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Director wanted out of Dream House credits?

DreamHouse.jpgThere are rumours that the director of Dream House, Jim Sheridan, was trying to remove his name from the credits of the recent film Dream House starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and Elias Koteas, and although he hasn't gone through with it, it would seem that there is some discord between the studio and the director on the production.

The film hasn't made much money on its release, despite the big name stars involved on the project, and coupled with the less than exciting reviews it would suggest that the film isn't that good, but that's not the reason behind the rumour.

According to rumour, Jim Sheridan went to the Director's Guild of America to have his name removed from the film as he didn't want his name attached to the final output, a film that could well have been more the studio's film than his own.

The L.A. Times quotes two people it talked to who were "familiar with the action" and "were not authorized to talk about it publicly".

Rumour can be damaging as fact, and in some cases thanks to how people perceive the media it can be just as damaging, and a half truth can often point people the wrong way and cast blame where it shouldn't be. Rumour can be bad for careers...

...and with that I'm suddenly wondering if I should be writing any of this, yet depending how you look at it there's something positive to be had from this story, especially if it's true and you're the director.

If it is true and Dream House is as bad as they say, then the rumour coming out about Sheridan wanting to distance himself from the film does just that without having to have his credit removed and without publicly outing the issues and disagreements with the studio.

If it isn't true then it's upsetting all parties and really not helping the film, although to be honest it doesn't look like much is at this point.

The article says that this was all avoided as the studio agreed to a new set of reshoots, and that's perhaps the version that we'll see in the UK next month, keeping the director from asking the DGA to remove his name from the film.

Reshoots aren't new to this film, and of course they aren't new to any film, we should realise that reshoots in various degrees happen all the time on just about every film. There are many reasons that they happen and it's not always a sign of a poor film.

The article tells us that another source, who again doesn't want to be named and this time is close to the production, said that Sheridan moved away from the script from David Loucka and introduced the style of improvisation that he often employs on his films. Neither of these things is unique as directors have their vision of a film and a script and will change things all the way up to the moment the scene is captured by the camera, and even after in the editing room. Again, this happens on a lot of films.

What doesn't always happen are test screenings that get terrible responses, and this did. This led to reshoots and apparently the production company took over the editing of the film, and since Sheridan didn't have the right to the final cut of the film, the company edited it the way they wanted to. This is the film that was to be released.

Again, it's worth pointing out that neither reshoots nor a director not having the rights to the final cut on a film are anything new or unusual, many directors make a film without having the rights to a final cut, it's a good way for a production company to ensure that a director doesn't go crazy with the film they wanted made and head far from the vision that they had in mind.

You could see the alleged move by Sheridan to have his name taken from the credits as a powerful bargaining chip, for that would be the worst news for the film and would carry a stigma with it for some time. So perhaps this led to the production company allowing further reshoots, and maybe a cut of his own.

As the film went towards its first release, starting in late September and heading across many countries, set to end in late November and early December in the UK, Finland, Ireland and Sweden, the article tells us that the relationships between Sheridan and the studio deteriorated as the film was released and that's when he went to the DGA.

Before the DGA made any ruling though, it looks like compromises were made, although the director did not want to do any publicity for the film when it was released.

I'm hoping that the version that Sheridan is allowing his name and the one that includes these final reshoots, is the version that is being released. Mind you, even if that is the case the reports aren't good for the final film. Mind you can any publicity hurt a film, good or bad?



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