Study Guide

Sling Blade Production Studio

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Production Studio

The Shooting Gallery

If the production company known as The Shooting Gallery went to an actual shooting gallery for target practice, you could stand between them and the target and escape unscathed. This is a company that had far, far, far many more misses than hits.

Formed in 1991 by Larry Meistrich, The Shooting Gallery—TSG to the cool kids—stumbled along producing small-budge indie hits until Sling Blade made it big, earning TSG $10 million from Miramax for the right to distribute it. That kind of dough would buy a lot of French-fried potaters.

However, the studio didn't have another success until You Can Count on Me, starring Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo, in 2000. But they couldn't count on just that one indie darling saving their studio, which was rapidly sinking. In 2001, the studio, $72 million in losses, finally closed its doors.

So, despite twenty years in the business, TSG has little to show for it. But hey, not every production company can say that Hunter S. Thompson called them a "lazy b****." It's ironic that the most memorable thing about TSG is a shot taken at it.

After being purchased by Miramax, Sling Blade was secretly cut by Harvey Weinstein without Billy Bob Thornton's knowledge—though Meistrich of The Shooting Galley says that Weinstein's edit was better than Thornton's (source).

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