How the TV series can avoid film budget issues


Waterworld the TV series is an intriguing idea but it will have to learn from the mistakes of Kevin Costner’s costly failure and manage the budget.

Water world is gearing up to become a television series, however, the series will have to avoid filming in open water where time and delays sank the 1995 Kevin Costner big-budget epic. Directed by Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Water world takes place in an apocalyptic future where every continent on Earth is underwater due to the melting of the polar ice caps. What remains of humanity lives in floating communities, ever vigilant against the threat of pirates. Kevin Costner plays The Mariner, a lonely wanderer who is caught in a race to uncover the secret of the mythical “Dryland”.


Unlike the original by George Miller Mad Max trilogy that Water world is influenced by, the $ 175 million it cost to make the movie had a bigger budget than any other movie in history at that time. The stakes were high, and unfortunately for all involved the shoot was a nightmare production besieged by trouble. Once the movie was over, the reviews were less than kind, and its modest box office couldn’t outweigh the amount of money Universal Studios had spent on it. It wasn’t the end of Water world yet. The rental and sale of home videos, as well as the television rights, eventually managed to recoup its losses and even managed to make a modest profit over several years. A Water world The stunt show attraction opened in 1995 at Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as other parks around the world, and is still going strong 25 years later.

Related: Waterworld 2 Updates: Why A Sequel Never Happened

The film achieved cult status, aided by a long Water world “Ulysses Cut” which lasts nearly three hours, giving more depth to the story and the characters. Producers John Davis and John Fox now see merit in continuing the story, which takes place 20 years after the film ended. 10 Cloverfield Way Director Dan Trachtenberg has been put in charge of directing the project, although it is still in the development phase. Davis also produced the film in 1995 and has first-hand experience of the issues faced by the production. The key to successfully resuscitating Water world because the small screen will learn from the film’s mistakes and avoid budget issues without compromising the show’s potential.

Why Waterworld the movie was so off budget

atoll of the aquatic world

Reynolds and Costner wanted Water world be as gritty and realistic as possible and insisted on filming in open water. Their friend Steven Spielberg had a nightmarish production filming Jaws and advised against it, but his warning was not heeded. Such a vision would require a significant investment on the part of Universal Studios, and the Creative Partners had the power to achieve it. $ 65 million was the original budget, but that amount rose to $ 100 million when production began on the film.

Giant floating sets were built to create the last refuges of civilization. However, rather than being in a studio or water tank, they were filmed on the ocean. The logistics of such a huge operation, along with a string of woes, accidents, near misses and other production delays turned the scheduled 96-day shoot into 157 days. exhausting. This in turn forced the budget to increase to a record high of $ 175 million by the end of the film. For the context, a year later, Roland Emmerich made Independence Day-who broke the record for most special effects shots in a single movie – for alone $ 75 million.

Why the weather was such a problem for Waterworld

aquatic world hunting scene

With Water world try to be “Mad Max on Water ”, filming on the ocean gave it the desired realism. However, the practicalities of making the simplest shots were plentiful. The production required a small army of actors and crews for each shot, all of whom had to be transported to set – which took hours – and if the weather chose to shoot without warning, there was no hotel or shelter where to find refuge.

Related: Mad Max: How The Original Movie Predicted The Future

The setting up of the starting positions of the various boats and ships used in the film was at the mercy of the wind and waves. At one point, lead actor Kevin Costner had to be challenged when his boat drifted out to sea with him still attached to the mast. At the end of the long process it took to prepare for a shot, the moment could be ruined by everything from inconsistent cloud cover to transport ships in the background. By far the biggest obstacle to the film’s production was a hurricane that destroyed the atoll, a giant floating city built for the film. Costing $ 5 million, it was a production design marvel, but most of it sank to the bottom of the ocean. It was reconstructed in order to complete the film but added further delays to the already cloudy image.

How the Waterworld TV series can avoid going over budget

Water world Kevin Costner

The main means by which the Water world The television series can avoid the pitfalls of its predecessor is to limit the amount of filming in open water; certainly a delicate matter without unduly compromising the realism of the project. Of course, some footage of the ocean itself would be needed, but that could easily be limited to establishing shoots captured by the Second Unit, freeing Dan Trachtenberg to focus on the actors in a controlled environment. For this purpose, the project could use water tanks on a studio lot. Having control over everything would be essential to meet a production schedule.

The quality of modern TV shows has increased significantly, often rivaling their cinematic counterparts. Lucasfilm’s Disney + Star Wars shows are successfully bringing a Far Far Away galaxy to life despite being filmed primarily indoors in “The Volume”. Using video game technology on giant floor-to-ceiling LED video walls, The Mandalorian (as well as the next shows Boba Fett’s book and Obi wan kenobi can create realistic real-time backgrounds that cannot be distinguished from reality. If the Water world TV shows can use this revolutionary technology, so it really is possible to bring the apocalyptic world to life on the small screen.

Finally, given that the film’s ending had the tracks uncovering Dryland, over the 20 years of history, it’s reasonable to assume that some part of humanity colonized it. It would likely be much easier and faster to shoot on solid ground, even on location if necessary, in an environment where the ground is not moving. If the team behind the Water world TV series can avoid the challenges of filming in open water as much as possible, the series has a better chance of not repeating the craziness of the movie.

Next: What Was Wrong With Waterworld? Why did it cost so much and was it a failure

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