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    How common are reshoots in professional film?
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    I'm curious to know how common reshoots are in professional films that are shown in theaters or documentary films? I get pretty discouraged when I have to reshoot something because something went wrong.


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    I would ASSUME it's very rare the reshoots for "real" movies are for technical reasons, more likely 'cause an ending/scene didn't test well with an audience ("Oh they didn't like when they baby died. Welp, guess that's not how the movie ends now.")


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    "reshoots" for technical problems? Not that common in major films. You'll encounter "pick-up shots" quite a bit, but generally film crews get it right the first time, which is why they get paid the big bucks. If you're encountering reshoots in big films it's more likely due to an actor quitting or dying or otherwise being replaced, such that they cannot complete the film due to circumstances beyond their control. One example of a legitimate reshoot was the head popping out of the sunken boat in "Jaws"; test audiences didn't scream sufficiently for Spielberg's liking so he re-shot that scene in his editor's swimming pool to get a more satisfying take.

    One example of a "pick-up shot" in a reasonably-decent-budget movie is Sam Jackson's line in Snakes On A Plane; after filming was done the internet community practically demanded that he say the (censored here) line about "I want these ******** snakes off this ******** plane!" so they had to set up a new shoot day to get that line.


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    "World War Z" had a major re-shoot. Of course, it got a major re-write before that.

    From what I read, these major re-shoots are pretty rare but the minor re-shoots of one-two scene, especially for the plot purposes, aren't that rare.

    It needs to be added that some films may pause in mid production in order to do a major re-write while others like the "Shining" have done both re-writing and the required shooting on the go, so the final cut is left to the director and the editors on the 'whatever happens, happens" principle.


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    Yeah, there's a difference between reshoots and pick-up shots. I think a lot of people think of them as somewhat synonymous.
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    There are insurance bonding companies for dealing with various issues including the cost of reshoots due to technical issues. It's a pretty rare thing, but there certainly have been cases where a problem in the film camera movement or a breakdown in the lab has ruined footage and necessitated a reshoot. For the most part these issues would be caught in dailies and the shots picked up in the next day or so, but there have been a few rare occasions where a complete new shooting day has to be organized and paid for.

    I remember when Tim Allen was shooting Jungle 2 Jungle in New York back in the mid-90s. A PA left the day's exposed negative in a cab and Allen went on Howard Stern's radio show to plea for its return. They never found the footage and the day had to be reshot. Probably cost them $100K.

    The Russia House filmed at various locations around the globe (international spy thriller -- I particularly like the film). They only shot a couple days in Portugal and just one day in a particular apartment. They wanted the view of the distinctive red tile roofs out the window and the entire scene was done on Steadicam. Unfortunately there was an issue with the camera (probably a short loop) that caused the image to jump up and down a bit. For whatever reasons, MGM, the insurance company and the production decided that they would live with the jittery footage rather than go back to Lisbon to reshoot. This was before digital post was common so there was only so much that could be done. The theatrical release showed the jitter as it was and I recall that when US network TV broadcast the film (I think it was ABC) they attempted to "fix" that scene, which to my eye just made it look fuzzy.

    There are many other examples out there and I've been a part of a number of reshoots myself based on technical issues. But they are pretty rare. Nowdays with digital shooting and post solutions they're probably even rarer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    "World War Z" had a major re-shoot. Of course, it got a major re-write before that.

    From what I read, these major re-shoots are pretty rare but the minor re-shoots of one-two scene, especially for the plot purposes, aren't that rare.

    It needs to be added that some films may pause in mid production in order to do a major re-write while others like the "Shining" have done both re-writing and the required shooting on the go, so the final cut is left to the director and the editors on the 'whatever happens, happens" principle.
    Or how about the really extreme case, where they complete production, then start all over again with a new script and a new director? That's what happened with Dominion/Exorcist: the Beginning.


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