They Shoot Movies, Don't They? is a "pseudo-documentary" about Tom Paulson (Tom Wilson), a filmmaker attempting to get financing to complete his feature film, entitled "Mirage." The director, Frank Gallagher, narrates, describing how Paulson was a hot baseball prospect before an injury ended his athletic career. Paulson then turned to film, and got a development deal at Universal right out of college. Frustrated with waiting for the studio to approve one of his projects, Paulson gave up his lucrative deal at Universal and threw all his money into his own independent production. The film picks up as "Mirage" wraps. Paulson has a distribution deal in place, but the distributor backs out at the last minute, giving Paulson a choice. Either he can turn over control of postproduction to the distributor, or the deal is dead. Paulson refuses to relinquish control of his film, leaving him 80,000 dollars short of completion. He turns to a friend, successful businessman Ari Barak, who offers to come up with half the completion money if Paulson comes up with the other half. Paulson exhausts all his resources, trying to get a bank loan, calling on his old associates at Universal, and begging for money from friends, but he can't raise the 40,000 dollars. Paulson's relationship with his girlfriend, Adele Baughn, is deteriorating, and, as he grows increasingly despondent, Paulson decides to take drastic action. Wilson co-produced and co-wrote They Shoot Movies, Don't They? with Gallagher, who plays the intrusive documentarian. An airing on IFC sparked a minor controversy, as some viewers apparently weren't sure whether or not the film was fiction.
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