Thursday, June 4, 2009

Roger Corman on "Targets"

How did you come to produce Targets?

ROGER CORMAN: As a result of various complications in a contract, Boris Karloff owed me several days' work. So I wanted to do a horror film, starring Boris Karloff, in which he would only work for those days.

Peter Bogdanovich had been my assistant. (My assistant before that was Francis Coppola and after Francis had worked for me on a few films, I gave him a chance to direct.) I did the same thing with Peter. I said, 'Here's the problem: The picture must star Boris Karloff, but he can only work for these days.'

And Peter came up with the idea of Boris as an actor doing a traditional horror film, and in that way we could take some footage out of some of the horror films that Boris had done for me before, and also cut away to the boy and tell a parallel story.

The film has a couple of really long, continuous takes, which seem to go against your rule of getting proper coverage.

ROGER CORMAN: It goes a little bit against my rules, but on the other hand, all rules are made to be broken. I do like to get coverage, to get as much coverage as possible. Yet, at the same time, when you're on a very tight schedule, sometimes you have to sacrifice coverage. And when you do that, sometimes you can make a virtue out of necessity.

What was it that made you feel Bogdanovich could pull off this directing debut?

ROGER CORMAN: Peter is highly intelligent, and he had a great knowledge of film. He had written some added scenes for me on previous pictures, and had directed some second unit, so I was aware of his ability as a second unit director and his ability as a writer.

I had the feeling that he had the talent.

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