Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #596: Sweet Baby Jesus... Not So Sweet

Welcome to the show folks...

Deary me. Peter Hewitt, the director hired to helm the film
Sweet Baby Jesus, has left the project because he hasn't been paid by producer Philippe Rebboah,who has been "trying" to get the project off the ground for 6 years.

I put the word "trying" in quotes because something about the whole thing doesn't pass my smell test. I wrote about it before, but I'll repeat myself if you're too lazy to click the link.

1. BAD PREMISE: The whole movie can be summed up very simply-- "A poor American white trash re-enactment of the Nativity story from the Bible." It's essentially a sketch from a cable TV show where the writers have two empty minutes, no original ideas, and think they need to be "edgy."

2. IT'S A GUARANTEED BOMB: It's an indie film, that means that the budget and fees are supposed to be covered from pre-sales, and any hope for a profit must come from a successful release in the USA. However, the USA is 75% Christian, and the majority of non-Christian Americans aren't keen on insulting the Christian Americans, because they think it's rude. Even the hard-core Bill Maher types aren't going to go, because they will know the movie is going to be eight kinds of stink.

3. ULTERIOR MOTIVES: When I first heard of this movie, it was supposed to be a starring vehicle for Britney Spears as the film's hillbilly Mary. Now it's British pop tart Pixie Lott is in the lead role. These are not performers known for their comedic talents, or artistic integrity.

However it is exactly the sort of project they could be talked into doing because it sounds "edgy" and "rebellious." Either they can't see, or refuse to see that the whole deal is neither edgy or rebellious, just condescending or snobbish.

So here's my theory.

Whether or not the film gets made or not, the folks producing it will get do what they can to get their fees and expenses covered via pre-sales, tax credits, etc., and can blame either the failure of the production to get off the ground, or at the box office on the ignorance of investors, and/or the audience, get some pats on the back for "speaking truth to power" and move onto another more lucrative gig.

As for investors, it's not ignorance making them back away, it's that while they understand that indie film investing is inherently a gamble, they at least need a slim chance of getting a return on their investment to make it worth their while.

The really sad part of this story is that projects like these, and the resources wasted on them, are taking away from the kind of independent films that are really edgy, original, and might actually be seen by an actual audience.

I expect a lot more talk about the movie, but no actual movie in the foreseeable future.


  1. Great article about why this movie will bomb. In fact, great blog. Wish I came across this sooner.

  2. Sounds like another indie film fag who wants to make a film that will offend Christians because he is bored. That boredom will come off in the film.