Study Guide

Pulp Fiction Production Studio

Production Studio

A Band Apart

After their debut success with Reservoir Dogs, director Quentin Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender did what any two newly acclaimed movie professionals would do: they started their own production company. The company was called A Band Apart, although what the band is apart from is still unclear.

Jk, it's very clear. It's actually a play on the movie Bande à part, meaning "band of outsiders", which was the title of a Jean-Luc Godard crime film. It was a big influence on Tarantino and was his original inspiration for the twist contest scene—which was apparently not just an excuse to have Travolta reprise his Saturday Night Fever role.

A Band Apart produced all of Quentin's films up though Inglourious Basterds in 2009, despite the company being dissolved in 2005. A Band Apart was also responsible for a handful of other late '90s and early 2000s productions, including Good Will Hunting. The company isn't just Tarantino and Bender, though. Other members include returning Tarantino actor and Buddy Holly impersonator Steve Buscemi, writer/directors Tim Burton and Daren Aronofsky, and rapper with no apparent ties to anyone else, Andre 3000.

Jersey Films, a company co-founded by Michael Shamburg and Danny DeVito (before he changed his name to Frank and bought a bar), provided a first look at the script and shopped it to Tri-Star pictures, who ultimately turned it down because of the heroin scenes.

Sorry, heroin scenes.

Then DeVito showed the script to Harvey Weinstein of Miramax, who loved it and gave the filmmakers a budget of $8 million and change. Weinstein insisted the script be kept under lock and key. When it went out to the actors, it came with a message: "If you show this to anybody, two guys from Jersey [Films] will come and break your legs" (source).

Sounds about right.

Once Weinstein convinced Bruce Willis to sign on, he made back his $8.5 million by selling the foreign rights for $11 million. He continued to heavily promote the film, flying the whole cast over to the Cannes Film Festival in May, 1994, where people went nuts seeing Travolta and Willis and where the film took the grand prize, the Palme D'Or.

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