LB: Roger Corman Explains It All

I love this guy. I met him while I was running one of the most enjoyable shows of my career – THE FALL GUY – and he offered me the chance to write and produce any film I wanted with his company…as long as I paid for it. I mean all of it.

In that moment, Roger proved to me that, without a doubt, he had showbiz down. Not that he had to prove anything to anyone, but still…

Aince I oh-so-regretfully turned him down, I haven’t seen him again. Which is a shame because, as it turns out, Boss Corman and I have two important things in common.

  1. Our wives. Once upon a time, my wife Gwen the Beautiful worked for his wife, Julie, as her personal assistant
  2. We both have a thing for 50 foot women

And speaking of that:

Roger Corman on ‘Attack of the 50 Ft. Cheerleader,’ the Benefit of Budgetary Restraints and Why the Internet’s the Next Home for Indie Film – by Danny Bowes

Roger Corman should need no introduction. Without him, independent film in the United States would be an entirely different entity, if it would even exist at all. As a director, he was responsible for a classic series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations in the early 1960s, among many, many others. As a producer he gave early-career breaks to some of the most storied names in American cinema: Coppola, Scorsese, Bogdanovich, Sayles, Demme.

And, above all, Corman maintained a steadfast commitment to making fun, profitable pictures, of which he has made literally hundreds over the course of his career, now in its seventh decade. His latest film as a producer stars Jena Sims as aspiring college cheerleader Cassie Stratford who, you know, grows to a giant size after taking an experimental performance-enhancing drug, and premieres on Epix this Saturday, August 25th at 10pm. Indiewire caught up with Corman on a recent afternoon for a chat about this most recent project, his career in general, and matters philosophic.

This question will probably answer itself — it certainly would for me — but why “Attack of the 50 Ft. Cheerleader”?

The idea was originally Epix’s, and I had worked with a friend of mine who had produced the original “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.” I had designed the ad, which is sort of a classic — it’s in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection — so they knew I had some connection with that, and I’m just on good terms with them.

They just asked me if I would like to make it. I said yes, for two reasons: one, I thought it would be a fun project, and it was, and secondarily, I had never worked in 3D before. I thought there’s so much going this way in the industry, I’d better find out and this would give me a chance to learn. So the picture worked out very well on both bases.

It’s a kind of picture that at the same time it feels very modern, it feels in the best ways like a throwback, in terms of it being the kind of T&A comedy from the 70s and 80s, was that a conscious decision to bring back that kind of aesthetic?

Yes, we were aware of the changes in the film industry, and also the successful films we had made some time ago, and we felt we would bring back a little bit. It wasn’t a major event, but we felt we would bring back a little bit of the flavor of that, which would add a little interest to the film.

The picture seemed as though as it was made for a fairly modest budget, which is something your work has been known for. Is it strictly a practical choice, or are there some aesthetic benefits to working within modest means?

It’s primarily a practical choice. We had a deal with Epix, we knew exactly how much money they were giving us. We retained the foreign rights, so it was just sort of a calculation as to what sort of budget, putting all these factors together, should “Cheerleader” represent.

Do you feel, though, that working within restrictions like that is a boon to creativity in any way? How do restrictions like that affect the choices you would make as a producer or director as opposed to having unlimited resources at your disposal?

Read it all

Really read it. You’ll learn – a hell of a lot.



Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.