Here is a fairly disturbing article from the NY Times for you. It explains what is happening in our industry in terms of the deals being made for product placement. Product placement is the process of using goods, brands, logos or identifiable products in a film in exchange for some kind of compensation (like free products or services, or a lump-sum of cash). On one hand, product placement can be very helpful on a small film. You don’t have the money to buy everything you need (let’s say, to outfit a football team), so you hook up with an athletic-gear company and they donate everything you need… in exchange for their logo being seen prominently in frame on the actors. That’s fair.
What’s NOT fair (to anyone with even a speck of artistic integrity) is hiring a lawyer to rewrite a script in order to facilitate these deals. I’ll be honest, this article made me want to barf – in solidarity with every writer, director and creative department head I have ever known. It’s sad, kids.