Was he one of our first independent film makers? Good question (thank you). He certainly had budgets to suggest it. He also went out to find the money to make Yiddish Cinema, hoping to get into an untapped market. He was pretty successful at it (as successful as you could be, that is). Ulmer never achieved the acclaim (or budgets) of his fellow Germanic emigres like Murnau, Lang, Siodmak, Wilder (to name a few). He claims to have helped invent the dolly on Murnau’s The Last Laugh, and that he worked on set design for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis. No one’s alive to disprove it, and I don’t see why he couldn’t have worked on those films. It’s not like UFA was as huge as Hollywood. I bet a lot of those guys worked together in their Salad days.