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Lloyd Kaufman, the writer/producer/director of such cult-classic films as The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke 'Em High, and Tromeo and Juliet, offers a guide to movie-making unlike any other available anywhere. In 25 years, Kaufman, along with partner Michael Herz, has built Troma Studios up from a company struggling to find its voice in a field crowded with competitors to its current--and legendary--status as a lone survivor, a bastion of true cinematic independence, and the ...
Lloyd Kaufman, the writer/producer/director of such cult-classic films as The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke 'Em High, and Tromeo and Juliet, offers a guide to movie-making unlike any other available anywhere. In 25 years, Kaufman, along with partner Michael Herz, has built Troma Studios up from a company struggling to find its voice in a field crowded with competitors to its current--and legendary--status as a lone survivor, a bastion of true cinematic independence, and the world's greatest collection of camp on film.
As entertaining and funny as it is informative and insightful, Make Your Own Damn Movie! places Kaufman's radically low-budget, independent-studio style of filmaking directly in the reader's hands. Thus we learn how to: develop and write a knock-out screenplay; raise funding; find locations and cast actors; hire a crew; obtain equipment, permits, and music rights (all for little or no money); make incredible special effects for $0.79 each; charm, schmooze, and network while on the film-festival circuit; and, finally, make a bad actor act so bad it's actually good.
From scriptwriting and directing to financing and marketing, this book is brimming with utterly off-the-wall, decidedly maverick, yet consistently proven advice on how to fully develop one's idea for an independent film.
|1||Let's Make Some Art!||1|
|The Man Is Insane, But in a Good Way||11|
|2||Raising Money or Mastering the Ancient Art of Fellatio||14|
|Getting Your Budget by Any Means Necessary or Why Kidneys Come in Pairs||27|
|2 1/2||500 Useless Screenwriting Books Boiled Down to One Short Chapter||29|
|I Was a Troma Screenwriter||35|
|3||Meet Your Future Victims! - Hiring the Crew||39|
|The Tom Sawyer Theory of Hiring Production Assistants||43|
|Dumpster Diving for Fun and Profit||66|
|Viddy Well, Little Brother||74|
|4||Get Your Wimmen Nekkid and Other Invaluable Casting Tips||77|
|I Was a Troma Actor or How I Flushed a Promising and Lucrative Computer Career Straight Down the Crapper||82|
|Fire Truck Love||87|
|5||Pre-production - The Key to Your Future Therapy||98|
|6||Covering Your Ass (Both Metaphorically and Literally)||112|
|Regarding Backup Plans - Wherein Lloyd Rejects a Perfectly Good Backup Plan Only to, in the End, Use It to Great Success or The Midget Story||117|
|How to See the Inside of a Courtroom||123|
|7||Locations - Shooting the Society Without Completely Pissing off the Locals||135|
|The Troma Historical Recreation Society Proudly Presents Dachau in Poughkeepsie (Trent Haaga on Accomodations)||149|
|There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity ... Unless You're Filming an African-American Being Dragged to His Death Behind a Pickup Truck||159|
|8||Welcome to Your Nightmare: The First 24 Hours of Production||166|
|The Myth of Eating Properly||174|
|Sound - The One Thing You Are Most Likely to Fuck Up||182|
|All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from The Toxic Avenger, Quite Literally||187|
|9||Stunts and Special Effects - How to Simulate a Violent Death and Stay Out of Jail||192|
|Troma's E-Z Bake Special Effects Recipes for Boys and Girls||210|
|10||Fix It in Post! Wherein Once-Solid Relationships of Trust, Respect, and Mutual Admiration Degenerate into Bickering and Pointless Name-Calling||217|
|Razor Blades, Tape, and Suicide Attempts: Editing the Old-Fashioned Way||221|
|The Dark, Mysterious Realm of the Associate Editor||234|
|11||Marketing, Publicity and Distribution - Whoring Yourself Out for Your Art Yet Again||257|
|Semi-Legal Ways to Get Noticed at Festivals||270|
|Doin' Time for Independent Cinema||286|
|Epilogue - The Big Emotional Spielberg Ending||303|
Posted February 6, 2006
I really cant say enough about how much this book has inspired me, to start on my own damn movie 'Timber Tantrum'. I got this book because my friend and I were writing a script and thought, 'hmmm....I wonder if we could make this? Then I started reading a lot of indie film books that filled with tons of info but read like stereo instructions, plus none of them had any examples of what it is really is like to make an indie film. With the way 'Make Your Own Damn Movie' is presented you get a wealth of knowledge wrapped up in a humorous series of stories and anecdotes. I have recommended this book to all of my friends, even the ones who have no intentions of making movies, because it is a really good book. I think Lloyd does a great job of not trying to fool the reader because, the man has gone through some serious hell, getting these film made, and he really explains how to do the things micro-budget filmmakers need to know, like: 'How to hire a cast and crew for little or NO MONEY' 'How to get your Wimmen nekkid' and most importantly 'How to film on location without pissing off the locals.' Are you ready here is what you have to do. 1.) Buy this book. 2.) Write a script. 3.) MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE!!
