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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 23, 1974
- Vol. 2
- No. 26
Don Coscarelli and Craig Mitchell wondered for a while if eight years spent nursing an obsession with film hadn't reared a truly gruesome monster: the first $100,000 home movie in history. It all started in '66 when Don and Craig—newcomers to the same Long Beach, Calif. housing complex—parlayed a mutual interest in movies into term projects for high school. Upon graduation, both enrolled in film schools—UCLA for Don, Long Beach City College for Craig—before realizing "there just wasn't any way to get into the film business without a feature film." Don's dad, an investment counselor, kicked in an initial $10,000 toward a $25,000 projected budget; $90,000 in deferred payments later, the boys were the owners of a rough cut which, to their horror, snapped four times as they attempted to screen it for a distinguished L.A. critic. Nonetheless, Universal's Stanley Sheinberg offered—on a tip from the same critic—$250,000 plus a box office percentage for Don and Craig's saga of brothers growing up in the shadow of a drunken father. Having reached the conclusion that "we're a little too indulgent for each other," Don and Craig, now 20 and 21 respectively, intend that The Story of a Teenager, slated for February release, will be their last collaboration.
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