10 Directors Who Went To Insane Lengths To Get Their Movies Made

Some sacrifice everything for their work.

Robert Rodriguez El Mariachi
Columbia Pictures & Twitter: Robert Rodriguez

Filmmaking is never easy. An experienced director could make a tiny movie over a few weeks with minimal actors and it would still be a nightmare to organise funding, hiring an ensemble, writing a script, putting together a crew, and constructing sets. It doesn't matter if you filmed dozens of movies or you've been in show business for half a century - directing is one of the hardest jobs in the world.

And yet, there are some directors who went beyond the call of duty to get their work greenlit, filmed, or released. Productions can fall into chaos due to money problems, studio interference, or actors refusing to perform the most reasonable requests. When this happens, the director, like a captain caught in a storm, must take charge before losing control. To get things back on track, filmmakers will do anything they can. Directors have sold their bodies for funding, filmed scenes in secret, or reshot entire chunks of their movie to ensure their work saw the light of day. Here are ten directors who went to crazy lengths to get their movies made.

10. Orson Welles Pretended He Wasn't Filming Scenes That The Producers Hated - Citizen Kane

Robert Rodriguez El Mariachi

For most of his career, Orson Welles' work was hampered by producers. But because of his non-interference contract over Citizen Kane, the studio couldn't alter a single frame of the finished film.

But, man, did they try!

Because Welles' magnum opus is based on William Randolph Hearst, the media mogul did everything in his power to destroy the production. Terrified at suffering Hearst's wrath, the film executives did all they could to ensure Welles didn't depict him in a negative light. When they showed up unannounced on set and saw scenes they didn't like, Welles pretended the actors were merely rehearsing. The studio suspected this and so, sent spies to the set. Welles got wind of this and had his crew play softball until the spies left!

During filming, Welles was informed that Hearst had arranged a naked woman to jump at him when he entered his hotel room while one of Hearst's men took a picture. Knowing this photograph would besmirch his reputation, Welles slept elsewhere on the night he learned of this.

Even though everything seemed to be against Welles, he made Citizen Kane the way he wanted, allowing it to become one of the most influential films in cinema.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Supervillains Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85