Roger Corman

Metaphysics on a Shoestring


322 Pages
8x10 Paper
B&W Photos
Silman-James Press

Roger Corman has created his own Hollywood: As a successful director, producer, and low-budget movie mogul running his own studio, he has made films as wanted to make them – true to his own vision and free from the meddling of Hollywood’s power brokers.

All things considered, Corman might be one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of motion pictures. This accolade is bestowed on him not just because of his success as a producer – although, as the title of his autobiography boasts, he has made more than 100 pictures and never lost a dime. He may be one of the most influential filmmakers because, along the way to directing and producing more than 200 films, he ran a de facto school for young filmmakers, the alumni of which have garnered more money and awards than any other group in film history. Among them are James Cameron, Francis Coppola, and Jonathan Demme.

Based on extensive research and interviews with Corman, the authors cover in detail each Corman-directed film – from such two-day wonders as Little Shop of Horrors to such studio pictures as St. Valentine’s Day Massacre – and trace this unique filmmaker’s life and work from his humble beginnings in post-World War II Hollywood to his current mythic status as the Godfather of all independent moviemakers.

About James Ursini

James Ursini holds degrees in theater and film from UCLA and has written and/or co-written (many with Alain Silver) numerous books, including The Noir Style, Film Noir, Film Noir: The Directors, Film Noir Reader, Film Noir Light and Shadow, Film Noir Prototypes, The Fabulous Life and Times of Preston Sturges, Directors on the Edge, The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen, and Cinema of Obsession: Erotic Fixation and Love Gone Wrong in the Movies. Ursini has also written for various film magazines and supplied the commentary for numerous classic film noir DVDs. He lectures on filmmaking in the Los Angeles area.

About Alain Silver

Alain Silver holds degrees in film from UCLA and is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America. He has written and co-written (many with James Ursini) and edited dozens of books, including Film Noir: The Encyclopedia, The Noir Style, Film Noir Fatal Women, L.A. Noir, Film Noir Graphics, Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles, Film Noir Reader, James Wong Howe: The Camera Eye, The Films of David Lean, Roger Corman: Metaphysics on a Shoestring, The Zombie Film, The Vampire Film, The Samurai Film, The Film Director’s Team, Film Budgeting, any many others.
He has been an assistant director and production manager on numerous studio projects and an independent feature producer whose 30-plus credits include Cyborg 2, Beat, and Crashing. He has lectured on topics that range from film production to film noir and has moderated and participated in panels for the American Film Institute, Slamdance, Cinequest, the LA Film Festival, and UCLA Extension.
As an expert on noir, Raymond Chandler, as well as vampire films and directors David Lean, and Robert Aldrich, he has appeared on-camera for the BBC, Starz, Channel Four UK, E!, KCET, American Movie Classics, the Sci-fi Channel, CBC/Ontario, and ARD and done a couple dozen audio commentaries and essays for DVD releases from Criterion, Warner Bros. and 20th Century-Fox
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