Talk about the meeting of two generations — late last year, self-admitted John Carpenter super-fan Robert Rodriguez sat down to speak with the legendary horror director for the premiere episode of “The Director’s Chair.” The series, which sporadically debuts new episodes on El Rey Network, features Rodriguez interviewing other famous Hollywood directors. Rodriguez launched El Rey in 2013 in a deal with Univision to bring English-language content to a target demographic of Latino audiences, and as he admits, “It’s quite fitting that the man who has more films on the El Rey Network than any other filmmaker be our first guest on this first episode of ‘The Director’s Chair.’ “
Before we get to what they talked about, Rodriguez’s impetus for interviewing other directors is pretty intriguing, and not something you often hear other filmmakers state openly. He puts it to Carpenter, “A filmmaker doesn’t automatically know how another filmmaker does it.” Thus, he wants to sit down with his peers and role models to discuss the craft, helmer to helmer.
So, what did the two men discuss? Well, they take things right from the beginning, starting with when Carpenter decided to become a storyteller (he was eight). They then jump to Carpenter at USC, where some of the greatest filmmakers in cinema history gave lectures to his class (watch the video to find out who).
The conversation quickly moves to “Assault on Precinct 13,” Carpenter’s 1976 crime thriller, which Rodriguez dubs “one of the first staples of cable television.” Though they talk about the production, Rodriguez readily ushers the dialogue to the fact that Carpenter composed the score for the film. Basically, he asks why. “I composed because I’m cheap, and I’m fast. I just didn’t have any money for a composer and hiring musicians and a soundstage,” Carpenter replies. He didn’t even score to the image, and didn’t watch the film while composing. Carpenter just wrote the music and crammed it in before the deadline.
And that barely scratches the surface of what the two directors discuss. Check out the entire episode below.
Video removed at the request of FerenComm.