Jared Hess had a $400,000 budget for ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, relying on the generosity of the locals of Preston, Idaho, to provide housing and food for crew members. Jon Heder was initially paid $1000 for starring as Napoleon.
At the age of 17, Steven Spielberg directed a sci-fi film called “Firelight”. The budget was $500, and it was shown at a local cinema, with 500 people coming, and tickets costing a dollar each. However, one person paid $2, so the movie made $1, making it Spielberg’s first commercial success.
During filming of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, seeing a white stunt double for a black actor applying blackface, black extra Eddie Smith asked the director why they couldn’t hire a black one. The director said, “find us one, and I will,” and Smith later founded the Black Stuntmen’s Association.
Chris McCandless’s “Into the Wild” bus in Alaska was removed from Denali after tourists kept getting severely injured or dying while trying to visit it.
John Malkovich won the award for the best supporting actor for his role in the movie Being John Malkovich.
The original proposal for the plot of the movie Anchorman was about news anchors trying to escape a mountaintop plane crash, while being stalked and killed by orangutans wielding ninja stars.
Quentin Tarantino dug up and used actual KHJ radio broadcasts from 1968 and 69, along with commercials, for the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He sifted through 17 hours of airchecks to find the tracks he wanted to put in the film.
While filming a 170 foot waterfall in the movie Apocalypto, a cow was trying to cross upstream and went over the falls. It emerged at bottom, banging against the rocks, but after a local man swam in to calm the cow it then climbed up the bank and began eating grass as if nothing had happened.
Lenny Montana, the actor who played Luca Brasi in The Godfather was actually a member of the Colombo crime family sent to monitor the set. Coppola cast him, but due to his nerves, he kept making mistakes and repeating his lines to himself. This was then incorporated into the film as a character.
When filming the original Borat film, Sacha Baron Cohen never washed Borat’s suit or wore deodorant when in character. He said it gave Borat a “kind of dreadful Soviet-bloc smell the moment I walk in”.