Good Will Hunting: Lawrence Bender’s Award-Winning Classic

Film producers play an integral role when it comes to orchestrating an independently made or company-made movie.

The producer’s role is to shepherd the process of putting the film together, including choosing the screenwriter, hiring a director, managing various other key production roles, and most importantly, arranging the financing needed to complete the film.

A good film producer also has to be a convincing leader. One of the film industry’s most charismatic leadership figures is Lawrence Bender. His company, Lawrence Bender Productions, rose to fame after the success of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.”

Directors like Tarantino typically get the credit for the entire creative atmosphere of a film. However, the producers definitely master the technical nuances of the film-making process. Lawrence Bender showed his technical mastery with “Good Will Hunting.”

Directed by Gus Van Sant, “Good Will Hunting” stars Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck. Damon and Affleck are also credited as the film’s screenwriters. Released in 1997, “Good Will Hunting” is based on the life of Will Hunting, a young man who is a genius.

He is from South Boston and works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hunting’s role is played by Damon. Dr. Sean Maguire, Hunting’s unlikely mentor is brilliantly played by Williams.

The filming of “Good Will Hunting” occurred between April and June of 1997. In addition to the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area, other parts of this stellar movie were filmed in the Canadian province of Ontario in the city of Toronto.

The brilliance of “Good Will Hunting” was not just about the acting. It was also about the musical mind that scored the film. Danny Elfman, a very accomplished music composer was deeply involved in the sonic direction and songwriting process.

The effective fundraising implemented by “Good Will Hunting” producer Lawrence Bender paid off. When the smoke cleared, the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning film raked in a whopping quarter of a billion dollars worldwide.

Bender gave Damon, Affleck, and Van Sant a lot of praise regarding the film in an exclusive group interview, which key “Good Will Hunting” players conducted with Boston Magazine.

“I’ll never forget the first day of shooting. After it, Matt and Ben and Gus went in for this big hug. This was their baby, more than anyone else,” Bender said.