Satisfying Smash! – Chapter 8, Act 1, Strip 14

Thorough investigation of the mysterious eg…uh, meteorite continues, and valuable new information is gleaned: The meteorite does not pay enough attention to traffic.

Not very surprising, as Biff correctly observes, but that just how science works: you should not just assume even the very likely, if you can test for it and make sure. After all, had the meteorite displayed any sort of capability to avoid the on-rushing car, that would have opened the door to a quite fundamental reassessment – so the team would have been very remiss in not conducting this test. Plus, crash tests are always fun, producing loud sounds and massive damage – and those are key factors in nurturing scientific curiosity in general, aren’t they?

Mopey, in the meantime, directs our attention to the oft-overlooked problem of insurance rates. Not only B-movies, but movies in general, have a general tendency to gloss over this important factor. After all, it’s one thing to figure out a way to save the world, and that’s the aspect that movies tend to concentrate on…but a separate, and just as important question, is whether you can actually afford to do it. In reality, that tends to be the bigger problem, and insurance companies play a big part here.

I can’t tell you, of course, why that aspect is stressed here in this script – but perhaps the scriptwriter just had had trouble with his car insurance, or Nolan was miffed because the production insurance company had somehow found about Lee Douglas, and what and how much he had been made to do in the course of producing these movies. That alone would be enough to double or triple the premiums on the production insurance – the sheer amount of stuff that Lee is doing puts the lie to Nolan’s assurances that he’s “essentially worthless” and could be easily replaced. Not even a written affidavit to the very same effect, signed by Lee himself, could convince them – since the insurance company had understood, by that time, that Lee was willing to do just about anything, anyway…

More on Thursday.

2 Replies to “Satisfying Smash! – Chapter 8, Act 1, Strip 14”

  1. Maybe the whole insurance thing came about because the only possible way Nolan could afford to put a new-looking car like that in the movie and then smash it was through insurance fraud. But of course, if you smash your vehicle immediately after purchasing/renting it, insurance companies are going to be VERY wary about insuring another vehicle without a significant increase in your premiums.
    Nolan probably also made the mistake of signing his own name instead of using a “pen name” and thus caused his own personal rates to jump up. This scene is just him venting about that mistake (and padding the film).

    1. XD That’s an entirely plausible sequence of events – so, as far as I’m concerned, I’m considering it canon now (and I have a certain level of authority on the canon matter, for whatever that’s worth…). And, yeah, letting your professional car-carnage spill over into your private insurance premiums could be a costly mistake for a movie maker, since attrition on cars can run quite high in that business. During the production run of “Dukes of Hazzard”, for example, more than a hundred Dodge Chargers were totally wrecked – because the unrealistic thing about all of the spectacular jumps and stunts on that show was not the Dodge being able to pull them off, but only being able to survive them in a salvageable condition. XD

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