Re-Shooting a Film Does Not Always End in Disaster

A movie going into re-shoots has always been a sign of trouble. Most people signify a filmmaker re-shooting a portion of their film as a sign that it must not be very good. While this may be the case for a lot of films, there is absolutely no reason to fear the worst if an upcoming film suddenly decides to enter re-shoots. Re-shoots are becoming more and more common today, and there are a wide variety of films that prove it does not always end in disaster.

Re-Shooting Film Successes

“World War Z” is the most recent and probably the most publicized film to have major re-shoots prior to its release in theaters. “World War Z” had to redo the entire final act of the film due to tonal inconsistencies with the beginning of the film. “World War Z” is an average man doing whatever it takes to save his family and the rest of the world, but the original ending saw Brad Pitt’s character basically turn into a superhero fighting off millions of zombies after learning very dark news about his wife. The extremely dark turn and increased action in the final act did not fit with the first 90 minutes of the film, so they decided to completely rewrite and re-shoot the ending of the film.
World War Z film re-shoot


The re-shoots of “World War Z” were all over the news because it had caused the films budget to nearly double its original cost. This made most film experts believe that the film was going to be a disaster and bomb at the box office, but the opposite was true. “World War Z” turned out to be an extremely entertaining film that ended up making more money during its theatrical run than any other movie Brad Pitt had made. The great success of the film has allowed “World War Z” to continue its plans of becoming a film trilogy.

While “World War Z” is the most recent example, there are also several classic films that had to enter re-shoots. “Jaws” and “Apocalypse Now” both had major problems while making the films, but they turned out to be two of the best movies of their time. The script to “Jaws” was not even completed when the began shooting the film. Steven Spielberg decided to bring in several additional writers to help improve the script as they went along with shooting the film. Spielberg was also forced to rework several crucial scenes in the film after the shark would not work properly. This malfunction is the reason why the shark is never seen in “Jaws.” Everyone involved in the project thought that this would doom the film, but it actually added to the horror and suspense that makes “Jaws” great to this day.

Most of the problems surround the shooting of “Apocalypse Now” was caused by the actors involved in the film, but that did not stop it from being a masterpiece. Martin Sheen had a heart attack during filming, Dennis Hopper was high on drugs during the entire film and Marlin Brando want to improvise the entire film and refused to work off the script. All three of these problems forced Francis Ford Coppola to constantly rewrite and re-shoot scenes while making the film.

It is extremely hard to make a film, so it is not shocking to learn about problems during the production process of a movie. If there are talented directors and writers behind the film, then it should be able endure any problems that arise just like these three films. If the film makers realize something does not work in the film, then it is a much wiser idea to re-shoot that portion of the film than just keeping it the same. If you are afraid that a highly anticipated film is set to be a disaster because it is enter re-shoots, then just think of these three great films.


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