Movies - TV
James Cameron Pushed True Lies' Budget To The Limit
By WALTER ROBERTS
James Cameron's 1994 "True Lies" was the first movie to have a nine-figure production budget ($100 million). In contrast to Cameron's earlier visionary sci-fi works, the more traditional action-comedy of "True Lies" likely did not demand that he again outdo his previous films on spending — but as the director said himself, "the money is up there on the screen."
Ambitious special effects accounted for a lot of the film’s budget, with the third act of the movie a full-on indulgence of visual displays featuring multiple explosions (and costing $2 to $3 million in 1994 to blow up one miniature bridge). Other sequences involved a $33-million military aircraft, which the Marine Corps charged $20,000 per hour at the time to use.
Other subtle, but costly, changes were made to solve problems that emerged in filming, such as adding a CGI truck and explosion onto standalone B-roll of the bridge or digitally altering the shirt Eliza Dushku’s character was wearing. As the Academy Award winning director said, "I added 40 shots. There are no limitations to what you can do. Only money."