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10 Movie Sets That Were a Nightmare to Work On

There are many reasons why a film can be difficult to finish, with delays and money problems being the top 2. However, quite often, it’s mostly because directors are very hard to work with and make everyone’s lives unbearable. Some of them want to do way too many takes for each scene, or they just put everyone’s health in jeopardy.

Bright Side did some research and selected 10 movies we believe you will be shocked to find out were quite unpleasant to film.

Titanic (1997)

The filming of the movie took 138 days more than it was first scheduled, which created a lot of tension between James Cameron, the director, and the studio’s heads. But besides that, Cameron was a nightmare to work with since he was screaming at everyone all the time. Additionally, he forced actors and crew members to spend days in the tanks that were filled with cold water. That’s why many crew members ended up with the flu.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The conditions in the Philippines were absolutely grueling since the extreme weather destroyed the sets and made the studio spend way too much money. Marlon Brando and Francis Ford Coppola would have disagreements often, as Brando would forget his lines. Also, Brando gained a lot of weight during the shooting of the movie and Coppola thought of firing him because of it. The cherry on top was when Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming process but thankfully made a full recovery.

Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg was still very young when he started filming Jaws, and his mistakes increased the budget from $4 million to $9 million. Also, the filming process lasted 159 days, when it was supposed to be done in 55. When the film started, the production hadn’t created a fake shark yet and the cast and crew were yet to be hired. While filming one scene for the movie, the hull of the boat ruptured and started to sink.

Spielberg yelled to get the actors off the boat, while a sound engineer yelled to ignore the actors and save the sound equipment first. The famous director feared that this movie would ruin his career, but instead, the studio forgave him when the film made most of its money during its first weekend.

The Lighthouse (2019)

Robert Pattinson was so annoyed with his director, Robert Eggers, during multiple reshoots that he was ready to punch him. This was because he was doing many takes of the same scene where he was just walking across the beach. But besides that, the conditions were so difficult and demanding that Pattinson and his co-star, Willem Dafoe, hardly talked outside the set.

The Revenant (2015)

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu wanted to film his movie in chronological order, something that was a production nightmare. The schedule was extremely hard and the Calgary weather was gut-wrenching. The sub-zero temperatures and the continuously changing weather made it very hard for the crew to maintain continuity. And Iñárritu was adamant about using natural light as much as possible, so they had to find time whenever the weather was suitable.

The Shining (1980)

Both Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall had a hard time during the filming process of The Shining, but Duvall had a traumatic experience. Director Stanley Kubrick was very harsh with her and was putting psychological pressure on her in order to bring her to the terrified state of mind needed for her character. In the famous baseball bat scene, Kubrick shot 127 takes of Duvall, which still holds the Guinness World Record.

After that scene, Duvall ended up with a hoarse throat, raw wounded hands, and severe dehydration. Despite all that, Duvall had great respect for Kubrick, and after the scream therapy she endured, she felt like a big weight had been lifted off her. Nicholson had it way better than Duvall, with his issue being how little sleep he was getting. He was only sleeping in the car from the hotel to the shooting location.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

There were many things that went wrong during the filming process, including one of the actors spending weeks in the hospital due to an allergic reaction. Also, the actress who played the witch was severely burned when the pyrotechnics went off and she wasn’t told to move out of the way. Most of the actors’ suits were made either from dangerous materials, such as asbestos, or were hot and hard for them to even move in.

For example, the lion’s costume was made of a real lion, and the actor would often overheat. It also weighed a lot and it was hard for him to act under the heavy set lights.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

Terry Gilliam wanted to film this movie in 1989 but didn’t start shooting until 2000. However, a flood in the desert ruined a lot of the equipment and completely changed the scenery. Not only that, but the lead actor, Jean Rochefort, quit in the middle of the movie due to a herniated disc. The film stopped shooting and, in 2005, Johnny Depp had lost his interest and another main actor had passed away.

Despite all these difficulties, the movie was finally finished and released in 2018, 29 years after Gilliam first started working on it. The movie starred Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce and was released only in some European theatres. In the next 2 years after its completion, it was released in the US and the UK but with very little success.

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

The concept of the movie itself was difficult, but the filming process is still known as one of the hardest of all time. Director Werner Herzog wanted to use a real 320-ton ship in the scene where they drag it up a hill instead of miniature replicas as was suggested to him. They hired numerous extras to carry the ship, but there were too many injuries, fights, and people walking away from the project. Mick Jagger was supposed to have a supporting role, but he walked away, forcing the director to re-shoot all of his scenes with his replacement.

Heaven’s Gate (1980)

Most of the scenes in the movie were shot between 32 and 60 times. This not only skyrocketed the budget but also put great psychological pressure on the actors. Also, the director hired amateur extras and had them perform their own stunts during multiple shots. This resulted in countless injuries since people were brushed by horses and thrown in the mud.

Were you shocked to find out how awful some film productions were but how great the final product turned out to be?

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