Film studio reason While it is true that studios tend to care about whether their films make a profit or not, this is not usually the only mitigating factor behind the decision to make a film. In fact, sometimes other reasons are so strong that they might even outweigh the fact that a film may not make a profit. One very important consideration behind making a film has to do with the studio’s desire to forge and maintain networked relationships with others in the Hollywood community.

The types of people with whom the studios network are quite varied and can include not only merchandisers, financiers, and licensees (the type of people who will indeed care about profit) but also actors and actresses, directors and producers. These latter types of people may sometimes care about profit, but chances are decent that they joined the filmmaking business for far more artistic reasons than mere moneymaking.

This desire to create film as an art form harkens back to the era of World War II, when European filmmakers and artists (like Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, Otto Preminger, and Anatole Litvak) fled to the United States in search of asylum as well as artistic freedom, and this desire to create art continues to influence and override financial deliberations (to some extent, at least) up to this day.

Therefore, in order for a studio to earn a strong reputation among the artists in the Hollywood community and ensure future project collaborations, that studio must consider the aesthetic aspects of a film in addition to its financial potential. Many projects get started in order to develop a long term relationship with a particular filmmaker, actor, or actress, rather than to earn a profit. These types of films, which are called “vanity projects,” help to keep a particular star talent under the umbrella of the studio, rather than risk that another studio or project might lure that star talent away.

We can also see this apparent blind eye to financial considerations in various independent films, which many filmmakers use as stepping stones toward their own personal ambitions or reputations, or which help to build relationships between particular individuals in the film industry (as opposed to the above mentioned relationships between star talent and the studios).

In addition to these concrete reasons for choosing to make a particular film, there are actually a number of other variables that have far more to do with luck than anything else. In fact, despite what one might expect, even the script itself may not be the starting point for a new film.

Rather, the studio may want to take advantage of the fact that a major actress has suddenly become available, and therefore the “powers that be” scramble to put together a project for her before she gets snatched up by someone else. It also matters whether there is money available to produce a new film – if the money is there, then the project may move ahead regardless of the substance or value of the script.

Why film gets made

Of course, this is not to say that the script never matters. There are also cases where the script itself provides the momentum for a film’s production. The speculative script (also called the spec. script) was a popular phenomenon during the 1990s and 2000s.

These scripts were paid for in advance by the studios, often with overblown prices due to strong agent presence and bidding wars. Although the Writers Guild of America strikes in 2007 and 2008 and the subsequent economic recession caused this trend to take a sharp downward spike, there is evidence that studios are beginning to show renewed interest in spec scripts during the 2010s.

Another trend that drives the studio decision to create a particular film has to do with ongoing franchises that attempt to capitalize on previous film success. This is a tendency that has been around since the beginning of Hollywood. After all, who doesn’t want repeat success?

One established form of this is the appearance of sequels or prequels after one film overtakes the box office (such as the Batman or Indiana Jones sequels). Another version of this that, although not entirely new, has been gaining steam in recent years is the serialized film sequence, in which one film ends with a cliffhanger that picks up again in the next film. (The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a perfect example of this, as is the more recent Hunger Games trilogy.

A much older famous example, of course, would be Star Wars, which the studios continue to capitalize upon to this day.) Often these types of films are based on a popular book series and can be a great way to motivate audiences to return for film after film. Of course, a downside to this film model appears when the initial film in a series fails to gain enough popularity to justify making the follow up films. (This occurred with 2007’s The Golden Compass, which was supposed to be the first part of a series based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials.)

Yet another trend making the rounds in Hollywood today is the eye toward 3D-friendly scripts. Not only does the use of 3D allow a new creative perspective for script developers, it also (when it succeeds, at least) can pull in significantly higher revenue due to increased ticket prices.

As you might imagine when considering this seemingly slapdash method of deciding when and how a film should be made, the product that results from a film shoot can end up being quite a mess. This is particularly problematic in those cases where studios have invested huge amounts of money into a film’s production (such as blockbuster action movies and 3D films).

With films like Batman or Avengers, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, and the studio cannot afford for the film to be a flop. Therefore, huge amounts of energy and money tend to be invested into post-production – often even more than is spent on script development – in order to sort out these problems and to change the film into something releasable. There will be new shoots for the film’s sudden new, alternative ending.

There will be as many previews as is necessary to ensure that the film receives a positive audience reaction. “But why waste money like this?” you may ask. “Why doesn’t a studio save itself all this unnecessary post-production spending and simply ensure that a script is workable before filming begins?” The fact is, common sense and the end result is not what the studio executives tend to have in mind when they give the green light on a film.

They get tunnel vision as they rush to acquire rights for whatever is hot at the moment – whether it’s the Marvel comic brand or a bestselling book. They care about having the next big thing to release at the next big holiday with the next big star on the cast list. The rest of the issues get left to be sorted out later. This is certainly a problem with the underlying structure of film production, but it is also a fundamental way of doing business in the film industry that will not be changing any time soon.