Alex Stapleton Quotes
Because I didn’t go to film school, I had a collection of books that were inspiring or taught me how to make movies, shorts with my friends back in Brooklyn, and one of those books was How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime which is Roger’s autobiography. After reading that, I realized that oh my God, this guy is behind all my favorite Pam Grier movies. Oh my God, he made the Vincent Price Poe films that ran on television when I was little. He did Grand Theft Auto. He made Death Race 2000.
We need to take a step back and realize that what happened in the 1950s, when he started his career, is exactly where we are today. Everything goes in a cycle, and right now, distribution is changing. Audiences might be kind of sick of these giant blockbuster movies with all these special effects where blue people are running around and the hero is some non-human entity. These are all great movies, but I think that there’s definitely room for new voices to come out.
I think being really open to this new world of online and what it means to be online. Also, understanding that maybe it’s time to let go of the 90-minute experience and realize that all of the content that comes on top of the 90-minute film experience, [that] there’s a lot of that, especially with documentaries.
If you take a movie like Easy Rider which everyone counts as the beginning of New Hollywood, that is a big movement. And then, when you really dissect that film and the people that were behind that movie, you realize that it has Roger Corman written all over it. Easy Rider is a hybrid film, taking The Trip and The Wild Angels and making a new explosion. And the people that were making it, guess what, they were all [people who had worked with Roger Corman].
Peter Fonda was just this clean, cookie-cutter kind of a guy. Roger Corman turned him into the motorcycle man with The Wild Angels. Jack Nicholson, all of them, they all had these images that Roger Corman fueled, and Easy Rider, it was a big surprise to understand how much creative influence Roger had. A lot of people dismiss him as just launching famous people’s careers or being a penny pinching producer, but he’s so much more than that.
There’s all of the DVD extra material and all these other pieces of information that don’t fit into a 90-minute experience, but it’s still content and people still want to see it. It’s being open to [the fact that] the business is changing and being open to how you can make money to afford you to stay in business to keep making new things. I think you just have to have an open mind and be really smart about stuff and not be so locked into the conventional way of how the process used to go.
There hadn’t been one done since the late 70s. I was living in Brooklyn, had no connection to Roger Corman, to no one in this movie. I didn’t go to film school. I’m like the person who should have never made this film. But I just decided to put one foot in front of the other. I was writing film articles for magazines at the time. I convinced an editor from one of the magazines that I was working for to give me a shot to do a piece on Roger. This was an excuse to go meet him.