Final cut privilege

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Final cut privilege is the right of an individual (often a director or producer) to approve the version of a film released for public viewing.[1]


Before a film is released, studio executives will often make changes for commercial purposes, or to remove any controversial content, with or without the approval of the director. Sometimes such practices can cause conflict between the director and the studio (see American History X and Brazil).[2]

On nearly all occasions in the United States, only established and bankable directors (such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, or Quentin Tarantino) are given final cut privileges. Outside the Hollywood studio system—in France, for example—directors whose reputations are built on artistic merit, as opposed to bankability, frequently have final cut privilege for their films. In the United States there are only some acclaimed, but not necessarily bankable directors, such as Woody Allen, Alexander Payne and Terrence Malick, who enjoy final cut privilege.[3][4]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Gerstner, David A. & Staiger, Janet. (2002). Authorship and film. (AFI Film Readers) Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93994-2.