If you want to gain a whole new appreciation for film as an art form, just go out and try to complete any minor project with a group of strangers. Get 10 people together. Of the ones who bother to show up, at least two will be the type who would rather die than compromise. So, now imagine trying to get several hundred people on the same page, and doing it under a tight deadline, with millions of dollars at stake. We're thinking these examples will actually make you feel better about the shit people argue about at your job ...
6The Shawshank Redemption Was Delayed Due To Controversy About Killing A Maggot
Every movie that involves animals in any way is required to hire some people to monitor the production to ensure that the animals aren't mistreated. This is a pretty good rule -- it's what ensures that filmmakers aren't hitting a sedated bear with a Taser every time it fails to bite Leo DiCaprio's skull in exactly the right way.
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"NO, NOT THE FACE, GODDAMMIT!"
But then, you have what happened behind the scenes of The Shawshank Redemption. According to the DVD commentary, the filmmakers hired a representative of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to monitor the filming because one of the characters keeps a baby bird in his shirt pocket. This was back in the day when it was still cheaper to shove an actual baby bird in there instead of later constructing one out of CGI.
Fortunately, the ASPCA representative was fine with the bird, but, after being brought on to monitor the production, she had one other major issue that nobody could have predicted: In one scene, the character finds a maggot in his food and feeds it to the bird in his pocket. The ASPCA forbade them from shooting this scene because it technically involved cruelty to an "animal" -- the animal in question being the maggot that they bought from a bait shop.
Pictured: an unconscionable manifestation of intolerable evil. Almost.
According to the representative, the only way that they were permitted to shoot this scene as intended was if they used a maggot that had died of natural causes. So, the filmmakers were forced to delay production, standing around a bucket full of live maggots, waiting for one of them to have a heart attack or something before they could legally feed it to a bird on camera. But, what if the bird would have preferred to eat a live maggot, dammit? Did you even ask?
5Gone Girl Was Delayed Over A Logo On A Baseball Cap
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Gone Girl was the inspirational tale of a dumb guy marrying a psychotic woman and how they overcome their differences to avoid going to prison. It features Ben Affleck's extra-mopey performance as Nick Dunne, a man who suffers the double tragedy of being falsely accused of his wife's murder and then finding out his lawyer is Tyler Perry. But, the production ran into serious trouble when Affleck and director David Fincher got into a stalemate argument -- over baseball team loyalty.
In a scene around halfway through the film, Affleck's character is in an airport when he sees a picture of himself in the news and then pulls a baseball cap over his eyes to hide his face.
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An act he was very familiar with from 2003 to 2005.
The thing was, the cap he was supposed to wear was a New York Yankees cap. Affleck is a massive Red Sox fan, to the point where putting the Yankees logo anywhere on his body would apparently cause him to burst into spectacular flames, like a vampire that put on a hat made of crosses.
So, Affleck refused to do the scene with that hat. And if he really felt that strongly about it, you would think it would be a simple enough thing for some intern to run across the road to Sears and pick up a cheap Red Sox cap. But, Fincher wasn't about to take any of Affleck's team loyalty bullshit -- he was adamant that the character Affleck was portraying was a Yankees fan. Goddammit, he had a vision, and he wasn't about to compromise on it.
Affleck's argument was that being seen wearing a Yankees cap, even in character, would pretty much ruin his life, as his Red Sox-loving friends would never let him hear the end of it. Fincher called Affleck's behavior "unprofessional," but, considering his own refusal to back down over such a nonissue was equally ridiculous, it isn't easy to take sides here.
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This is obviously the most important shot in the entire film.
As neither of them were willing to back down, filming ground to a halt on a very important scene until someone eventually figured out the absurdly obvious solution to everyone's problems -- they gave him a Mets cap. The Mets were close enough to the Yankees for Fincher to be happy, and they didn't fill Ben Affleck with incomprehensible rage. Thus, the production on this approximately $60 million film could continue.