“I wanted to make films that would hopefully disturb other small children.” JL
By A.M. Charles
ParkCity, UT,(Hollywood Today)1/22/13/–He went to Stanford, “to become and engineer and wrote for the Stanford Daily,” but when Roger Corman learned film studies students got free passes to the movie theater in Paolo Alto, he quickly changed his major and with it, the course of film history. Creating generations of genre films and mentoring directors like Coppola, Cameron, Scorsese, Howard, Corman has generated a cinematic ripple effect, and his latest splash is VIRTUALLY HEROES, premiering at Sundance. “We wanted to create a film around existing battle scenes we’d already shot for other films in the Philippines by bribing the army.” The new story is constructed around guys in their own video game, so the repeated footage becomes comical.
Sitting on the panel next to Corman at the Cinema Cafe are genre filmmakers inspired by his legacy. Ben Wheatly, here with his film SIGHTSEERS, says he didn’t get into film school because “my short film, ‘Johnny meets the prostitutes’ didn’t go down well with the interview lady.” He learned about film making by sneaking into lectures with his friends who were students. Now Ben has won awards at Cannes and directed cult hits for BBC3. Ben loves horror films because, “they’re a marriage of visual and sound, grabbing people by the throat, dragging them straight into it and trying to punish them as much as possible.”
Also on the genre filmmaker panel are Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch Project) and Jeremy Lovering (M15, Money, Miss Austen Regrets), both fans of genre films from an early age. Sanchez, called the ‘godfather of found footage movies’ says, “The trick is to not cheat too much with the found footage. The basic construct has to be believable.”
These filmmakers with a common love for the genre, just like Corman, continue to perpetuate the legacy. Lovering admits, “I’d sneak down and watch the films I wasn’t allowed to watch because they disturbed me. Later I wanted to make films that would hopefully disturb other small children.” And so the spawn of the genre will continue…