Gerd Zimmerman was born in 1948 in Dresden. As a child and adolescent, he was successful as an actor on the stage of the Dresden State Theatre. After training at the Academic for Film and Television in Babelsburg, Zimmerman received his certificate of specialization in production, as such was his primary interest.
In 1975, he and a colleague planned their escape from the GDR. After their original plan to travel to Cuba on business failed, they decided to escape to Greece by crossing the Rhodope Mountains. Here, Zimmerman and his colleague were arrested by the Bulgarian State Security Service. Whilst imprisoned at Cottbus, Zimmerman met Siegmar Faust, who provided him with a pen and paper as well as the smuggled Western newspaper "Poor Germany" (Armes Deutschland). Zimmerman was later released.
In the Federal Republic, he embarked on a successful career as a film producer, later continuing his work in the United States. He now lives between Berlin and Los Angeles.