Francis Ford Coppola. Martin Scorsese. Ron Howard. Jonathan Demme. Joe Dante.
A couple of these guys directed some of the greatest moves ever made. While a few of them experienced insurmountable critical and financial success in Hollywood. And they all have one thing in common.
A producer for American International Pictures, then went on and founded his own company New World Pictures, Corman was the film school before there was film school. But better: he gave his neophyte filmmakers a budget, a distribution platform and creative freedom… as long as they adhered to the budget and his specific content guidelines (you know what I’m talking about. SEX and VIOLENCE, bitches!). It’s amazing to ponder just where Hollywood would be today if it weren’t for Roger Corman. What alternate history would exist if, say, Coppola, Scorsese, Howard, Demme, Dante, Jack Nicholson, Peter Bogdanovich, Bruce Dern, Peter Fonda, Allan Arkush, Bob Rafaelson, Monte Hellman, John Sayles, Robert Towne, Paul Bartel, Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron hadn’t built the sets, fetched the coffee, wrote the scripts or did all of the above for this legendary, B-movie producer.
So Lola, Jeff and I discuss five Roger Corman “Firsts.” First time films by directors who went on to bigger things. The first time films produced by His Royal Highness, The King of Exploitation.