Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon and beyond
March 1, 2003
Available: March 12, 2003
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Beverly Gray

Beverly Gray has spent her career fluctuating between the world of the intellect and show biz. As she was completing her doctorate in Contemporary American Fiction at UCLA, she was unexpectedly offered a job by legendary moviemaker Roger Corman. During her sixteen-month stay at Corman's New World Pictures, she edited scripts, wrote publicity material, cast voice actors, supervised a looping session, played bit parts, and tried her hand at production. She collaborated with such soon-to-be-famous directors as Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme, and Paul Bartel, and was deeply involved with the writing of the cult classic, Death Race 2000. After sixteen months, Beverly left New World to concentrate on academia. She spent three years as an assistant professor of English at USC, where she enjoyed teaching "Fiction into Film" courses. Following the birth of her children, she turned to journalism, covering theatre and the entertainment industry for Performing Arts Magazine, Theatre Crafts, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times.

Then Roger Corman beckoned once again. Beverly spent the next eight years at Concorde-New Horizons Pictures as Corman's story editor and development executive, making some 170 low-budget features. Along the way, she found herself with six screenwriting credits: for a Vietnam epic (Beyond the Call of Duty); a Spanish ghost story (Immortal Sins); two martial arts flicks (both of them quickie rip-offs of Concorde's own Bloodfist); an environmental thriller that featured a very young Sandra Bullock (Fire on the Amazon); and a lurid period piece filmed in Russia and starring Beverly Garland and Ben Cross (Hellfire). Since leaving Concorde in 1994, Beverly has returned to both teaching and journalism. She writes about movies for the Hollywood Reporter, and leads intermediate-level screenwriting workshops for the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension. In October 2003 she flew to Tokyo, Japan to present a three-day seminar on trends in low-budget filmmaking under the auspices of Isao Okada's Story Arts and Sciences Laboratory.

Beverly's first book, Roger Corman: An Unauthorized Biography of the Godfather of Indie Filmmaking, appeared in May 2000, and was hailed by critics from coast to coast. In March 2003 she published Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon . . . and Beyond. She rang in 2004 with an updated paperback edition of the Corman bio, published by Thunder's Mouth Press under the title Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers.

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