Lawrence Bender Helped Keep Reservoir Dogs’ Budget Under Control

Reservoir Dogs consistently gains a mention for changing people’s perspectives on how screenwriting can be done. The basic narrative concept established many decades before was turned on its proverbial head when Reservoir Dogs hit art house screens in 1992. Quentin Tarantino deserves tremendous credit for his writing ability. Lawrence Bender should receive cheers, too. Aspects of the screenwriting worked in concert with the ability to produce the film at a reasonable budget. Without the guiding hand of a skilled producer such as Lawrence Bender, Reservoir Dogs’ budget might have skyrocketed upwards. The impact of an out-of-control budget on Tarantino’s career can’t be overstated.

One of the intriguing aspects of Reservoir Dogs involves the brutal diamond heist appearing offscreen. This changes the dramatic and narrative structure of the film immensely. By keeping the shootout off the screen, audiences must listen to what the characters say about the events. This helps the dialogue-heavy film. Reservoir Dogs succeeds thanks to the unique characters and sharp dialogue. Eliminating the shootout gives audiences a reason to hang on what the characters say.

Such a decision wasn’t exclusive to a screenwriter’s desire to dazzle viewers. A major shootout between crooks and the police in a jewelry store couldn’t be done without spending significant money. $1.5 million was all the production house had to invest in the making of Reservoir Dogs.

Lawrence Bender understood the movie was only going to gain a limited release. Therefore, the budget couldn’t rise to the point recouping the investment would be impossible. Although Bender’s background combines the unusual mix of a formal education in civil engineering and a professional career in dance, he understood how to keep an eye on a motion picture’s bottom line. Such wisdom came long before his eventual Oscar nominations.

Reservoir Dogs needed to make its initial investment back. A “money loser” wouldn’t exactly lend help to Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender’s careers. Reservoir Dogs, while an outstanding film in its own right, mainly served as an audition for bigger films for the director and producer. Why would a studio hire people who produced a costly financial failure?

Lawrence Benders Factored into Revealing An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore received a tremendous amount to come critical acclaim for the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Gore, however, was not solely responsible for the creation of the documentary. Lawrence Bender moved away from his typical feature film projects to handle production duties with this documentary. An Inconvenient Truth was a commercial success to be sure. Bender, however, can point to other projects that earned more money. An Inconvenient Truth delivered something money could never buy.

In 2006, the film earned an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. The statue that sits on one of Lawrence Bender’s mantles allows the producer to claim an accolade so many desire but fail to attain. An Inconvenient Truth also spawned somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. Few films — much less documentary features — achieve that level of success.

An Inconvenient Truth raised great awareness about the subject of climate change. Academic circles certainly invested time and resources in discussing the topic, but the reach of academics can be limited. Newspapers may report on the subject to a larger audience, but problems with reach remain. Through creating an informative motion picture, the ability to educate additional segments public about climate change becomes possible.

Not everyone easily seeks out information on scien ce and climate change. Many assume books and magazines covering scientific topics are a bit too dry and boring to invest time in. An interesting movie, however, might be worth checking out. Simply adding a DVD to a Netflix queue or watching the film when it appears on cable doesn’t require much effort. So, audiences give the atypical film a chance. Once drawn into the film, the viewer then experiences an education in a very important subject.

All this only becomes possible when the associated documentary actually entertains. Few would want to sit through a boring and dry lecture. Lawrence Bender clearly understands this as evidenced by the creative approach taken by the film. Lawrence Bender, Al Gore, and director Davis Guggenheim all deserve credit for making the feature enjoyable to watch while consistently keeping the proceedings focused and educational.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power served as the follow-up film, but the original remains the most powerful and acclaimed.