Star Trek director J.J. Abrams wants to make moviemaking less expensive. The sci-fi director thinks the budgets for Hollywood blockbusters today are "preposterous." He also wants more big-name directors to take responsibility for spending money from a movie studio.
In an interview with The LA Times, Abrams expressed his derision for how large the budgets are for big Hollywood blockbusters. Although the sequel to Star Trek has an estimated budget of $185 million, Abrams believes movies like The Dark Knight Rises and John Carter shouldn't cost upwards of $250 million to make, especially if the film under performs at the box office.
Abrams' pilot episode for the TV series Lost had a budget of $13 million, which was the largest budget for a pilot episode in history at the time, but he considers his experience working on TV as instructive to working with big budget blockbusters as well:
"Certainly on 'Star Trek' and the sequel and on 'Mission: Impossible' three and four, we had massive budget issues always. Yet we always get it figured out before production starts and realize that the money you don't get forces you to rethink something and challenges you to figure it out in a new way."
This could be good news for Paramount Pictures, the studio behind Star Trek, as they have developed a reputation as the most thrifty and economical of Hollywood's major studios. But for Abrams, he realizes that trying to make movies cost less could be an impossible undertaking:
"I am as interested in and obsessed with what can be done in the feature world for a price as anyone at any studio. I feel like it is incumbent upon filmmakers today to treat it like their own money."
Directors would benefit from a limited budget as it would force them to re-think how to shoot a scene but with the Hollywood movie system experiencing record-breaking revenues, it's doubtful if things will change. With all big movies, this way of thinking starts with the director and their producers.