Sunday, December 14, 2008
How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime
I love this book. I had never realized how very many of the weird movies that I thought were special came from the same person. To think that "X, the Man with X-Ray Eyes", "Bucket of Blood", "House II", "Battle Beyond the Stars", "Rock and Roll High School", "Death Race 2000", "The Wasp Woman", and so many more all came from the same creative mind was eye-opening for me. I had always assumed that I was just cobbling together bits and pieces from the world that matched my viewpoint -- but to realize that, instead, I just seem to have an affinity towards a single creative individual -- well, I'm not sure what to make of that. I was startled to see that I operate my studio much the way he operated his -- taking few risks, carefully controlling costs, and not being afraid to change the work to fit the budget. There is something important here, and I can't put my finger on it. Roger manages to be the opposite of an artist (his films are all about making money), but they are also the opposite of corporate flimmaking (his films are strange, singular visions). His incredibly fast filmmaking creates situations where there is no time for artifice -- and as a result, his actors often have a genuine quality. Most compelling of all, he takes tawdry, exploitative concepts, and weaves into them novel, powerful stories -- just where you would least expect to find them. It's a special kind of magic that will leave me thinking for a long, long time.