Why Did One Episode of ‘The Acolyte’ Cost Twice as Much as ‘Godzilla Minus One’ Yet Turn Out So Poorly?

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“Godzilla Minus One” is one of the most talked-about movies of 2023. This new Japanese kaiju film won a Special Effects Oscar this year, becoming the first Japanese movie to receive this honor. What’s impressive is that “Godzilla Minus One” was made with a relatively small budget, yet it managed to impress audiences with its authenticity and artistry. Meanwhile, “The Acolyte” is a much-discussed series capturing global attention, though not necessarily for positive reasons.

Despite its large budget, “The Acolyte” has faced criticism, particularly regarding its visuals. Some fans have remarked that it looks cheap, arguing that such a significant budget shouldn’t result in such low quality. This criticism is especially striking when compared to the success of “Godzilla Minus One.”

Regarding “The Acolyte,” we can confirm that the series has a reported total budget of $180 million, an astounding figure for a streaming miniseries. Each episode alone had a budget of roughly $22.5 million, which makes the criticism about its subpar visuals and technical aspects all the more surprising.

In contrast, “Godzilla Minus One” had a production budget of around $10 million and managed to become a visual spectacle that won an Oscar. How did they achieve this? In a recent interview with renowned video game artist Hideo Kojima, the film’s director, Takashi Yamazaki, shared some insights:

Yamazaki: There is also a cafeteria, so the environment itself is nice. How many people are there in total at Kojima Productions?

Kojima: The number has increased quite a bit, and now there are about 250 people. I think it should be limited to 150 people.

Yamazaki: Is that really all you can check?

Kojima: I have been saying for some time that I wanted to limit the number of people to 150, and one day director George Miller told me, “Hideo is right. A shepherd can only lead up to 150 sheep and cattle.”

Yamazaki: The VFX part of Godzilla Minus One is a team of 35 people.

Kojima: I think that’s the best.

Yamazaki: When it comes to continuously checking in real time, that’s the best I can do.

Kojima: Hollywood seems to have a misunderstanding, but Mr. Yamazaki’s team was able to make Godzilla Minus One because the production cost was less than 1.5 billion yen. This is a quality that cannot be achieved through outsourcing. When I first saw Godzilla Minus One, I thought it would win the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Yamazaki: That’s amazing. Foresight.

Kojima: Previous Godzilla movies were shot by special effects people, so the worldview wasn’t aimed at overseas audiences. That was fine though. This time, both the production of the drama and the virtual family are worldwide, and the setting will be popular. Regarding the image creation, Mr. Yamazaki also liked Hollywood movies, so the angle of view was not that of special effects. You can usually tell when you see it. So I think it’s only natural that it won an Academy Award. With this opportunity, many temptations will come from Hollywood.+

Source: dot.

As you can see, with “Godzilla Minus One,” it was about more than just money. It was dedication, hard work, and a group of passionate enthusiasts who poured everything into creating a magnificent piece of art. This commitment made it truly special, something “The Acolyte” seems to lack.

Despite its substantial budget, “The Acolyte” feels like another corporate brand product. It isn’t soulless, but it’s one of many. While it involved a large team of dedicated workers, it didn’t have the tight-knit group of enthusiasts that “Godzilla Minus One” had. Disney invested heavily in “The Acolyte,” giving Headland the opportunity to tell her story, but the final product doesn’t stand out. It’s just one story among many, which is unfortunate because “Godzilla Minus One” is also part of a brand, yet it distinguishes itself despite being one of many movies about the iconic monster.

The point is that “Godzilla Minus One” is a masterpiece created with a minimal budget, yet it turned out magnificent. On the other hand, “The Acolyte” was produced with a budget so large they could have made nearly 20 “Godzilla” movies, but it is far from perfect. Perhaps it’s time for Hollywood to reconsider its approach to budgeting for movies and series. They have a perfect model to emulate, and we’d certainly love to see more works like “Godzilla Minus One.” It’s definitely worth considering, and we hope to be writing about this shift soon. So, keep following us!

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