Sunday, December 06, 2009

How low can you go?

An old friend of mine sent me a link to a brief overview of bottom line studios such as Monogram and PRC. I've always known there were studios even more bottom line than these two but I'd never heard what they paid for their movies. Wow

"Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) was founded by a former film exchange manager, Ben Judell, in 1939. PRC's first release was the timely Beasts of Berlin (1939), one of the first dramatic films to deal with Hitler's Germany. PRC profited even more when it later reissued the film to capitalize on the stardom of its male second lead, Alan Ladd (1913–1964). The company produced westerns, mysteries, horror films, and even some musicals and costume films. Sam Newfield (1899–1964) directed so many films for PRC—more than fifty over the course of seven years—that he used several pseudonyms in addition to his own name. Films made by Monogram, Republic, and PRC were made in only a week or two, usually for less than $100,000—sometimes considerably less.

"Finally, there were those ragtag companies that existed on the fringes of the motion picture industry making Poverty Row quickies. If films from Monogram and PRC often looked threadbare, Poverty Row quickies were the bottom of the barrel. Generally made for under $25,000 and in less than a week, movies made by companies like Empire, Peerless, Puritan, and Victory were poorly shot and often verged on incoherence."

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