Wednesday, February 04, 2009

AICN: Bale outburst was blown way out of proportion.

So yesterday, I posted a quick story on the leaked audio recording of Christian Bale's highly profane tirade on the set of Terminator: Salvation. The incident, which is said to have happened in July, involved the famous actor scolding director of photography (or DP) Shane Hurlbut for botching a take by walking on-stage during the middle of an important scene.

Well according to Harry Knowles from Aint-It-Cool-News, this story "isn't news," meaning the kind of information that affects the making - or unmaking - of actual movies.

I disagree, since we will definitely see a shift in the publicity scheme for T4 that could affect the film's actual box-office as well as the two future sequels that were planned to follow. I know if I were apart of such an embarassing media debachle, and the studio made no effort to find or punish the person responsible for leaking the audio clip to the press, not only would I decline all promotional interviews for the film, but I would also walk away from the franchise outright.

Plus there's the fact that Christian Bale is one of the most talented actors of his generation, and any developments that might prevent him from getting work in the future are very important to me.

But when Harry finally decides to get off his moral high horse, he actually relays some important information regarding the story. Apparently, it wasn't so clear cut as everyone was making it out to be.

1) Apparently Hurlbut has a reputation for being a 'tweaker' -- not a meth-head, but a person in Hollywood who's equally annoying. Apparently a tweaker is a young DP who constantly tweaks his lights during the middle of a take - huge no-no with actors, especially when they are in the middle of a very important scene.

2) The scene Bale and Bryce Dallas Howard were filming was confirmed to be the most important and emotionally demanding one of the entire film.

3) Bale had already warned Hurlbut several times to stop distracting him by walking on-stage and adjusting lights during the middle of his takes.

4) The audio clip, which has now appeared on every major news media outlet, was probably leaked by the producers to shame Bale publicly.

Why would a studio do that? We may never know, but filmmaking is a collaborative effort between a lot of different people with various jobs, all of whom should be respected to some degree. If the guy who played Batman asked me just once to respect him by giving him my lunch money, I would at least consider it.

And if he asked me several times to stop interrupting his performances by adjusting my lights during the middle of a take, you better believe that I would comply.

You can read the rest of Harry's story here.


Blogger Joe Killian said...

I'm willing to believe that the guy was annoying, has a bad reputation and may have done something that harmed the performance and possibly cost the production some money therefore.

I think it's sort of slimy for someone from the production to leak audio of it -- we've all had work disagreements that aren't for everyone's ears.

But I still think Bale's threatening to kick the guy's ass is way out of line. Scolding someone for being unprofessional is less effective if you're throwing a public tantrum about it in front of everyone, raising your voice, cursing and threatening them physically.

Also, I hate the way our culture rewards or excuses talented people for bad behavior. Christian Bale is an incredibly gifted actor. This does not excuse him from needing to be more professional on set than the people who make him angry with their professionalism and it certainly doesn't give him license to physically threaten people when he finds their work lacking.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Yanni said...

Saying, "I'm going to kick your ass" is just a figure of speech to scare someone into listening. I've been told that a hundred times and I've said it myself a hundred times with friends and co-workers and the next day I'm having a beer with the same person. While they're fun to watch and listen to, these blowups get blown way out of proportion.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Joe Killian said...

Maybe it's just because I'm in journalism and people have told me -- not in jest -- that they're going to shoot me for things I've done at work, but when someone tells me they're going to kick my ass -- particularly when they scream it at me in front of other people while they're cursing at me -- I take them seriously.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Joe Scott said...

I think the most important aspect of this story is the fact that Bale was in the middle of an emotionally difficult scene. Just because the scene was interrupted by a careless DP doesn't mean those emotions Bale was concentrating on will just automatically disappear. If he's mad about robots and a DP interrupts him, then that anger he has will simply transfer to the guy missing with the lights.

While I was in no way talented as Bale is, I used to be a decent young actor. I can remember playing this difficult moment before the intermission of a live show where the wedding of my character's oldest daughter had been crashed by an angry mob of Russians (the show was "Fiddler on the Roof"). The curtain closed and as I walked off stage, this nasty stage manager we had broke my concentration by abruptly telling me I was in serious trouble for some technical error I had nothing to do with whatsoever.

And after carrying all that surpressed anger off-stage from having my liberty trampled on by the Ruskies, I wasn't about to take any of it from my stage manager. I yelled, told her off, and said something like, 'You're not a stage manager, you're a stage monster!'

Now did I threaten to kick the stage manager's 'arse'? No, but you have to remember my rights were threatened by Russians, not Terminators. My level of anger was adjusted accordingly.

4:30 PM  

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