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Posted February 6, 2006
This book is better than sex. Well, maybe not but it's pretty close, at least on those lonely night that most TROMA fans are used to by now. Lloyd Kaufman, president of TROMA tells his time tested methods for every step of movie production. I recently got to see the man at work and he definately knows his way around a movie set. There is alot of usefull advice such as if your casting call requires people to get naked, make sure you have a assistant of the opposite sex with you as a witness. I don't care how low budget you are, if your making a movie people are that much more likely to sue you. Every step of the way from pre to post to selling you soul, i mean, promoting your film is covered in MAKE YOU OWN DAMN MOVIE By Lloyd Kaufman. It has inspired me to pursue a career in production and turn my life in a new direction. Even if you don't wish to MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE and are just a fan don't think there is nothing here for you. All of the advice is backed by examples from past TROMA movies so there is an amazing anmount of TROMATOIDS from your favorite TROMA productions. A laugh and a half and more info than you could remember from just one reading, MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE is a must have which can be read over and over again. Then do what I did and track Lloyd down online, find out where he's at and get him to sign your copy. GET IT GET IT GET IT NOW!!!!!!!!!
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Posted July 18, 2013
Posted August 28, 2007
Well, what else can I say that hasn't been said about Troma movies? They're the kinds of movies you watch when you need experiences with independent filmmaking and they're also the types of movies you watch when you want to see what you can do with little money. Featuring forewards and introductions by Trey Parker and James Gunn, with occasional opinion pieces by Trent Haaga and Adam Jahnke, this book is a must-read for anybody who wants to get started in the filmmaking business and anybody who wants to know what it's like to work in low budget movies. Pre-production, post-production, distribution, etc., etc. It's all covered here. Just read the words of Troma President Lloyd Kaufman, da man himself. Here's a man who has killed rats in his basement looking for past memories of all the insanity Troma has left behind in their extensive B-movie history. Lloyd tells it like it is. When finished reading the book, I think you will agree, anybody can make a movie. You can make movies to entertain. The most fun of all is keeping people entertained. It doesn't matter if you don't have the money to make it look perfect, all that matters is that you're pursuing your goal of showing your vision. To all you young filmmakers out there, keep pursuing your goals. It doesn't matter if you don't make a lot of money. What matters is that you enjoy what you're doing, and that is making art. And as Lloyd says, 'Make your own damn movie!'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 2, 2005
I love this book so much. It's a must read. Whether you're interested in film, currently working on a film, or just love a really great book. Lloyd Kaufman has written a masterpiece of insight into filmmaking and all of the pieces and people involved with the film world. Look for another great book that's suposed to be out soon from Mr. Kaufman. Read 'Make Your Own Damn Movie', it's one of my all time favorites!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 5, 2005
This book is great! It is as hilarious as it is informative. I think it's a great boost to the beginning film maker to be told to just get out there and do what he or she loves to do... Make Your Own Damn Movie. LLoyd Kaufman uses his signature style of lewd, crude and very, very funny to make film making attainable to the low or no budget group. The book is actually very well written, and it's hard to put down. Now to complete the Lloyd Kaufman trilogy of writing....will a publisher please, please, please pick up the Toxic Avenger novelization?? I'm waiting anxiously to buy it!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2004
Posted April 16, 2004
