On October 5, the World Poetry Café, CFRO 100.5 FM, was honoured to have the amazing Foster Corder call in from LA for 20 minutes of a fascinating interview about his life, his work and words of wisdom.
Corder Foster Is a veteran filmmaker with three decades of experience as a production executive, producer, director, cinematographer, and writer, with more than 55 independent feature and short film credits.
Later he co-founded Black Bird Films, were he produced television advertising for major brands including McDonald’s and the California Lotto.
During the interview, Foster shared his poem, talked about his work with fair treatment of animals, his films and three near death experiences.
He even wrote his first poem and read it on the show! Here it is:
My life thoughts.
It’s not where you start, but where you will end.
That’s how I decided this poem begins.
Starting off poor, tied up on the floor,
Could’ve been over but mom put me on her shoulders.
Street gangs and hate, overpopulate the hood.
Animal programs could do more, if truly understood.
Animal abuse education is my pledge to mankind.
A lick from a puppy could change a child’s mind.
Don’t look around, or expect help from outside.
Most time life is a slow lonely ride.
Believe in yourself, be your best friend.
Remember it’s not how you start off, but where you shall end.
Foster Corder ©
In this poem, he touches his early life in a Chicago Ghetto and how he was able to escape.
He mentions his advocacy of animal treatment and how animals would help children growing up in the slums, to let go of violence, hate and anger. Studies show that the rate of violence goes down when there is an animal to love. Corder also said that serial killers often begin by torturing animals.
In the interview, Foster spoke about his near death experiences.
“What is being close to death?
What I’ve learned from my 3 near death experiences.
What comes to mind at the end of life?
1. I wish I could say goodbye to my mom.
My mother has passed on so I’ll be at peace, because I know I’ll be going to see her again.
2. Did I wake up every day and take advantage of, being able to walk and talk, read and write and having good health?
Did I blame other people for things, or did I try as hard as I could every day and not procrastinate about what I was going to do?
3. Did I come to this life and take, take and take? Was it all about me? Or did I do “anything” to help other people and enhance others’ lives. Will I be remembered for doing anything for anyone other than myself?
I think these are the meeting your maker moments.”
Foster Corder goes on to say:
“As a WGA screenwriter, I’ve sold “The Cats”, an action adventure based on my life story, to Paramount Pictures; the comedic action adventure “Smokey” to Fred Silverman Productions; and the comedy The Sons of Dolemite to MGM. I also developed a TV show that is very popular now. I’m proud to say, I was given one of the “Cosby” scholarships for screen writing at USC.
Recently I directed the award-winning faith feature “Church.” trailer. Conversations with a Pit Bull is especially close to my heart because I’ve shared my life with many wonderful dogs, several of them pit bull terriers, including my current buddy, Grip.
My current project is at: www.conversationswithapitbull.com
My new film: youtu.be”
Foster Corder lays claim to many ‘firsts’ in his long and successful career as an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, producer and entertainment executive. Based on his success, Capitol Records made Corder a career offer he couldn’t refuse when he was named Director of Video Production, becoming the first African-American hired as a film executive in the record industry. During his tenure at Capitol, Corder supervised a staff that would swell to hundreds of cast and crew members relevant to the production’s completion. Corder produced music videos for Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt and the highly successful, ‘Too Legit to Quit’ and ‘Addams Groove’ starring M.C. Hammer, as well as many others.
Armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, Corder opened Fosters Pet and Animal Photography studio, becoming the first African-American to do so. The business was an instant success. His high profile clients included the Kal Kan companies and Carnation. This put Corder on a nationwide tour to photograph racehorses and award-winning canines.
Never one to pass up an opportunity, Corder was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to pen a screenplay entitled ‘The Cats,’ based on his life story. Having forged his birth certificate at just fifteen-years of age, ‘The Cats’ chronicled Foster’s 13 months of active duty in Vietnam.
In recent years, Corder has acted as Producer, Director of Photography or Gaffer on 45 shorts and 23 features, including: “The Amazing Feats of Wilt Chamberlain” 1985 (Documentary) – Co-Producer
“The Cats”- 1983 (Paramount Pictures) – Feature Screen Writer “The Sons of Dolemite” — 1989 (Cannon Pictures) – Feature Screen Writer: “Heads You Win/Tails I Lose” 2000 -(The Ike Turner Story) Feature .
It was truly a great interview, full of inspiration, challenges and hope for us all.