Played in a rock band before he started making movies.
He founded Graffiti Productions, together with Bill Osco, in 1969. Graffiti made cheap sex films (so-called "beaver films") before they made their first feature-length movie, Ziehm's Mona: The Virgin Nymph (1970). During the making of Flesh Gordon (1974) Ziehm and Osco had a falling-out. Ziehm finished the film on his own and then discontinued Graffiti.