- June 19th, 2017, 7:03 am
So...my unsolicited opinion on the matter...
I work as a construction assistant on a network TV show. One of our set designers worked on Ghostbusters in Boston. Like...he was there every day consulting with Feig. From what he's told me alot of the crew were not fans of filming in Boston. It all had to do with was the millions in subsidies they received from the state(which are jut now coming into public view). From what he assertained both through interaction with Feig and the crew, was that Feig didn't really care what he was doing. There was an atmosphere of "Don't worry this will work because the cast and because it's Ghostbusters". Now, I wasn't there personally, but out Set Designer knows I'm a huge GB fan and we've talked about his set experience in depth many times.
This is beyond just the budget inflating, this was a movie on which no one really knew what they were making. When Aykroyd came out and said Feig was negligent in his filming I asked if there was any truth to that. What I was told is Feig was more concerned with forcing his actresses to improvise as many jokes into a scripted scene as possible rather than focus on whether or not the story was progressing. See, Feig isn't really a cinematic director and he's part of a movement in comedy that I am really not a fan of. Alot of his movies along with people like Jud Apatow, Seth Rogen, and Adam McKay...well they aren't movies. They are lightly directed improv skits. What do I mean by that you ask? Well...think about how Ghostbusters ATC looked. Most of the film is brightly lit, static medium-shots designed to keep focus solely on the actor because "they're funny". While the action sequences are cinematic, the majority of the film is shot not much more dynamically than a network sitcom.
Compare this to the original Ghostbusters, which had a legendary cinematographer at the helm. The movie is filled with unique lighting set-ups, camera movement, and beautiful cinematography. See, the movie wasn't filled like a comedy, it was intentionally filmed like a thriller/drama. It feels big and cinematic, and that amplifies what's on screen.
Now is it fair to compare László Kovács work to whoever the hell filmed ATC? Well...yeah. See I don't think at any point did Feig think about making his movie to look cinematic. I think he was more concerned with forcing as many jokes into scenes as he could because his directing style lacks any kind of subtlety. Everything is so broad and over the top. Which goes back to my point about the movie not being a real movie. The original Ghostbusters may have had a few over the top moments, but the moments that really stand out are the subtle ones. Egon's hand signals to Venkman for example. When you're constantly forcing your actors to improvise, they become more worried about making jokes than coming across as genuine on screen. This is why I think the actresses didn't seem to have any real chemistry together. It's not that they were bad performers, it's that the director focused on the wrong aspect of their performances.
What does all this have to do with the original point about the budget?
Well it's simple. I think when they went to cut the film together, it was probably a total mess. From what I hear, the first cut was so bad Sony almost pushed the release back (now this is again from my source who worked on the production and something that was never made public so take that as you will). I mean, look at the infamous dance number, a six-figure budget scene that was completely cut from the movie. My guess is because it makes no sense other than to try and make the audience go "oh...he's making them dance now. That's funny I guess". Cutting something that expensive is a sign that maybe the wrong aspects of the story were focused on. So while I don't believe the reshoots cost as much as Dan says, I guarantee they were more expensive than what Sony reported. Movies film reshoots all the time, it is normal. What isn't normal is for a film to RELY on reshoots to fix story issues, which is what I think (based on both what was reported in public and again what my friend told me) happened.
At the end of the day, this kinda stuff is just childish fingerprinting after the fact. Dan is the Executive Producer and Ghostbusters is really important to him. It's his baby, and I think when all was said and done he was really unhappy with how the movie turned out. But because Sony is still keen to making Ghostbusters a big franchise again and Aykroyd definitely wants to keep these movies going, he's gonna attack the one element that can't really come back to bite him in the ass, which is the director who was unpopular with a lot of the fans from the start.
"Like slimer in Ghostbusters" Homer Simpson