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51th Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Tobe Hooper

Hooper was born in Austin, Texas in 1943. He first used his father’s 8 mm camera at age 9. Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. Hooper had shot over 60 documentaries, commercials and short films before making « The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ». In 1969 Hooper co-wrote and directed « Eggshells », about a group of hippies in a commune house having to deal with the presence of a possible supernatural force. « Eggshells » did not receive theatrical release of any kind, but did win Hooper several awards, including the Atlanta Film Festival Award, when the film played around different colleges. His intention was to go to Hollywood to become a working feature film director. In 1974, he organized a small cast comprised of college teachers and students, and with Kim Henkel, on a budget of $60,000 (which eventually rose to $70,000 or some reports say up to even $120,000) made « The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ». Hooper claims to have got the idea for the film while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store. While thinking of a way to get through the crowd, he spotted chainsaws for sale…