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Film Director Case Study Eli Roth
“Roth has beenenormously good atturning his name into abrand”Drew McWeeny
“From the blood-curdling Cabin Fever to thehackfest Hostel, Roth hasbecome the master of turninglittle films that could into bonafide Hollywood blockbusters.”Ask Men
The Man Himself Born Eli Raphael Roth, 18th April 1972, Newton Massachusetts U.S. Son of Cora Roth, a painter, and Dr Sheldon Roth, a psychiatrist, had 2 siblings. Made 50 short films from the age of 8, before graduating at Newton South High School, and then later going to film school in New York University. By the age of 20, Roth was still a student at NYU, and ran an office of producer Frederick Zollo, but quit to devote his time to writing. Caryeim Manheim gave him one of his first jobs in Hollywood, putting him as an extra on The Practice. He Graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1994 from NYU.
Roth’s Career In his final years (1993/1994) at NYU film school, Roth wrote and directed a student film called Restaurant Dogs as a homage to Quentin Tarantinos Reservoir Dogs. The film was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 1995, and won its division. Through his internship with producer Fred Zollo in years prior, Roth met David Lynch and remained in contact with him over the years, eventually producing content for Lynch with his fledgling website in the late 1990s. Roth moved from NYC to LA in 1999; shortly thereafter he wrote, directed, edited, produced, animated, and provided voices for a series of animated shorts called Chowdaheads for Mandalay Sports Entertainment. After receiving financial backup from the website Z.com to deliver a 5-minute pilot, Roth wrote, directed, animated and produced a series of stop-motion shorts in mid-2000 called The Rotten Fruit.
Films and Projects By Eli RothCabin Fever:-Co wrote by Randy Pearlstein, hisuniversity room mate.-Made in 2001, sold to Lionsgate-Highest grossing film of the yearHostel:-Made in 2005 on a 4 million dollarbudget.-Number 1 at the box office in 2006.-Empire Magazine readersvoted Hostel the Best Horror Film of 2007Other Films included-Hostel Part 2-Thanksgiving-Endangered Species
“I want to make movies that areinteresting and different, and thatmake people think. I mean, I wantto make a movie that they canhave a great time, that they canwatch over and over and overand that 30 years from now thatpeople will still be watching.”“If I dont come home coveredhead to toe in fake blood then Ihavent done my job as a horrordirector.”“Make a date movie, make apopcorn movie, or a Friday nightmovie and just do it well. Thats all Iever wanted to do.”
Eli Roth’s Cinematic StyleClassical Film Making Style: Roth photographs, edits and films in the style of 1970’sdrama’s. He does not use the modern "MTV" style of fast cutting, and prefers thefilmmaking techniques not to be noticed, and to take a back seat to the story andperformances.Eli Roth prefers to create movies that have an unfolding narrative rather than asituation narrative, where predictability becomes noticeable.He also prefers people to know nothing about the movie until they go to see it. The horror in his films comes in the psychology of his characters, whose selfishness,hedonism, desperation, or ignorance causes them to behave in frightening ways.“You’d have to let the camera roll for a while, until they get tired and have thatmoment where they are staring straight ahead, which gives a horror effect.”
According To Roth... In the following YouTube clip, Eli Roth is interviewed about his cinematic style in The Last Exorcism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqC3TKd fbeo
Film Trailers The Last Exorcism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NcYXzZCQsE Hostel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d5_lrn9v-g Cabin Fever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoJWIXj1VvM
What made these movies sosuccessful?The Last Exorcism: The film was successful because, the narrative itself was creepy and thisis why Eli Roth wanted to produce the movie. The fact that a handheld/documentarycamera was used throughout also made us feel like there was no barrier as an audience.Considering Eli Roth was involved in this movie there was not a lot of gore, which appealedto audiences, because it is unusual for Roth not to use gore.Hostel: The films opening weekend North American box office gross was $19.5 million,making it the top grossing film that weekend. It went on to gross a total of $47.2 million inthe U.S. The films budget was around $4.8 million, and the film went on to gross over $80million at the box office worldwide. The movie was inspired by true events, which led to theaudience believing in the movie. The movie was full of gore, which a typical of Roth, andthis makes it appealing to horror fans.Cabin Fever: Grossing $33,553,394 at the box office worldwide, the film was marked No. 3and the highest grossing film released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment in 2003. Criticalresponse to the film was mixed to positive, with a rave review from the New YorkTimes and Film Comment magazine. Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles reviews from a widerange of critics, gives the film a score of 63%, with the consensus "More gory thanscary, Cabin Fever is satisfied with paying homage to genre conventions rather thanreinventing them. Once again, the movie is full of gore and blood, which is a typical horrorconvention which appeals highly to audiences. Cabin fever is a typical slasher movie, inthe woods, which could happen in real life.