Corman hesitated somewhat just as shooting began. “There were just lights everywhere — it was blinding,” he explained. “And on the first take, the assistant director said, ‘Roll ’em.’ Francis said, ‘Action!’ and as soon as Francis said ‘Action!’ a voice boomed out of all this light and said, ‘Don’t get nervous, Rog, but your entire career in Hollywood depends on how you say these lines!’ And it was Jack Nicholson, who, by prearrangement with Francis, had come up from another soundstage to throw me off.”
Time will more and more reveal, I think, that the bad directors are the ones whose visual styles we are required to notice. Go to see Antonioni’s "The Red Desert" on the same bill with Fellini’s " 8 1/2 ," as I once did, and you will feel the difference instantly: Antonioni, so studied, so self-conscious, so painstaking about his plans, creates a movie we can appreciate intellectually, but it bores us. Fellini, whose mastery of the camera is so infinitely more fluid, sweeps us through his fantasies without effort, and we are enthralled.