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The collection contains primarily film and television scripts, treatments, script notes, and miscellaneous production material.
Howard Robert Cohen (1942-1999) was born in Chicago, Illinois. As a child he exhibited a marked talent for drawing and wanted to become a cartoonist but abandoned the idea as a teenager to pursue a career in journalism. Among the schools he attended were the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago, the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology, and Roosevelt University. Beginning in 1962, Cohen wrote and illustrated “Aardvark,” the satirical Chicago-based alternative magazine created and edited by film producer and writer Jeff Begun. For three years Cohen worked as an associate editor at “Playboy” magazine, followed by a one-year stint writing television commercials and corporate films for the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding. In 1970, Cohen left advertising to freelance as a graphic designer. He drew posters, conceived record album covers, illustrated books, created corporate logos, and designed main titles for film and television. Two of his posters from this period hang in the permanent poster collection of the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland. Cohen formed the “Conception Corporation,” a counter-culture comedy ensemble consisting of Jeff Begun and Second City comedians and film actors Murphy Dunne and Ira Miller. Their successful underground video production, “Void Where Prohibited by Law,” brought them to California in 1970. In Hollywood Cohen met film director Vernon Zimmerman who asked him to write the screenplay for THE UNHOLY ROLLERS, a low-budget action-drama to be directed by Zimmerman and produced by Roger Corman. The film, released by American International Pictures in 1972, became an underground cult classic. Cohen became a student of Roger Corman’s unofficial film school alongside writers Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, Curtis Hanson, and others. Cohen contributed nine films to Corman’s canon and directed three during their eighteen-year association that lasted from 1972 to 1990. Cohen wrote more than 50 screenplays. He is credited as a writer on 28 films, including one full-length animated feature. Of these, he directed seven, produced two, created the soundtracks for three, and acted in one film he wrote and directed. As a script consultant, he worked on countless films for which he received no screen credit. Cohen’s television credits also prove extensive. He worked for several years at the animation company DIC Enterprises on various children’s animated and live-action series. Cohen created one animated series, co-created another, worked as voice director on one, and eventually accumulated more than one hundred episodic writing credits on several animated series. In addition to animated television, Cohen also wrote many 90-minute television films and numerous commercials. He was a frequent guest teacher at acting classes in Los Angeles and taught his own acting class in 1993.
26 linear ft. of papers
Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.
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