Roger Corman

Roger Corman

A running gag in Hollywood was that Corman could negotiate the production of a film on a pay phone, shoot the film in the booth, and finance it with the money in the change slot.

Although his films were notable for the flair and mobility with which he composed for wide-screen, Corman revealed in Cinema Retro magazine (Issue #18) that he hadn't originally wanted to shoot his cult Poe series in Panavision. "I thought the anamorphic lens was better suited to westerns, whereas I was shooting in these contained little sets. But that was a decision made by AIP (American International Pictures). They were convinced that just using that lens would not only make the pictures look bigger but sound bigger in the ads".

An indication of Corman's influence in Hollywood: Though no Roger Corman-produced movies were up for Oscars at the 1974 Academy Awards, nearly every major category featured wins or nominations by "Corman School" graduates - those whom Corman had either started in the business or mentored early in their careers.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985." Pages 234-242. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.

Brother of producer Gene Corman, father of Catherine Corman.

Corman, as a director and/or producer, is credited with starting and/or mentoring the careers of many now-famous film directors, such as Jonathan Demme, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, John Sayles, James Cameron, Joe Dante, and Martin Scorsese, and writers such as Robert Towne, and John Sayles. He also discovered/gave early roles to then-unknown actors and actresses such as Jack Nicholson, Charles Bronson, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Diane Ladd, and Sandra Bullock.

Did a brief stint of study at Oxford University.

Discusses his movie House of Usher (1960) in the book "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland & Co., 2010) by Tom Weaver.

Frequently has cameos or bit parts in the films of many successful filmmakers who got their start working for him, such as Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante and Francis Ford Coppola.

His film The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) set a world's record for the shortest shooting schedule for a feature film...Two days!.

If he had to shoot a film on location, he would always try to shoot a second film at that same location in order to spread out the costs.

In Attack of the Bat Monsters (1999), the character Francis Gordon, as played by Fred Ballard, is "noticeably patterned" after him.

In the early years of the American Releasing Corporation (later American International Pictures), he became one of their major sources of product for distribution. He would be given a sum of money and an advertising campaign (or somethimes just a title) and he would have to come up with the scripts and produce the films.

In the new decade of the 1960s, he decided that he wanted to do something that would advance his career. When American International offered him a sum of money to create another one of their low-budget black-and-white double features, he countered with an offer to use the same money to shoot a single feature in color and Cinemascope. American International finally agreed to this offer. It led to the production of House of Usher (1960). The gamble paid off and the film became a box-office hit and generated something that was unusual for an AIP release - critical praise. This was followed by what became known as Corman's "Poe series.".

Society of Operating Cameramen (SOC) Recipient, Governors Award (CAMMY) (2004).

Tribute in the Memory of Film section at the Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium. [2001]

Uncle of Todd Corman.