A noted filmmaker who read this morning’s link to Patrick Goldstein‘s story that named Paramount’s Brad Weston as the guy who passed on Twilight two years ago when it was being developed by MTV Films has a word of caution. Or lament, rather. Here’s how he put it:
“When Goldstein ran that story, it increased the level of paranoia in the studios and now people aren’t as likely to put projects into turnaround, which is what saves or releases some projects and results in their being made into films at other studios,” he said.
“Without turnaround we’re all going to miss out on a lot of great movies because stalled projects are now more likely to just sit there and collect dust. It’s going to increase this chilling effect.”
“Let’s say I have a property that’s owned by a studio and it’s not working out,” he said. “In this situation a studio exec saying to me ‘fine, I’ll put it into turnaround and let you have it, take it across the street to Warner Bros. and God speed’ is usually an act of benevolence. It saves a project from death.
“Now with this Weston thing, a lot more studio execs and going to say ‘sure, I let you take it elsewhere and then two years from now I’ll read about how I’m the asshole who let a big hit go to some other studio? Fuck it, I’m going to hang onto it. I’d rather have the project die here than have it go elsewhere than have an article turn up down the road that’ll make me look stupid.’
“Fear of failure has always been a greater force in this town than dreams of success,” he coincluded. “This is a town based on fear, and now that fear, that paranoia, has just been increased.”