Roger Corman is known for creating exploitation films throughout much of his career, but few people know that he also acquired and distributed many art films in the 70′s. Many of these films received Academy Award nominations in addition to a slough of International Film Awards. This week’s Fan Question reveals which 5 movies Roger Corman refers to in his book “How I Made A Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime“.
Cries and Whispers won an Oscar for best cinematography, but was also nominated for four other academy awards including best director. In addition to the Academy Awards, Cries and Whispers won 12 out of 13 additional awards.
Tin Drum, set in Germany during WWI and WWII is an intense movie about a young boy’s distaste for adult life in Nazi Germany.
Tin Drum won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film in addition to winning 12 out of 13 other film awards.
Breaker Morant was filmed in Australia in 1980.
This movie details the experience of military luitenants who execute their prisoners to deflect attention to the war crimes committed by their superior officers.
Nominated for Best Writing Oscar, Breaker Morant won 12 out of 17 film awards.
My Uncle the American is a Psychological drama about the lives of three different people and their mental techniques for survival.
Nominated for Best Writing Oscar, this film also won 8 out of 15 other awards.
Cabeza De Vaca won 2 out of 3 international film awards.
Jack Nicholson is one of the more well-known actors who got his start with Roger Corman back in the 50′s when films were still shot in black and white. Nicholson starred in a variety of Corman movies, and even wrote The Trip (1967) which was a successful period piece starring Peter Fonda and Susan Strasberg.
Nicholson’s debut screen role was in Cry Baby Killer (1958) in which he played a distraught teenager who thinks he’s committed murder and holds a group hostage. Since then he has won 3 Academy Awards and many other awards too numerous to list.
When asked about his experience with Jack Nicholson, Roger Corman immediately smiles. He might mention his little known film Little Shop of Horrors which he shot in 2 days and 1 night, or he might mention his consternation that it took so long for Hollywood to recognize Nicholson’s talent. Either way, those early years were formative for both men, and the movies they created together may no longer be in the spotlight, but they played an active role in shaping the careers of Corman and Nicholson.
Here is Jack Nicholson in Cry Baby Killer:
Each week we will answer 2 questions, Roger or Julie will offer personal comments on at least one of the questions. Your questions can come through comments on New Horizons blog posts, through our Twitter page, or through our Facebook page. We look forward to interacting with you and providing an inside perspective of the low-budget independent film industry that Roger and Julie Corman are famous for.
This week’s question comes from Mike on twitter:
This is a tough question. New Horizons Picture Corp does not work with short films. This medium was also not discussed at IFTA‘s annual Producer’s Conference, which instead focussed on films that could expect box office distribution.
Short films have traditionally been used by new filmmakers to showcase their work. But the market is evolving and a bit of ingenuity might help launch a profitable short form industry.
The short film medium has not gained a foothold in the marketplace, although some feature length movies (like Toy Story 3) have included shorts in place of previews. Although there is not a large financial demand for short films, YouTube has proven that short media is very popular. One obvious way to monetize this is revenue share on video hosting websites.
Gaining VOD (video on demand) distribution can be difficult for independent filmmakers with only one or two movies. Even more challenging is convincing the large VOD distributors to accept your short film. A quick search for the keyword “short films” on Netflix provides ten results. Each result is a collection of short films, many of which garnered awards or prestigious nominations, other collections are themed.
In short, New Horizons doesn’t have the answer to this question.
Here are a few resources for, about, and in celebration of short films:
Short Film Central: This database of films provides an online outlet and community for short film producers and advocates.
Student Films: This chat room is a resource for short film producers as well as anyone interested in feature length film production.
A Few Short Film Festivals:
Roger Corman is known for discovering talent and helping launch the careers of many A-list Hollywood stars. A few have even been child actors like Jennifer Love-Hewitt in Munchie and Home for Christmas or Tobey Magquire in Revenge of the Red Baron. But today’s blog is about Mila Kunis who had a small role in the 1995 TV version of Piranha, a remake of Roger Corman’s original Piranha filmed in 1978, and most recently remade by director Alexandre Aja as Piranha 3D.
Mila has developed into a stunning actress. Her transition from small budget horror flicks to renowned television series and exquisite art films like Black Swan is a remarkable achievement.
Mila Kunis played the role of Susie Grogan who was terrified of swimming in the river.
Ironically, her stage mother assured her that there was nothing in the water except a few little fish.
Tension builds in little Mila’s eyes while the happy campers clutch their marshmallow sticks and listen to ghost stories.
But the child star manages to discard her fear of the river and save the day as the other little campers get munched on by a horde of starving piranhas.
Here is the original trailer for Piranha (1995)
On Friday December 3rd, the International Film and Television Alliance hosted its 12th annual production conference. The topic this year is one that the entertainment industry has been wrangling with for many years: How do independent filmmakers successfully take advantage of digital media distribution via the internet?
Welcoming remarks by Pierre David, Chairman, IFTA Producers Committee
Keynote address by Dave Habiger, President & CEO of Sonic Solutions
A pithy talk about Video on Demand Today by Amy Friedlander Hoffman, President of Priority Digital Media
And an excellent panel Monetizing Independent Film in the Digital Marketplace
Pierre David, Chairman & CEO, Imagination Worldwide, LLC
Bruce Eisen, VP of Online Content Development & Strategy Dish Network
Robert Benya, President & CEO of iNDEMAND Networks
Daniel Diamon, President of International Sales at Morgan Creek International
Alex Fragan, President of Domestic Television Distribution for Summit Entertainment, LLC
Barry Gordon, CEO & Co-Founder of XLrator Media
Daniel York, President of Content at AT&T
The primary focus centered on the three types of VOD (Video on Demand): ad-supported (Hulu), transactional (iTunes), and Subscription (Netflix, Hulu Plus). The ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel was filled with IFTA members interested in discovering which digital media outlet would work best for their productions and how to make the connections that would provide access to the the VOD market.
Discussion abounded about VOD release strategy. The speakers advocated narrowing the “window” between theatrical, DVD, and VOD release. Jeff Cuban even spoke about his innovative strategy to allow VOD streaming prior to theatrical release. Alex Fragan commented that VOD release of Twilight did not hurt DVD sales. This is not to say that such a strategy will work with all movies, but the results clearly show that the world is moving towards a streaming movie experience.
While the panelists’ experience and approach to digital media differed, they were all in agreement that use of social media and viral marketing were essential. They recommended utilizing social media to help drive viewers to the content. With the increasing number of movies available on VOD, creating product visibility is key. As the barriers-to-entry drop for independent filmmakers in the digital marketplace, the ability to effectively reach the audience diminishes. One comment, which caused the entire audience to laugh, was the idea that people would rather watch a movie they don’t want to watch rather than spend hours searching for the right movie.
VOD is quickly transforming from the future to the present of the film industry, DVDs will still be around for a while and finding creative methods to garner attention for independent films will be essential for Hollywood survival.
Welcome to Roger Corman’s company blog and DVD webstore!
This blog will be a place for fans and passers-by to gather as a community and interact with New Horizons Picture Corp. We’ll have news about behind the scenes events and processes, inside looks at our current projects, and opportunities to learn more about our company and the people who work here.
We invite you to ask questions, leave comments, and discover our world of low-budget independent filmmaking.