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Low Budget Hell Making Underground Movies with John Waters Paperback – August 19, 2011


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Paperback, August 19, 2011
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Full Page Publishing (August 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983770808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983770800
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Maier is a writer/producer/production manager who worked for fifteen years with John Waters on Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Polyester, Hairspray, and Crybaby, as well as a dozen other low-budget movie-makers in New York and Baltimore.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I received my book this morning, and read it all in one day.
Happycustomer
Told through the life story of someone who always wanted to make movies and held almost every job in that industry.
Senior Citizen Reader
A great behind the scenes look into the low budget film industry.
filmfan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cliffnotes on August 29, 2011
I just re-read this book and it was even better the second time around.

An incredible retrospective and entertaining look at the behind the scenes trials and tribulations behind the seminal work of John Waters from the film maker responsible for much of the camera work in many Waters Cult Classics as well as his own path breaking film: Love Letter to Edie [VHS] (1975). Also contained in this thoroughly enjoyable work is the authors amazing insight into the world of pop art integration in film making as well as just plain funny experiences making the transition from student film making to professional production. Highly recommended and a damn good read, especially for those interested in film making and broadcasting as a career choice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack McMichael Martin on September 9, 2011
This book is a note from the underground with perfect pitch: its language is uncannily faithful to its time and place. On one level, it is about people and an art form "on the edge," in a penniless state of wonder, of emerging, of "making it" - or trying to - and of paying the bills. But it is also, for me, a parable of human labor - all the way from Adam, on to the present... but especially of labor in America in the late twentieth century, with its edge of desperation, its closing factories and constricted hopes - described from within, with utter fidelity. Though it's subtitled "making underground movies with John Waters," it isn't Waters' book, so much as it is Maier's. The focus is not on what appears on the screen, so much as on the reality of what lies behind, and beneath it, in "the shadows" (in every sense) of the production. Bob Maier was Waters' apprentice, assistant, and friend, who worked his way through every stage in the process to become production manager. It was a toilsome way... It is his story, and, at once, that of all the invisible work everywhere that holds up the visible; and because of this, it now belongs to all of us, and to the life of our country.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Indie Film Fan on September 6, 2011
Verified Purchase
An entertaining and engrossing book dealing with the trials and tribulations of low-budget filmmaking. Beginning with FEMALE TROUBLE and ending with CRY-BABY, the reader is swept along as author Robert Maier provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look as he works side by side with cult director John Waters. A warts-and-all expose, this book is rich in detail and will be of interest to any fan of Mr. Waters, as well as to any aspiring filmmaker. And if the films of John Waters are not your cup of tea, Mr. Maier also describes working on other low-budget East Coast movies such as ALONE IN THE DARK and THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW. A must read for anyone who enjoys the "glamour" of show business, or wants to know what happens on the other side of the camera. Highly recommended!!!
Low Budget Hell Making Underground Movies with John Waters
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Having dabbled in the filmmaking community with some short amateur films (both behind the scenes and in front), the process of movie making has always been of interest to me. With advances in technology and easier access to equipment, it has become much more conventional to see people putting together their own projects. But I'm awed by the commitment, energy, expense, and sheer scrappiness that fledging artists needed to make independent films in days gone by. Perhaps one of the more unlikely success stories was that of John Waters. In Baltimore, with a renegade band of misfits including the divine Divine, Waters started out as a gross-out counterculture visionary but transformed himself into a mainstream success. But it wasn't an easy road. One of the people in the trenches with Waters and crew was Robert Maier, and this is his story as only he can tell it. It features many celebrities and known personalities in key roles, but this is about the journey that Maier chose to undertake.

The book starts with an introduction to John Waters and charts the tumultuous days of shooting the films "Female Trouble," "Desperate Living," and "Polyester." With each film, the budget got bigger and Maier's role expanded. There are a lot of harrowing and hysterical details about doing what needed to be done, at any cost of humiliation! Sometimes gross, sometimes excruciatingly unpleasant, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny--this is a real insider's peek behind the magic of movie making. The book also details the periods between these films as Maier engaged in studio politics, hung out with Andy Warhol's crowd, and took part in non-Waters films that shared some of the same production issues, if not more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joshua P. OConner VINE VOICE on October 10, 2011
So I'm one of those people that watch a movie and then watch the credits go by totally amazed by the number of people and titles involved in the process. Admittedly my children have drastically reduced the range of titles I get to watch, but did you realize that it took like 800 people to make the first Curious George movie? Anyway... I never really bothered to think about how much work those people listed on the credits might be responsible for or how cutthroat the industry that they work in might be, but I have a new found respect the whole process of movie making after reading Robert Maier's Low Budget Hell Making Underground Movies with John Waters.

Maier explains his love/hate relationship with low budget film making through his remarkable journey as a crewmember and producer in the early days of John Waters's career as filmmaker. At times brutally honest, most of the time riveting and funny - Maier talks about his own journey alongside Waters's rise to fame and the simultaneous progressions in their careers. The book maintains an amazing level of detail into the production process (and the difficulties that came along with that process). Maier manages to impart the reader with a plethora of knowledge about the mechanics of movie-making without interrupting the narrative of his personal experience.

Picking up after Waters's release of Pink Flamingos (1979) Maier explains his role in low budget movie-making hell and the struggles that came with the territory. He also unfurls a fascinating story about the intersection of his career and that of Waters which continues until the release of Cry-Baby (1990).
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