"Hal always wanted to use a series of outtakes for the final credits. Obviously that's one of the things you have to do at the last minute, because until the final edit is locked down you don't know what the outtakes are. So Hal handed in the film with the final credits over a compilation of TV commercials just to get the film in on deadline, then got to work on the outtakes ending.
When he tried to hand it in, the studio refused to accept it or send it out. The film opened small, to just a half dozen theaters. Hal personally went to each theater, went to the projection booth, knocked on the door and said to the projectionist "Hi, I'm Hal Ashby, the director of the film. The studio put in the wrong ending, but I've got the right one with me. How about if we edit it in?" The projectionists were all thrilled to meet him and gladly helped him out.
When the studio found out, they got the last laugh. Hal's contract specifically stated that he was to be paid his director's fee "upon proper delivery of a completed film." They didn't consider receiving a film with two endings "proper delivery," and they used that as an excuse not to pay him. Ten years later, when I first met Hal, he still hadn't gotten paid for directing Being There."
- dave 7-09-2008 8:42 pm

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