Ever since his first journey to Hollywood in 1987, the director Mike Figgis has been intrigued by the workings of the studio system. As he progressed from the acclaim for his first American-produced film, Internal Affairs, through hellish studio wrangles on Mr. Jones and on to the Academy Award-winning success of Leaving Las Vegas, Figgis has always wanted to find a way to document the dubious mores of the Hollywood system. For Projections 10, he accepted an invitation to return to Los Angeles in late 1998 as guest editor and create such a document.
The format is simple: a series of taped, no-holds-barred conversations with filmmakers, directors, actors, writers, managers, and agents. What emerges from these interviews with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Sony Pictures head John Calley, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and others is a fairly dark picture of an industry where money does more than talk. And in addition to exploring the corrupting influence of money, Projections 10 asks such questions as:Why does Hollywood still rely on formula? What is the position of women in filmmaking and in film today? And where is the studio system that the word "Hollywood" represents going?
Also included is Figgis's own journal from his visit in 1998 and his impressions of the films he saw.