Here’s a one-hour BBC doc about Cannon Films, apparently lensed around ’87 or ’88…but it’s hard to tell. “I worked as a Cannon staff press-kit writer for much of ’86, all of ’87 and into early ’88, so I know whereof I speak,” I wrote in August 2010. “I know all about that operation and the mentality behind it. There were quality exceptions here and there (which I was very grateful for), but the films were mainly schlock. Which fostered a certain atmosphere among Cannon employees. ‘Fatalism mixed with humiliation resulting in gallows humor’ is one way to describe it.”
“I had a nice little office on the fourth floor. I had a desk, phone, window, chair, two filing cabinets and a styrofoam ceiling that I used to lob sharp pencils into when I was bored. But I also got to meet and work with Barbet Schroeder on Barfly, Norman Mailer on Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Herbert Ross on Dancers, Tobe Hooper and L.M. Kit Carson on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Godfrey Reggio on Powaqqatsi and Richard Franklin on Link.
“I barely spoke to Golan and Globus, and that was okay.
“But I was in the building when Schroeder stood in Golan’s office and threatened to cut off his finger with an electric chainsaw if Golan didn’t greenlight Barfly. And I talked to Mickey Rourke over the phone once and managed to piss him off (but that was par for the course back then). And I became slightly chummy with former SNL alumnus Charles Rocket. And at Schroeder’s insistence I rewrote the Barfly press kit about ten or twelve times (to the point I couldn’t read the sentences any longer), but I learned that relentless re-writing, if you’re tough enough to handle it, does result in a bulletproof final draft.
“I also had to write press kits for Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Assassination, The Barbarians, Tobe Hooper’s Invaders from Mars, Masters of the Universe, Down Twisted, The Arrogant and others I’d rather not think about.” — from “That Cannon Stamp,” 8.20.10.