Ender's Game: First look at the Battle Room

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Old 05 May 2013   #31
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: So while it may seem odd, or maybe a bit off-putting to see so many Producers on a film, they are kinda important.


lol yeah that really worked well on Transformers-the stellar example of coherent filmmaking.

Steven Soderbergh talked about that in a speech that was posted here (couldnt find the link).
He said he had to deal with producers in the studio chain who have no power to make decisions. And that's for slice of life kinds of films.
Can only imagine the waste and personnel bloat in a big spfx movie these days.

I saw an X files filming one time on location and there must have been 100 crew people if not more.
I found a video for a location shoot for Golden Voyage of Sinbad in Malta and there was probably 20 crew people at most shooting a similar dialogue scene--and the tourists were laying in the sand among the crew as they did it.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #32
Originally Posted by kelgy: lol yeah that really worked well on Transformers-the stellar example of coherent filmmaking.

Steven Soderbergh talked about that in a speech that was posted here (couldnt find the link).
He said he had to deal with producers in the studio chain who have no power to make decisions. And that's for slice of life kinds of films.
Can only imagine the waste and personnel bloat in a big spfx movie these days.

I saw an X files filming one time on location and there must have been 100 crew people if not more.
I found a video for a location shoot for Golden Voyage of Sinbad in Malta and there was probably 20 crew people at most shooting a similar dialogue scene--and the tourists were laying in the sand among the crew as they did it.


Well, like I said, the existence of Producers vary to the extent you configure cards in a playing game deck. The original worry on Transformers was "It would never get done with just the two of 'em".

To memory I only knew, at most, of around 5 of those 14 producers (including the two who were doing legwork when nobody wanted to make it), six counting Brian Goldner of HASBRO (who had a LOT to say). Which means maybe the others are just "hangers on".... Or "bankers".

That's the important point, at least in that example, was that back in 2003, nobody wanted to do it except two people, and they didn't have the phone contacts necessarily to "sweep all the obstacles away". When people help you get there - they become Producers.

Look back in hindsight and yeah, it looks like a lot of freeloaders. But back then it really sounded like it would never happen.

The final result though.. of course that's a different matter. When people ask me today about Transformers I only say: "At least it's a well-assembled product."

P.S.: I did also get the inkling that one or more of the 14 producers on Transformers seemed to have a record for Absenteeism... I have no comment about such type of Producers.. but they exist. I don't know if those are worse than the meddling ones.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 05 May 2013 at 04:42 AM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #33
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: To memory I only knew, at most, of around 5 of those 14 producers (including the two who were doing legwork when nobody wanted to make it), six counting Brian Goldner of HASBRO (who had a LOT to say). Which means maybe the others are just "hangers on".... Or "bankers".


**in that case based on a corporate toy, it makes more sense to have such bureaucracy--in movies in general, its most certainly a detriment compared to 25-30 years ago.
Although even in the case of those Marvel comics--developed toy lines, they most certainly had less of a bureaucracy back in the early 80s.
Sounds like even Cannon didnt have as much hurdles with Mattel to make a more coherent toy film (although on a fraction of the budget) in those days.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #34
Originally Posted by kelgy: **in that case based on a corporate toy, it makes more sense to have such bureaucracy--in movies in general, its most certainly a detriment compared to 25-30 years ago.
Although even in the case of those Marvel comics--developed toy lines, they most certainly had less of a bureaucracy back in the early 80s.
Sounds like even Cannon didnt have as much hurdles with Mattel to make a more coherent toy film (although on a fraction of the budget) in those days.


Without going into much detail, two of the initial producers were the ones who were really "in love" with the concept and had been dying to make a film of Transformers since they were little. There had been some success already with other comic book properties but this is the one they really wanted.

Hasbro was a bit indifferent (I think). Of course, they were advocates of Transformers, but the way the property was running in second gear (I think Armada was still in circulation around that time or something) it seemed like it would stay that course for a while.

Today, you can't imagine a time when anybody would say "No" to Transformers. And after that the door blew wide open for GI JOE (a number of producers on both films are identical and Paramount went straight to that).

Actually GI JOE and Transformers are very closely knit in the film boardroom level, but I digress.

Basically there was a time nobody would do it. Because nobody understood how the hero of a film could be a 40 foot robot that "pretends to be a truck". The film had NO advocates in 2003 save for the two guys at the beginning. They couldn't go to ILM. They obviously didn't have the money to make the film themselves.

They were just a pair of guys who really wanted to make it happen.

And you have as many kinds of Producers as you do Middlemen, Car Salesmen, and Artists.... But I find the FIRST ones tend to be Advocates and usually close to them the Trusted Executives. And without those, none of the big films ever happen.

Some of them are the "real deal". They really do their work. They can't do any of the visual effects or anything. They get paid quite a lot. True. But they do the work anyway. What I observed is that the best of them have an "entrepreneural spirit". It's almost like, especially at the start, people pin their hopes on the courage of these big talkers who really believe the film they're making will work.

I know sometimes that's the writer or the director. But in Transformers' case the belief was in two Producers. But the dominoes only really fell when around 2 or 3 others (you can guess who) came around to it.

However, there are Producers also who, like I mentioned, just show up for the first day photo op and then never come back. It's possible their only contribution was to bring in a bank to the table through a contact. You get all kinds.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 05 May 2013 at 07:11 AM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #35
Originally Posted by Michael32766: Sorry. I have no idea where the spoiler thingy button is.
I have a feeling they haven't followed the book very closely anyway.


You're sorry, but your post remains unedited.

Am I missing something?
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Old 05 May 2013   #36
Originally Posted by Laa-Yosh: It's a very old book, the target demographic wasn't even born when it was released and talked about. Today's teenage to 20some movie goers probably haven't even heard about it, although of course anyone can open wikipedia to read it all...


