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Nick Chapman graduates from film school, and his short film wins a special prize. This gives him a high enough profile that he can get Hollywood to back the film he has long dreamed of making. Studio exec Allen Habel is interested. But Nick soon is seduced by Hollywood and makes one concession after another until his original movie is lost altogether. Worse, Nick is lost, too, turning on girlfriend Susan and old buddy Emmet. Will he come to his sense before everything is lost? Written by
THE BIG PICTURE is a breezy satire of the movie business from the mind of writer/director Christopher Guest (BEST IN SHOW, A MIGHTY WIND). It tells the story of Nick Chapman (Kevin Bacon), a young film director who gets put through the Hollywood wringer. Studio executives, agents, and starlets all prey on Nick's naivete and he eventually sells out, neglecting his girlfriend and best friend in the process.
What's interesting about THE BIG PICTURE is its grassroots portrayal of how Nick finally launches his Hollywood career - by starting small, doing his own thing, and involving his friends. Those are basically the tenets of independent film, which boomed in the decade following THE BIG PICTURE.
Nowadays, many of those indie directors - among them Steven Soderbergh, Robert Rodriguez, and Christopher Nolan - are getting hired to do big-budget studio pictures. In fact, Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and videotape" was released the same year as this movie.
Was Nick Chapman's "Pez People" video responsible for the indie film movement? Not likely, but THE BIG PICTURE was certainly an advocate of its principles.
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