomb disastrously since they were often made without the studio interfering to keep the the director's ego (and the movie's budget) in check.
- Lampshaded in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back:
Ben Affleck: What've I been telling you? You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture. But then sometimes you gotta do the payback picture because your friend says you owe him.
- Famously inverted by David Bowie. After getting a raw deal on his contract, he spent the next several years producing experimental and highly acclaimed but not-very-commercial material. When his contract expired, he produced some more mainstream (but again, highly acclaimed) work for the money.
- Allegedly, the reason that Aliens: Colonial Marines ended up being such a terrible game was because Gearbox used the money that they were paid to make the game in order to fund their own properties, including Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Duke Nukem Forever, and only started working on Colonial Marines in earnest after becoming in danger of violating their contract.
- The Chicken from Outer Space was supposed to be John R. Dilworth's next independent project, until he heard about Hanna-Barbera's What A Cartoon! Show initiative, and submitted it to them to receive funding. The Chicken From Outer Space would serve as a pilot short for Courage the Cowardly Dog.
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