While “The Butler” is an extreme case, Gordon said the use of multiple producers of all kinds is becoming the norm. “The idea of 41 names in some producorial capacity is very sensationalistic,” he said. “It’s a great headline. But the reality is that making a picture now requires alliances, it requires partnerships, it requires people coming together to get movies made. And that’s even more true on the independent side.”
As an indie film that required a number of different backers to raise the money for its production, he added, “The Butler” is an aberration that nonetheless illustrates the current nature of filmmaking.
“I will bet you that at least 50 percent, if not more, of the people who are credited as some form of producer on that movie are deserving of their credits for making a contribution to a movie that was very, very difficult to get made,” he said.
“But I’m sure that there are more people who got a credit on that movie than should have any kind of credit,” he added. “I don’t know the circumstances – but look, how many producers does it take to screw in a light bulb? It ain’t 41.”