Who's Next To Croak?

Started by cine, September 28, 2003, 11:07:39 AM

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MELINDA WILSON (wife of Brian Wilson) 

This one hits a little harder than some. I had a 2 or 3 year Brian Wilson obession, and Melinda basically saved his life (or at least a bit of his sanity). 




Quote from: WorldForgot on February 28, 2024, 04:56:23 PMRichard Lewis

Well. I somehow haven't started the last Curb season yet but here is a reason to: the dead are living.


Roger Corman

QuoteCorman died May 9 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., surrounded by family members, the family confirmed to Variety.

"His films were revolutionary and iconoclastic, and captured the spirit of an age. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, 'I was a filmmaker, just that,'" the family said in a statement.

Corman's empire, which existed in several incarnations, including New World Pictures, and Concorde/New Horizons, was as active as any major studio and, he boasted, always profitable. He specialized in fast-paced, low-budget genre movies — horror, action, science fiction, even some family fare — and his company became a work-in-training ground for a wide variety of major talents, from actors like Nicholson ("Little Shop of Horrors") and De Niro ("Boxcar Bertha") to directors like Francis Ford Coppola ("Dementia 13") and Scorsese ("Boxcar Bertha").

When Corman was awarded an Oscar at the AMPAS' first Governors Awards ceremony in November 2009, Ron Howard saluted him for hiring women in key exec and creative jobs, as well as for giving them big roles, and Walter Moseley was quoted as saying Corman offered "one of the few open doors," looking beyond age, race and gender.

Corman hailed film as "the only truly modern art form." But he pointed out that the need of cast and crew payments mean a constant compromise between art and business.

Howard also joked that when he directed his first film, "Eat My Dust," he complained to Corman about the low budget and the sparse extras for a crowd scene only to be told, "If you do a good job on this film, you won't ever have to work for me again!"

Quentin Tarantino toasted him with "the movie lovers of planet Earth thank you." Jonathan Demme praised his acting, saying Corman gave "tremendous value at a really affordable price." In several movies for Demme, Corman wanted the same fee he gave actors in the 50-plus films he'd directed: scale plus 10%.

Over almost half a century, he took over the B-movie market, which had largely disappeared in the wake of television, and kept it alive almost single-handedly (along with Sam Arkoff of American Intl. Pictures, who financed most of Corman's early directing/producing efforts). Well into his nineties, he was producing Bs for $5 million and under and rolling them out for video and television release.

After he left off directing in the late '60s (to return only briefly in the mid-'80s with "Frankenstein Unbound"), he formed New World Pictures, which also imported foreign art films like Ingmar Bergman's "Cries and Whispers" and taught the industry how to effectively market and distribute such rarefied films.

Born in Detroit, Corman moved with his family in 1940 to Los Angeles. He attended Beverly Hills High School and then Stanford U., majoring in engineering. He admitted to being infatuated by movies from the time he came to California. "There was no way I couldn't be interested in movies, growing up where I did," he once said.

Service in WWII and his education (he also attended Oxford for a term, studying English literature) slowed him down. After Stanford he worked for four days at U.S. Electric Motors and then tried to break into the business by working as a messenger at 20th Century Fox. When he returned from Oxford (and a short stay in Paris) he became, in his own words, "a bum." From 1951-53 he did odd jobs and collected unemployment. He briefly worked as a script reader; convinced he could do better, he wrote "Highway Dragnet" and sold it to Allied Artists for $4,000.

With the money he made from the 1954 release and contributions from family and friends, he produced "The Monster From the Ocean Floor" and struck a deal with Arkoff's AIP. In return for cash advances, Corman agreed to make a series of movies.

From 1955-60 Corman produced or directed more than 30 films for AIP, all budgeted at less than $100,000 and produced in two weeks or less. There were Westerns ("Five Guns West," "The Gunslinger"); horror and science fiction ("The Day the World Ended," "The Undead" in 1956 and 1957); as well as teen movies like "Carnival Rock" and "Rock All Night."

Soon he was the hero of the drive-ins.