In the film making industry, it is understood that you must first work and build up credibility to then do what it is you have your heart set on, commonly referred to as a “passion project.”
In a freshmen Directing I class, i remember discussing this; critical acclaim vs control. For example: Mel Gibson, a well known actor, director, and who began the company Icon Movies.
He began his career as an actor, but played the game of fame, very smart. He was cast in small roles, but continued to do them because he knew that in time he would be a leading man. For example, at the beginning he played an uncredited baseball player in “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” (1977) After a few years, he landed a roles such as Mad Max and in “Gallipoli” as Frank Dunne, which is sometimes considered his breakout role. In the mid 80s he was in the film that first put him on the map in “Lethal Weapon” alongside Danny Glover. However, it is his role of William Wallace in Braveheart, that he is most remembered.
After his years of success, Mel had gained the adequate acclaim and connections through the numerous people he worked with and continued to open Icon Movies in 1995 and began directing. It was through his earned critical acclaim and credibility over years and years, which lead to his control in the business and ability to do whatever he wanted.
But in the years since, he has produced movies that have changed the world, “The Passion of the Christ” but also faced some personal demons of his own. Especially, now with recent events in his personal life, much of his critical acclaim and credibility as a filmmaker has been lost. Some industry experts theorize he will never be able to regain his once Hollywood Super-star status.