You can go to IMDb.com and look up the budgets on any movies you're interested in. It's usually in the tens of millions. For example Hotel Rawanda was low budget at 17 million, while The Return of the King was high budget at 94 million.
Hollywood seems very elitist to me because they spend bigillions of dollars on stunts and stuff that can be done for a fraction of the price. It's called guerilla filmmaking and it works really well.
Ever heard of the US Army's $700 silver hammer? That's what Hollywood is like.
Computer effects and stuff nonwithstanding (although those are overpriced too), there is just too much money spent on stuff that really could cost much less.
For example, The Matrix. Each movie had something like $100 million dollars in spending cash. They were excellent movies and I thoroughly enjoyed them, however, where the hell did all that money go? For example, The Matrix: Revolutions was 129 minutes long. Th estimated budget for that film alone was $110 million.
So let's do some math. At an estimated budget of $110 million:
The Matrix: Revolutions cost $852,713.18 per minute. To put this in more relative terms, you could place the down payment on 4 MacDonald's restaurant franchises with that much money. You could also buy about 8 and one half new 2006 Porsche 911 Coupes.
Per second, The Matrix: Revolutions came in at a staggering $14,211.88. With this kind of money, you could buy a new 2006 Scion xA sedan and still have a bit left over for customization.
Now don't get me wrong, I love money. I think that big budget films are usually pretty good. But where does the line get drawn?
Why is Hollywood elitist for spending lots of money on pictures? I don't see the connection.
On the contrary, Hollywood is populist - the money is almost always used in service of simple, cliche stories that are comprehensible to anyone.
'Guerrilla' can only be defined in opposition to a prevailing, consistent norm - why should Hollywood adopt guerrilla filmmaking when they themselves *are* the norm, the hegemonic top-down creator and arbiter of mainstream film grammar?
Your point doesn't make any sense.
I do agree that Hollywood movies can frequently suck in spite of large-scale spending.
At the same time, breaking the cost of a project down by second is fruitless and misleading. If a 90 minute film requires one very expensive set that is only on screen for a few minutes, or a few brief and costly effects shots, this can dramatically increase the per second cost. Also, there are certain minimum costs associated with constructing sets and hiring union crew - $14,000 per second is not really that much when you consider how many paid workers had to be present on location and in the posthouse at *all* times for *much* longer than the actual duration of the film.
I heard somewhere that you can expect to spend 10 hours working (writing, shooting, editing) for every completed minute of a moderate-level amateur short film.
I know the number for most of my projects is significantly higher than that, especially since a lot of time is spent parallel to other activities - maybe 20 hours per finished minute.
On a Hollywood movie the ratio is probably more like 100 hours per minute, except that those 100 hours are used in parallel by dozens of people together. If all the man-hours were added up it would probably be at least 1500 hours per minute of screen time.
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