If A Movie Bombs At The Box Office, Is It The Director’s Fault? by Daniel Stamm

Watch the video on Youtube here

Film Courage: Well, it’s 2016 (at the taping of this interview), August 2016. A summer day in Los Angeles…[laughs]…I don’t know why I feel the need to say this…but we met with you the first time in 2012. That was 4 years ago. So since that time, a lot has happened in your life. You’ve been part of many projects, different things. Have you become more idealistic about filmmaking, less so, more realistic about what is needed to work in Hollywood?

Daniel Stamm: That is a great question. Have you talked to people who get more idealistic as their career goes on? I want to talk to those people.

Film Courage: [Laughs].

 

“You’re going from the world wide theatrical movie to the VOD movie in America, which means nowhere else is it going to go theatrical. So suddenly you have a movie that is basically disappearing which has nothing to do with its quality. This success did not necessarily have anything to do with its quality. But you know you are being held accountable.”

 

Watch the video on Youtube here

Daniel Stamm: It’s an interesting question because after we last met I think I was just in preparation for a movie. I think I was about to shoot 13 SINS, my last feature film. I haven’t made a feature film since then. And it’s interesting if I’ve gotten more idealistic or less so. I think it’s a mixture of both because I am very proud of 13 SINS but it never went anywhere. It made nine thousand dollars at the box office. It came after THE LAST EXORCISM which was, you can discuss whether it was a better film or a worse film or whatever, but box office wise it was a 70 million dollar success going to a nine thousand dollar complete failure at the box office, right? Which I would claim I have nothing to do with either. Not with that success or with that failure because of marketing and how much money is being pumped into stuff. THE LAST EXORCISM has a marketing budget of 24 million dollars. So it’s easier to get people to see it and make that kind of money. 13 SINS didn’t have a single dollar of marketing budget and that depended on (without pointing any fingers) who buys your movie. And in that case the company that bought the movie just before 13 SINS was going to be released had a huge flop with a movie that they had big hopes for and had just done a big marketing campaign for. They didn’t have the capacity to get 13 SINS released theatrically.

Watch the video on Youtube here

So suddenly you are a VOD movie, which is not a problem but it is a difference of if you see the chart of your career, the way it’s perceived. You’re going from the world wide theatrical movie to the VOD movie in America, which means nowhere else is it going to go theatrical. So suddenly you have a movie that is basically disappearing which has nothing to do with its quality. This success did not necessarily have anything to do with its quality. But you know you are being held accountable. So I then kind of had to see where to get the next paycheck from because suddenly I am not this filmmaker anymore because Hollywood is…you are worth as much as your last project made at the box office basically. So I was worth this much after THE LAST EXORCISM [gestures up high with his hand] and I was worth this much with 13 SINS [gestures down low with his hands]. It’s a real problem to get yourself out of. So the answer is TV. And I was always like “I don’t want to do TV. I don’t want to do TV.” But I had to get my rent check from somewhere and I think the landscape really changed. Maybe I’m just telling myself that because I’m doing TV but I think a lot has happened since we last spoke in terms of with TRUE DETECTIVE, with GAME OF THRONES, that some of the best storytelling today is being done in TV. So it’s not actually as bleak a world has I would have thought back then…

 

QUESTION: How much blame should be on a director if their movie bombs at the box office?

 

 

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