Sunday, March 04, 2007

London Times article on Sylvain Chomet’s newest film

Read this nice write up. It holds some interesting perspectives about living life under the radar of the big budget Hollywood animated film formula. Oscar nominated animation director Sylvain Chomet is developing an old unproduced Jacques Tati script (titled The Illusionist) into an animated feature for about $19-20mil USD. That’s not bad money for a Euro production. His latest film, Triplettes of Belleville was made for somewhere around $10-12mil USD. Having seen how much production budget in big Hollywood projects gets literally wasted I think that it’s quite possible for a director driven film to be very successfully made for $20mil. And by “successfully made” I mean “you won’t be tempted to gouge your eyeballs out using your Slurpee straw/scooper”. I think this $20mil mark is actually a kind of ’sweet spot’ for indy animated features. It’s almost right in line with the average production budget for a live action Hollywood film. Being thus far under the insane-o-sphere $100mil budget means the money comes with a lot fewer strings attached- and a good deal less “executive meddling”. Now obviously you’re not gonna wow the world with some new gew-gaw technology, but you do have a better than average chance of being left alone long enough to actually tell a real story. This as opposed to selling Happy Meals and linens. Of course to actually get that $20mil you need to prove that you can deliver the goods for significantly less a time or two, so this is no quick road to glory.

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