Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
The title refers to a production issue in Twelve Monkeys (1995), where a hamster in a hamster exercise wheel was used as part of the set decoration. When the hamster refused to perform at the appropriate time, production was halted, causing a relatively simple scene (less than 10 seconds of screen time) to take almost an entire day to film. See more »
Most "making of" documentaries are little more than puff pieces in which the director and lead actors bs about what a wonderful experience it was to make the film and why you should go see it. The Hamster Factor is quite a bit different. Fulton and Pepe were brought on as "witnesses" rather than promoters. The documentary is refreshingly honest about the process including the moments of doubt, the temporary loss of vision, the angst following test screenings and the eventual success of the movie. The Hamster Factor also does a better job at describing the technical details of how the film gets made from pre-production debates in bare-walled offices with distressed office furniture, to on-location production to editing in bare-walled offices with distressed office furniture.
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