Yesterday I had the great privilege of interviewing the legendary Roger Corman onstage at the Great American Pitchfest.
Aside from a few microphone niggles, it was a splendid conversation with a man who for me was a kind of grandfather to my career. I wanted the conversation to be about ‘now and tomorrow’, to offer useful instruction to writers and filmmakers now, but inevitably we ended up discussing his ridiculously prolific career spanning over 60 years and 400 feature films.
I had already been compiling some of his best quotes for a blog about him, and I also quizzed him on my favourite quote of his ‘every film would be improved by removing 15 minutes and adding a helicopter explosion…’ His answer is hilarious. You can listen to the interview above and also read some of his best quotes below…
It’s not every day you meet a person who inspired you to become who you are today and a deeply grateful for this experience. And for me, he remains the original Guerilla Filmmaker.
‘One of the worst things you can do is have a limited budget and try to do some big looking film. That’s when you end up with very bad work.’
‘In science-fiction films, the monster should always be bigger than the leading lady.’
‘I do not believe, as the true auteur theorist believes, that the director is the sole maker of the film. I think film is a collaborative process and I would put together the writer, the director, and the producer all joining as a joint auteur of which the most important probably is the director.’
‘Motion pictures are the art form of the 20th century, and one of the reasons is the fact that films are a slightly corrupted artform. They fit this century – they combine Art and business!’
‘As a producer, I probably am a little stronger than most, since I was a director originally’
‘Jim Cameron is proof that if you are good, you’ll get promoted.’
‘Other writers, producers, and directors of low-budget films would often put down the film they were making, saying it was just something to make money with. I never felt that. If I took the assignment, I’d give it my best shot.’
‘When I started in the late 1950s, every film I made – no matter how low the budget – got a theatrical release. Today, less that 20-percent of our films get a theatrical release.’
‘I’ve never made the film I wanted to make. No matter what happens, it never turns out exactly as I hoped.’
Onwards and upwards!