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3.02.2015

PRODUCTION TIPS: What NOT To Do... Unless You Really Believe There's No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

As soon as I read this Film Industry Network article headline: 


CANNES FILM FESTIVAL BEING SUED BY A FILM DIRECTOR


and started the first sentence:

A French film director is suing the Cannes Film Festival for not accepting his film.

plus saw the accompanying picture:

I shook my head in disbelief, "This young director just ruined his career before it even started." 

At least this guy got a deal and a movie bought and distributed before he nuked his career. 

The lesson is clear: If you want a career in filmmaking, suing one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world because they did NOT choose your film is one of the worst things you can do. 

Curious to know what legal loophole the director is trying to exploit to make his case, I read the article.
And it turns out the young guy in that pic is NOT the director.
That guy is one of the actors in the film.
And the director's name is Paul Verhoeven.

Now Paul Verhoeven is a veteran director. He directed some movies you might recall remember like, Total Recall, Robocop, Basic Instinct, Showgirls and Starship Troopers. He is no lightweight... so if he's suing, maybe he really has a grievance. That might make a little more sense now... while it might be a foolish move, a veteran director suing Cannes wouldn't necessarily destroy his career. He already HAS a career. He's just fallen from his perch but the perch is still there for him to climb. Unlike a young director who wouldn't even have a perch to climb yet.

But it's not the famous Dutch director, Paul Verhoeven, suing Cannes. 
It's the NOT famous French director, Paul Verhoeven, suing Cannes. 
This guy:
And he's 73 years old.
Not a young director.
Not a veteran either.

This Paul Verhoeven and Cannes were never destined to be in the same sentence together. But maybe he believes in Barnum's maxim of "no such thing as bad publicity," since he's figured out a way to get publicity for himself and his boy-centered and colorfully-subtitled movies.

The lesson is clear (revised): If you want a career in filmmaking, suing one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world because they did NOT choose your film is one of the worst things you can do... UNLESS you aren't really serious about a filmmaking career and just want to see your name in print + a couple thousand views on your YouTube page. 

Originally posted on Lensatic.

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