Sunday, November 15, 2009

Progeny Payback: Roger Corman Gets His Academy Award

This probably won't be a Trending Topic on Twitter, because it's been building for too many years. Too many decades. But 83-year-old filmmaking veteran Roger Corman received an Oscar last night in recognition of his long career, where he gave a start to many young filmmakers, including Jack Nicholson, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, and others.

Lawrence French interviews Corman over at Cinefantastique, where Corman tells French that he never tried to lock in these young talents with long-term contracts:

I couldn’t put up the millions of dollars out of my personal savings for someone to make a film. I simply didn’t have that much money. So I assumed that people would make their first low budget film for me, and then would go off and make their next film at a major studio for a much bigger budget.
In the December issue of Playboy, Avatar Director James Cameron says the Corman experience -- which he lived while making models for Battle Beyond the Stars -- was a sink-or-swin experience. "On a Corman film everybody just rose to his or her own level -- the opposite of the Peter Principle, in a way. You didn't think of a career; you thought, What's my next opportunity?"

The Los Angeles Times reports that Corman was saluted by some of his former young talent, including Ron Howard, who toasted him: "He changed my life. ... Dying for him was a badge of honor."

Congratulations to the independent film-lord.

The main Academy Awards show, which will be co-hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, will take place Sunday, March 7, 2010.

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