One of the greatest icons of American independent filmmaking, Roger Corman directed some of the most memorable films of the 50s and 60s (The Little Shop of Horrors, The Intruder, The Raven). As a producer, Corman discovered many of the filmmakers and actors who were responsible for the Golden Age of American movies, in the 1970s (Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, etc.).
From 1954 to 1970, Roger Corman directed and produced more than 50 films. In 1971, he retired from directing and formed New World Pictures, focussing his attention on producing and distributing the films of other directors. As he was beginning New World, Corman met Jonathan Demme who would co-write and produce two New World pictures in the succeeding two years: Angels Hard as They Come (1971) and The Hot Box (1972) (both co-written and directed by Joe Viola).
Following the success of these films, New World financed and/or released Demme's first three films, as director: Caged Heat (1974), Crazy Mama (1975), and Fighting Mad (1976). Demme then moved on to Paramount where he directed his first Corman-free film, Citizens Band (1977).
In 1982, Corman sold New World Pictures (maintaining ownership of the company's catalogue) for $16.5 million. He has continued producing low-budget films, primarily for cable and video. He also contributes regular interviews and/or commentaries to DVD releases of films from his back-catalogue. Over the years, Corman has continued his collaboration with Demme, appearing in Swing Shift, The Silence of the Lambs, and Philadelphia, in cameo roles.
(For Roger Corman links and articles/interviews, see the Links section of the site.)