“She can also be a very difficult person to deal with sometimes,” he said several months ago when I was trying to co-ordinate an interview with Wishman for a magazine article. Doris was the cousin of low budget film producer Max Rosenberg (he was one of the founders of Britain’s Amicus Films), but she carved out her own career completely on her own.She made her first film () in 1959, the year after she became a widow.Doris Wishman lied about her age and it was recently discovered by her nephew, Norman Wishman, that she was born on July 23, 1912. Michael Bowen has been working on an extensive and comprehensive biography of Wishman for nearly four years.
You might be surprised to learn how many independent filmmakers actually studied a Wishman film or two.
Corman, Friedman, Larry Cohen, Carpenter, Waters, and many others have been inspired by her work.
She loved the process of making movies, writing outlandish plots, experimenting with camera angles and figuring out how to put it all together in the editing room.
She tried to make decent films that offered the audience something a little different, even if she didn’t have even a fraction of the money she needed to succeed. She was also a woman making films in the utterly male-dominated sub-genre of exploitation, in the already male-dominated film business.
Independent low-budget exploitation, and sexploitation filmmakers were also concerned with censorship laws as several parts of the country enforced their blue laws while others were inconsistent regarding their own local ordinances and the still-enforced Hayes Code.
Wishman found the money to make her movies, produced nearly all of them, wrote, directed, cast and often edited them as well.
Sometimes she had to get tough and collect money from exhibitors as well.
She was also one of the few low budget filmmakers who paid her bills on time and had a reputation for being trustworthy and honest.
These are not in the same league as hardcore porno films.
Wishman for years denied she ever directed any X rated films but she as much admitted in interviews and certainly in conversations to others that she might have had something to do with the x-rated in 1976 (see Filmography).
It was easier to dub voices into her films if she didn’t have to worry about matching the actors’ (and non-actors’) lips to the dialogue.