Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

The Artist director slams top wages

Michel Hazanavicius is not happy about big money culture in the film industry

Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, has hit out at overpayment in the film industry.

The Artist's producer Vincent Maraval took to the pages of Le Monde a few months ago to criticise middling actors with inflated salaries and now Oscar-winner Michel has joined him.

Director of the silent film Michel has also written in Le Monde about his problems with film financing, saying top name talent should not be demanding huge sums either.

He said: "The fact that the people who make movies - directors, writers, actors, technicians and producers in some cases - are not financially interested in the success of the film causes behaviour that perverts the system."

Michel said that paying out to actors at the funding stage rather than waiting to see how well the film does is causing problems.

He said: "The game, for certain productions, becomes on one hand to inflate quotes to get the most money for funding, and on the other hand to spend the least amount of money while making the film - resulting in the underpayment of technicians, outsourcing, and asking for discounts, etc., in order to make a high quantity of movies, regardless of the quality."

The director also criticised France's state funding system for films.

TV networks have to put aside three per cent of their budgets to finance films which often means they favour broadcast and family-friendly options.

Michel says services such as Netflix and LoveFilm should also be looked at for funding: "We must agree to say that the Internet is television, and television is the Internet, and to the consequences of these new definitions, including funding."

But he ended his article on a more positive note: "The cinema makes us happy, makes us laugh, moves us, entertains us, but also makes us aware, and reminds us that we have a common destiny."

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