Double-speak on parade
Haven’t seen her films but director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss) seems to be have a good reason for not making a second film in 10 years: studio beaucracy.
… After “Boys Don’t Cry,” Hollywood came and offered me some very expensive projects, some very good stuff…. I had one project that I got almost to fruition, “Silent Star,” about the unsolved murder of [the silent movie director] William Desmond Taylor in the 1920s. It was wonderful – the story of how Hollywood was built on an unsolved murder and a cover-up. We had it cast and ready to go, and the studio ran the numbers and they said, “We want to make it for x amount of money.” And I said, Uh, all right. But then they said, “We don’t want to spend that much, we want to spend 10 million dollars less.” I said, Well, I don’t know if that’s a good idea, but I’ll go ahead and make the adjustments I can. And they said, “Well, we don’t want to see the version of the movie that we’re prepared to pay for. We want to see the version we’re not willing to pay for.”
(link and quote courtesy of Jim Emerson; I also heard this very story on The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell. Don’t say I don’t quote my sources.)
Peirce (an odd spelling, no?) seems to be making quite a name for herself as a regular pain in the ass thorn in the side of studio circles. She also appeared in Kirby Dick’s recent rage-against-the-ratings-machine flick This Film Is Not Yet Rated. In the film, she details the nitpicky attitude of the Film Ratings Board about being asked to make completely ridiculous edits to Boys Don’t Cry because of its sexual content in order to avoid an NC-17 rating.
It’s one thing to be throwing these anecdotes around when you’re an established director. It’s quite another to make one recognized and awarded film and try to get further work. Mavericks in this profession must be careful.