Hi-yo Silver AWAY!
Yep, the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer production of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto, and a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda as the titular ranger, and directed by Gore Verbinski has finally been given a start date.
This is news because the Western franchise revival was shut down by Disney because the first budget proposed by Bruckheimer was approximately around $275 million, roughly enough to buy Portugal. After much haggling, begging, pleading, and some actual cutting they were finally able to get the film's budget down to about $215 million, or what it would cost to buy Greece.
Bruckheimer detailed some of the cuts here. (h/t to Blastr)
"We redid the production plan. We originally laid it out to avoid winter. Every single location we had, there was winter—30s at night, 50s during the day, best case scenario. We were jumping around. California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah. If we had a big crowd scene and then the next day we were shooting just Tonto and the Lone Ranger, we still had the crew "on" because you have them weekly. So we bunched the sequences that were big together, and for the smaller scenes [we] laid off the extras, the effects people, the makeup people. It costs an enormous amount with 150 extras on the set. It's not the extras, it's the people that support the extras. You're still carrying all the wardrobe, makeup and hair people. We bunched together scenes with Tonto and the Lone Ranger, so we had a much smaller crew. We saved about $10 million just by doing that."
So basically Bruckheimer is saying that he was able to cut the budget by doing his job.
You see a lot of Directors would love to have all the time and all the money in the Universe to make their film. Some thrive on tight schedules and budgets because of the challenge they pose, but most would love to be able to do whatever they want, as big as they want, and take as much time as they want.
The problem with that desire is that we live in the real world. A world governed by immutable natural laws that include money.
That's why Xenu created Producers. Part of the Producer's job description is to be the bad guy, the guy who pinches pennies and challenges the Director to get it done on time and on budget. It's the job of the Director to make the film watchable, but it's the Producer's job to ensure that the film has a shot at being profitable so that they can make another film someday.
Now that doesn't mean that Producers have to be crazy miserly. Like I said before, it's all about balance. A good Producer has to be able to find ways to get the director's vision on the screen without wasting money. A Producer that's too Scrooge-like ends up with movies that are not only cheap, but look cheap too, on the flipside a Producer that is too indulgent may make films that look wonderful, but need to earn the equivalent of the national debt of a mid-size European country at the box office in order to just break even.
I'm still not sure that balance has been achieved yet on this project. I mean how the hell can you spend $215 million on a freaking Western?
|Studio Publicity Photo of the Actor Playing The Lone Ranger.|