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Old August 12th, 2003, 11:27 PM   #1
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Lost in La Mancha: What would you have done?

Just saw the "behind the scenes" DVD of Terry Gilliam's disastrous production. What would you have done in that situation?
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Old August 12th, 2003, 11:35 PM   #2
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I would have instructed my documentary crew to get all the footage they could, and demanded percentage participation...

The production was doomed from a variety of angles. The only decision Gilliam made as depicted in the documentary that I felt to be dereliction of directorial duty was not attending the final meeting with the crew at which it was announced that the production would be shut down.

BTW, Stefan Avalos of The Last Broadcast fame (the first movie to be shot and distributed digitally via satellite, back in October 1998) did some excellent Gilliamesque 2D animation (in the Monty Python tradition) for Lost in La Mancha.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 05:17 AM   #3
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I agree with Robert. I don't see anything that Gilliam could've done differently except for holding out to get the film done with the right budget in the first place.

I'm not so sure that he did anything wrong by not appearing at the crew meeting depicted in the film. He may have had other obligations (no telling what kind of hoops he was jumping through at that point trying to salvage things)...and who knows if there were subsequent meetings where he was present.

Anyway...that's media. You show a member of the crew who's testy anyway from the situation saying something about the director not being there, then cut to the director standing around talking. Better for dramatic effect.

As for the assistant director...I'd like to work with him someday...or someone like him. Someone who can look at a situation, assess it quickly, and lay it on the line without holding any punches is a valuable asset.

I only hope Gilliam can buy his script back from the insurance company someday. I don't look forward to seeing "Mutual of Omaha presents The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" as a network holiday special.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 11:29 AM   #4
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My 2 cents

I think Terry should have been there as a moral issue. I've had several (SEVERAL!) failed productions in my life and I think it makes the folks who worked with you feel better if you are there to give them the bad news. Also, if someone is going to freak our (which does happen) I'd rather they do it on me, not my assistant. If I'm in charge, then it's on my shoulders if it all goes wrong. Granted, he may not have been able to be there for a legit reason, but still. His stock lost a few points with that move...

As for what he could have done? I think his best shot would have been to recast the lead. They were not that far into production. But I still think the budget would have gotten them.

As much as I dislike the over use of CGI, for some things, it makes sense. You just can't build these huge sets and special effects for films that, great as they may be, aren't going to sell that well. Sadly, money is the name of the game. CGI might help to keep the costs down to a dull roar.

Not that CGI is all that cheap;-0
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Old August 27th, 2003, 09:48 PM   #5
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Re: My 2 cents

<<<-- I think his best shot would have been to recast the lead. -->>>

Johnny Depp?
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Old August 28th, 2003, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: Re: My 2 cents

<<<-- Originally posted by Andres Lucero : <<<-- I think his best shot would have been to recast the lead. -->>>

Johnny Depp? -->>>

Dylan Couper?
err...
I mean Danny Trejo?
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Old August 28th, 2003, 12:59 AM   #7
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<<<-- I think his best shot would have been to recast the lead. -->>>

Jean Rochefort was the lead actor set to play Don Quixote. Unfortunately, he was very sick. Makes you wonder though, if they had re-cast the lead, what might have happened.

By the way, here's an overview of the movie.
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