It's pretty common required reading in U.S. schools. Not on the level of Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird, but it's still very much in the cultural consciousness.

Originally Posted by Michael32766: Sorry. I have no idea where the spoiler thingy button is.
I have a feeling they haven't followed the book very closely anyway.


Ender is presented as humanity's last, best hope, just like he is believed to be in the novel. And while I don't know exactly how close the film will follow the book, it doesn't look like a Star Ship Troopers or IRobot style "take the name and tell an entirely different story".
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Last edited by Meloncov : 05 May 2013 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #37
Exclamation

Originally Posted by Geta-Ve: You're sorry, but your post remains unedited.

Am I missing something?


Yes I said I don't know where the "cover this up with a spoiler button" thingy is.
But I went back and just removed the orginal post.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #38
I understand that multiple producers is nothing new, and 5 to 10 producers on any given film is not uncommon, 15 is still a hell of a lot. Typically the "Executive Prodcers" are studio people who sign off on things, manage the budgets, contracts and what-not, while a "Line Producer" works actively with the director and other creatives (often on-set) to help implement their vision(s).

I'm not bagging on the role or job of the producer - they are useful and necessary, for the most part. The problems arise when every one of them aspires to be the head-chef, or they think that they are entitled to some level of creative input due to some service or money or cast-member they have supplied or acquired.

But I think you could make a pretty matched-up graph of films that were organizationally or creatively smooth and had fewer producers, while films that were a mess had many more producers.
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Old 05 May 2013   #39
Originally Posted by Artbot: I understand that multiple producers is nothing new, and 5 to 10 producers on any given film is not uncommon, 15 is still a hell of a lot. Typically the "Executive Prodcers" are studio people who sign off on things, manage the budgets, contracts and what-not, while a "Line Producer" works actively with the director and other creatives (often on-set) to help implement their vision(s).

I'm not bagging on the role or job of the producer - they are useful and necessary, for the most part. The problems arise when every one of them aspires to be the head-chef, or they think that they are entitled to some level of creative input due to some service or money or cast-member they have supplied or acquired.

But I think you could make a pretty matched-up graph of films that were organizationally or creatively smooth and had fewer producers, while films that were a mess had many more producers.


I think I'd qualify that further by adding: "The worst ones tend to have the same Producers regardless of number" OR "You find the films you don't like regardless of genre were produced by the same set of people".

I think you need only as many producers as needed to get the film done. Some films do need 15. Not sure if that's the case with Ender's Game. But that's what I learned observing Transformers. They needed every man they had on that team including that artist who came up with the Optimus Prime head design (which was a blank white box in Storyboards) but that's another story.
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Old 05 May 2013   #40
Originally Posted by Laa-Yosh: Maybe we'll see Forever War someday, too?


Ridley Scott is already pushing ahead with The Forever War, and he'll do Wool next. (Funny how I just finished reading The Forever War, and am in the middle of Wool, without knowing Ridley was already attached to both, until a few days ago).
 
Old 05 May 2013   #41
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: Without going into much detail, two of the initial producers were the ones who were really "in love" with the concept and had been dying to make a film of Transformers since they were little.


Last thing we need is yet another discussion that brings up Transformers so I will drop it after this--the way I heard it (and the way wikipedia presents it) the original producer wanted to make a Gi Joe movie but decided it wasnt a good time, and Hasbro suggested Transformers. Another producer was brought in who said he was a fan but they were in their teens when the show and cartoons first appeared. Doesnt sound like either of them were aggressively seeking to make it.

It looks more like a film where no one was really that interested in it in a strong leadership or visionary fashion, and may well have been inspired by the success of brand name familiarity like Pirates of the Caribbean (which was a big hit in 2003 when the Gi Joe project is said to have been proposed).
We now return to your regularly scheduled book to film discussion.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #42
Originally Posted by kelgy: Last thing we need is yet another discussion that brings up Transformers so I will drop it after this--the way I heard it (and the way wikipedia presents it) the original producer wanted to make a Gi Joe movie but decided it wasnt a good time, and Hasbro suggested Transformers. Another producer was brought in who said he was a fan but they were in their teens when the show and cartoons first appeared. Doesnt sound like either of them were aggressively seeking to make it.

It looks more like a film where no one was really that interested in it in a strong leadership or visionary fashion, and may well have been inspired by the success of brand name familiarity like Pirates of the Caribbean (which was a big hit in 2003 when the Gi Joe project is said to have been proposed).
We now return to your regularly scheduled book to film discussion.


Like I said the two Hasbro things were related... memory kinda fuzzy.

Yeah.... dropping it now.
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Old 05 May 2013   #43
Originally Posted by Michael32766: Yes I said I don't know where the "cover this up with a spoiler button" thingy is.
But I went back and just removed the orginal post.


Not to harp, but you could have done multiple things like including a sentence that says "spoiler warning", or simply googled the bbcode for spoiler tags. :P

Anyhoo, I don't know the code either, so there you go. :P
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Old 05 May 2013   #44
Originally Posted by Geta-Ve: Not to harp, but you could have done multiple things like including a sentence that says "spoiler warning", or simply googled the bbcode for spoiler tags. :P

Anyhoo, I don't know the code either, so there you go. :P

For future reference:

[ spoiler ]insert your spoiler text here[ /spoiler ]

You'll need to remove the spaces between the square brackets [] to make the spoiler tags work.

[ SPOILER - Click to reveal ]
Spoiler:
example of spoiler tag in action
 
Old 05 May 2013   #45
Ah, that's kinda what I figured. ^_^

Thanks!
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