I’m going to go ahead and make a rule for all of entertainment:
It is not a “shoestring budget” if you’ve ever said the following things on set:
-”Okay, let’s go ahead and move the crane over there.”
-”But how fast will our city-block set on Lot 23 be ready?”
-”I don’t know. How about we get Nathan Fillion?”
Where the hell are people buying their shoestrings?!
The term, “shoestring budget” has always elicited thoughts of, say, a boom pole made from a broom with the microphone poorly tied to it (ideally with shoestring). A shoestring budget has always made me think of… well, our own production:
So, where the hell are these celebrities buying their shoestrings?
There’s been a lot made of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and one of the main comments about it is, “wow, Joss Whedon made this on a shoestring budget!” A shoestring budget?! A web show with a full city block set, a recording studio for their music and props that cost more than the entire run of Break a Leg is not made on a shoestring budget, unless they’re solid gold shoestrings that whisper the words of God directly into your feet.
You may say to me, but Yuri, and I’d say, yes? and you’d say, you’re just jealous!
Well, of course I am! I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have money. Quite the opposite, I fully embrace a budget. A budget would, for example, buy me a new pair of pants or, say, let our almost-bankrupt-director-of-photography be able to afford a taco. It would also let me actually pay my actors instead of rewarding their amazing dedication and talent with bagel dogs and insults. Budgets are fantastic. I don’t think you’re a sell out if you get paid, I think — great job!
…but don’t tell me you made something on a shoestring budget. I will accept, “It was made cheaper than bigger budget Hollywood films.” That makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense to me are the constant success stories that come out of festivals and events that market these “little independent films” made on a “tiny shoestring budget” — and that star little actors like “Steve Carrell.”
Frankly, it’s mildly insulting and takes away credit from the actual independent filmmakers. The ones who really don’t have any money. The ones who use ingenuity and sheer talent to create art with literally nothing.
You know how people say, “I made this from scratch?” That’s what a shoestring budget film is. It’s made from scratch and it tastes better than anything you’ve ever had.
I appreciate you, celebrities. I appreciate your work, I appreciate your movies and I’m a big fan of all of you (except you, octoplet family that everyone knows about except me) — I just want you to please stop taking away the only thing we independent filmmakers have: the ability to say, look — we did this, and no one helped us and it came out damn near magical.
And that, as they say, is a rant. Now, would you king me, already, Joss?