Before embarking in a career in show business, Shane studied law at USC and UCLA law schools. He later became a journalist and moved on to become a Hollywood publicist and later, a screenwriter. Most of his early work was for forgettable low-budget films. Becoming a director in 1947, he worked on noirish films, as a writer or director, like Hell's Island, Fear in the Night and the remake Nightmare. Shane scripted City Across the River, the 1949 film of Irving Shulman's The Amboy Dukes. In 1960, he became a writer-producer for the Boris Karloff anthology television series Thriller.