There are very few things Lloyd won't do. Sometimes it's a bad thing, but most of the time it's a bad thing. But sometimes it's pretty da-mn awesome. And all of the time, it's hilarious. Many books are hard to understand, and go through a lot of needless stuff. I am ADD, and can't read through all of that mess. Especially if it's boring. See where I am going here? Lloyd rocks. Troma rocks. Their movies...something. This book (or Lloyd's other book, both which you should buy today!) not only shows you the ropes on filmaking, dumbed down (for ADD people like me) so anyone can understand it; Lloyd also inspires you (not to mention entertaining you, which is how I was able to get through it). Troma not only stands up for and cares about independent art and the people who create it, they have been fighting for this type of independence for over 30 years. Thank you Lloyd. Thank you Troma. Thank you for reading my ADD letter about- hey, something shiny!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2004
'Make Your Own Damn Movie' tells you the blood and guts and more guts (with more blood and assorted body parts) of independent movie making. While going through each process of assembling a film it doesn't candy coat the time, trouble, expense, headaches, anxiety and possible asthma attacks making one's own movie a reality WILL be. If one truly wants to make one's dream come true, without selling one's soul to the Hollywood corporate system, this is the book that tells one how to do it. Lloyd Kaufman has been a leader in independent film making for thirty years. He knows how to get it done and shares it with you along with some personal quirks you just may not want to know about Lloyd or anyone else. But I digress. You want to make your own movie under your own control? Buy and read this book. You don't want to make a movie? Buy it anyway. It's so funny you'll wet yourself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 7, 2003
I thought it not possible, but the legendary Lloyd Kaufman has done it again with his new book, 'Make your own damn movie!' Legendary Independent Filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman has a heart as vast as his knowledge of the business that has become known as the Indie Film Industry!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2003
From the title on, Lloyd Kaufman¿s Make Your Own Damn Movie is a literary dare, a challenge not only to aspiring filmmakers, but to the general reader¿s conception of what is possible in the entertainment industry. Of course, Kaufman doesn¿t claim that this struggle is easy. Indeed, he opens his new book with an explicit description of having to fight off an army of rats in the basement of his company¿s headquarters, financially unable to pay anyone else to do the job. After thirty years as a proudly defiant filmmaker, studio head, and author, one price of his iconoclasm is that he still has to do much of the dirty work himself. This is far from being his only disadvantage, and while he ultimately gives the impression of joy in doing exactly what he wants to be doing, he doesn¿t shy away from expressing his darkest moments of doubt. Although he provides a great deal of encouragement towards personal filmmaking, even an insistence on the necessity of such work, he also graphically illustrates the turmoil involved. Kaufman¿s first-hand account of these difficulties is unmatched. The rats are only the beginning. Kaufman suggests that those rats are a likely by-product of a McDonald¿s moving in next to the Troma building, and his battle against the ensuing infestation provides a fitting metaphor for Troma¿s uneasy relationship with corporate America, particularly the mainstream media, which Kaufman details in hilarious tirades against bureaucratic elites. This elevates this book over the average ¿how to¿ moviemaking manual. Like the best punk musicians, Kaufman isn¿t concerned with being polite. Also like punk, Kaufman isn¿t terribly concerned with being orderly. Beyond thoroughly covering all the bases of getting a film made, his gleeful digressions provide a splendid impression of Kaufman¿s eclectic mind. Readers of Kaufman¿s first book, All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenge, will recall Kaufman¿s remarkable ability to merge the most diverse cultural elements into a single train of thought. Fans of All I Learned¿s inclusion of perspectives other than Lloyd¿s will be pleased to know that Make Your Own Damn Movie also gives ample voice to various guests, even accommodating an extended debate between Lloyd and a younger collaborator on film vs. digital video. This not only expands the insights of the book, it offers a glimpse at the friendly animosity that appears to fuel Troma productions. Both of Kaufman¿s books provide an exhilarating read, for those who hope to follow in his footsteps and others who are simply interested in how he made it this far. I found Make Your Own Damn Movie to be more beneficial as a tutorial, but in either case, I was deeply moved and inspired as a filmmaker and as a person by Kaufman¿s honesty and perseverance. It certainly helps that even in writing of his greatest hardships, Kaufman can find the joke, and is generous enough to share it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2003
