AGE 19, HE ORGANIZED A DE PALMA FEST ON CAMPUS AT UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In November of 1975, as Sam Irvin tells it, Brian De Palma was busy in post-production on the film that was still titled Deja Vu (released the following year as Obsession), and also casting Carrie during joint sessions with George Lucas, who was casting his new film, Star Wars. In the midst of all of this, as a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, Irvin managed to compel De Palma to attend a festival of De Palma films that Irvin put together on campus. Irvin posted the above photos today on Facebook, with the following description:
TBT: November 1975. The day I met my future boss Brian De Palma. As a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, at age of 19, I organized a festival of De Palma films (SISTERS, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, GREETINGS and HI, MOM!) at a movie theater on campus.
In THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, I found a phone number for the casting office for CARRIE and managed to get De Palma on the phone and I invited him to come to Columbia, South Carolina, to appear at the festival.
I took De Palma to be a guest at a film class I was taking, taught by Professor Bernie Dunlap (in the center of these two photos) where De Palma drew storyboards in chalk on the blackboard and played cues on a cassette tape player of Bernard Herrmann’s newly recorded score for OBSESSION, De Palma’s latest film which was still in post-production (called DEJA VU at that time).
My friend Lee Tsiantis snapped these two photos of me (left), Bernie Dunlap (center) and De Palma (right).
In the summer of 1977, between my junior and senior year of college, I got my first professional job in the movie industry working as a production assistant, extra, and on-set journalist (for CINEFANTASTIQUE magazine) on Brian De Palma’s THE FURY starring Kirk Douglas and John Cassavetes.
Then, upon graduation in 1978, De Palma hired me to Associate Produce and Production Manage HOME MOVIES, a comedy he directed that summer, starring Kirk Douglas, Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon.
After that, De Palma hired me as his full-time assistant on DRESSED TO KILL starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen and Keith Gordon.
I owe my entire career to De Palma and everything I learned under his mentorship.