New Memoir, ‘The Man Who Created Halloween,’ Details Life of an Unlikely Hollywood Pioneer

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Producer Irwin Yablans says his iconic films relied on ‘theater of the mind’ – not gore – to frighten audiences.

In his new memoir, “The Man Who Created Halloween,” horror-genre film pioneer Irwin Yablans ( details his fairy-tale journey from Brooklyn’s tenements to Hollywood and behind-the-scenes tales from the iconic movie.

“I suppose it is a bit of a Cinderella story, if Cinderella were a pugnacious Jewish guy who fought his way out of a run-down Brooklyn tenement – before Williamsburg was a hipster destination – and made a living out of rebranding a children’s holiday with Hitchcockian chiller-flicks for paying adults,” says Yablans, who created the “Halloween” franchise of movies as an independent producer.

He also worked as sales chief at Paramount Pictures and head of Orion Pictures.

Yablans grew up listening to radio shows that relied on “theater of the mind” narratives to capture the imaginations of listeners. He used the same approach with the “Halloween,” film series. The first film premiered in 1978. His films spawned a wave of iconic horror characters, and a new way to do business in Hollywood.

The Man Who Created Halloween” shares behind-the-scenes stories, including the truth about how the iconic film came into being; the discovery of director John Carpenter; why Jamie Lee Curtis was chosen over Annie Lockhart for the lead; and how creepy killer Michael Myers got his name.

“Going to Pieces” author Adam Rockoff writes of the book:

“If (director) John Carpenter is the father of Halloween, then Irwin Yablans is the godfather. Yablans is one of the last of a generation of street-smart New Yorkers who, with a combination of talent, determination and chutzpah, took Hollywood by storm and irrevocably changed the way movies are made.”

Kirkus Reviews calls the book a “fascinating memoir of a true Hollywood mogul that traces his life from Brooklyn to Warner Brothers.”

About Irwin Yablans

Irwin Yablans is the executive producer and creator of the “Halloween” film series, which forever changed the horror genre and the old studio system. His new autobiography, “The Man Who Created Halloween,” details a true rags-to-riches tale of a boy who grew up in a roach-invested tenement in Brooklyn to become the man who transformed society’s view of a children’s holiday. Yablans’ influence in Hollywood includes setting the standard for a new breed of independent producers and filmmakers, the discovery of famed director John Carpenter and advocating for studio support of one of the most acclaimed films in history, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” Yablans self-published his debut book through CreateSpace,’s independent publishing platform.

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