This has got to be one of the most informative and ejoyable books I've ever read. Lloyd Kaufman, Adam Jahnke, Trent Haaga, and others, did an awesome job mixing informative, low-budget movie-making tactics with loads of humour. I really enjoyed the footnotes. Lloyd Kaufman brings his years of experience as a writer/producer/director. Trent Haaga, on the other hand, brings his experience as a writer and first-time Assistant Director, as well as being an actor. Somehow, all the different views mesh together and produce one hell of a book. This should be required reading for all film schools. It doesn't hold back on letting you see the true pain and effort they put into making their films. I personally couldn't put it down. Thanks Troma.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2003
Winner of the lifetime achievement award for his body of work and important contribution to the filmindustry at this years's prestigious Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, Lloyd Kaufman is a genius making masterpieces on a budget that would barely be enough to pay for one day's catering on an average Hollywood producton and he does it for thirty years now. In a world where low budget independent filmmaking means manymultimillion dollar productions by subdivisions of Warner and Disney, Lloyd Kaufman survived for three decades (and counting) with his truly independent filmcompany Troma and in doing so directed, produced and/or wrote dozens of brilliant films (plus distributed hundreds more works that would otherwise have been totally neglected) without which the world would be an even less happy place! Heck - his work provided loads of 'inspiration' (i.e. rips-off-ism) for the big ones who simply aren't creative enough to come up with their own masterpieces. Want to know how he does it? Interested in learning from his expertise making true art and surviving in an industry that is almost entirely taken over by those big conglomerates? Need to know how you can make your own film you have been dreaming about for so long, but felt discouraged by the way the world has turned out to be? READ HIS BRILLIANT BOOK 'MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE'! If there is one person alive (or dead, but they usually don't say too much to begin with) who can actually tell you how to overwin all possible obstacles you might -and will- encounter realising your plans, it is Lloyd Kaufman. He has lived it, he is still doing it, and every film he makes is better than the previous one, even while the problems are getting bigger. Kaufman does not only tell you HOW you can go about making your own damn movie, reading this book his enthousiasm about the art of filmmaking may even get you encouraged to do so even if you didn't have any such plans at all. Apart from that, there are loads of anecdotes from his thirty-plus years in the business and he is one of the most entertaining, witty and funny writers I have ever encountered. Footnotes, additional info and insight in how rewarding working with Lloyd can be (and how good his pay is) are provided by some of those other Troma-people he collaborated, like co-writer/assistant-director on Kaufman's latest masterpiece CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV, Trent Haaga and others. For those who want to learn about the business, for those who want to know about Troma and the filmindustry from the inside, and for those who want to have a damn good time reading, this book is an absolute MUST. I found it to be unputdownable and like his previous book 'ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FILMMAKING I LEARNED FROM THE TOXIC AVENGER' I am sure I will read it many more times. So don't rent it, don't borrow it, but support independent cinema and buy this one. It's a damn good value for your bucks (probably as much as buying the action- and extra's packed brilliant double DVD-set of the unrated Director's cut of CITIZEN TOXIE)!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2003
what can i say? lloyd kaufman is one of the funniest and most informative writers on independent filmmaking today. this book is a hilarious collection of stories and advice on movie making from a true independent. i highly recommend this book, along with his first one 'everything i need to know about filmmaking i learned from the toxic avenger.' excellent stuff!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 26, 2010
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