Movie Money Confidential
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Rick Pamplin, Scott DuPont, Louise Levison, David Mackey, and Carl Bilancione.
Critics Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Director: Rick Pamplin
Duration: 101 minutes
Release Details: TVOD Release 3/1/22 through KDMG on 15 different streaming platforms all linked at http://www.MovieMoney.com
Shot over 100 hours, with interviews of about 60 producers, directors, writers, actors, authors, attorneys, financial consultants, investors, fundraisers, and movie stars – this documentary unearths the truths and debunks the myths around raising money to make a film.
A veteran Bollywood film producer recently made a statement that grabbed headlines in India. He said, “no one makes a film these days, they make a project.” Well, he could not have been more right, and watching this documentary, it became clear that Hollywood doesn’t function too differently.
Right from the start, it’s amply clear how filmmaker Rick Pamplin is the right man to make a film like this because he knows exactly what to ask and who to ask and as a result, we get the right answers.
What’s particularly interesting is the gamut of people that Pamplin brings onboard to reveal their experiences and break the notions around finding money to make a film and then making money from a film. From veteran actors like the late Burt Reynolds and superstars like Salma Hayek to authors like Louise Levison, who drew up the business plan for ‘The Blair Project’ that went to become a cult classic. It’s also a fantastic case study in funding a dream no matter how impossible it looks and sounds, but if there is conviction, the money follows and at most times success does too.
Some interviewees turn out to be a total surprise package like the film school teacher who gives some amazing insights about giving young minds a medium to express themselves through their craft. However, Pamplin himself sometimes comes across as far too indulgent and uses the film as a means to make a point about his own choices and the way the industry has dealt with him. And it’s interesting because we all know how just how cutthroat, star-driven and competitive Hollywood is – a fact that is explicitly mentioned by almost every behind-the-scenes person. Production-wise it’s a decent product although it would have helped by giving name slugs to each individual.
While it is a niche film and far more suited to your taste if you’re connected to the movie business, it’s equally insightful for a diehard movie buff. As the maker promised, viewers do learn the secrets of Hollywood and independent film financing from industry insiders with case studies like ‘The Blair Witch Project and a few others. It’s a film about films that is unscripted and untold so far.