Roger Corman was born in Detroit in 1926 and studied at Stanford University where he graduated in engineering. After a stint in the Navy, he took a job at 20th Century Fox where he eventually became a script analyst. Disenchanted with studio protocol, he left Fox to study modern English literature at Oxford. Once back in Hollywood, Corman worked briefly as a literary agent.

In 1953 he sold his first screenplay, Highway Dragnet, to Allied Artists and served as associated pro- ducer of the film. With the proceeds, he produced his first film, The Monster from the Ocean Floor as an independent producer on a remarkable budget of $18 000. The triumph of this endeavour proved that high quality films could be made quickly and with very little money. This way of filmmaking was to become the Corman trademark, in particular at American International Pictures, where he made a variety of genres, from westerns to gangster films, from science fiction to teenage rock and roll movies. In 1966,Wild Angels, with Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra, opened the Venice Film Festival, and launched a trend in biker films, such as Easy Rider. In 1970 he founded New World Pictures, which soon became the leading independent distribution company in the United States, presenting the works of Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa and Werner Herzog. In 1983, he founded Concorde- New Horizons, which he still heads today. Roger Corman has produced over 550 films and directed around 50 others, making his career as a director and independent producer one of the most impressive in American cinema.

He is almost just as famous for discerning new talent; amongst the world famous producers, actors and screenplay writers who owe their start to Roger Corman are none other than Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Peter Bogdanovitch, Robert De Niro, Ron Howard, Charles Bronson, Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme and James Cameron.