Saul Bass on economics

“The film business has always been more or less driven by economics. It’s just that these days it is more rather than less. No surprise when the cost of a feature film today is $20,000,000. That’s on average! Films that cost $40-50 million aren’t that unusual anymore. When the stakes are that high, one bad decision can wipe out several careers. So people become nervous and tentative. And decisions to an increasing extent are made by committee. A few years ago the screenwriter Bill Goldman wrote a book about the film business which was full of marvelous insights. One of the best was ‘Nobody knows anything.’ When movies cost so much, it’s very hard to justify making them for narrow audiences. Everything has to be theoretically broad-based in order to survive. And at its worst that sort of pressure can suffocate experimentation and innovation. On the other hand, I’m not one of those people who take an elitist position. I think that the most difficult and ultimately most rewarding challenge is to create something of quality that lots of people will respond to.”

— Saul Bass, from a mid-90s Graphis interview