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D.I.Y. Or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ron Asheton, Mike Boner, Lynn Breedlove, Dave Brockie, Simon Clifton
  • Directors: Michael W. Dean
  • Producers: Michael W. Dean
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mvd Visual
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089Q5W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "D.I.Y. Or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This documentary features interviews with Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), J Mascis (Dinosaur jr.), John John Jesse (Demonic Erotic painter), Jim Rose (Jim Rose Sideshow), Jim Thirwell (Foetus), Lydia Lunch, Mike Watt (Minutemen), Richard Kern (Filmmaker), Ron Ashet

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BaldheadedWeirdo on January 14, 2005
Format: DVD
This is a great movie! It deals with artists who do their art just because it's what they do. The film maker interviews artists of all types from painters to musicians to dancers. It's not a "How To" guide as some other reviewers mistakenly thought, but it does give you a look into the lives of artists who are really doing it. People who do their own thing on their own terms. For those of us that believe that is how it should be, this is an extremely well done movie, and definitely worth watching.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 2003
Format: DVD
"Pleasure is the ultimate revenge, and I love revenge..." chortles Lydia Lunch on the D.I.Y. or DIE DVD, a video handbook for the independent artist. Created in the spirit of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book, D.I.Y. or DIE isn't just the artist's DVD guide to doing it yourself and surviving-it's more like a sermon as to why D.I.Y. and following your own happiness without selling out is the better route. And to prove they put their money where their mouth is, the DVD has no region restrictions or even copyright protection and buyers are encouraged to burn non-commercial copies for friends. D.I.Y. or DIE is a labor of love, by indies, for the indies.
Discussing important survival subjects such as Inspiration, Publicity, Dealing with Adversity and Commerce, the film sidesteps things like tools and technique, giving the audience more of a pep-talk to put some fire under their own creative asses. Creator/director Michael Wareham Dean says in the film, "If you need an Independent Artist for Dummies book, then being an independent artist is not for you."
Read more from this review on [...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By anth prof on August 18, 2006
Format: DVD
Portrayals of professional artists in American culture are often unrealistic (would anyone know who Jackson Pollock was if Peggy Guggenheim hadn't been paying his rent?) and/or sad (being an artist is about being depressed/tortured/chemically dependent, etc.). Michael Dean offers us a view into the lives of artists who recognize that their chosen profession requires dedication, hard work, and perhaps a slightly unconventional view of the world. Those who are looking for a step-by-step guide to 'making it' as an artist won't find that here, everyone has to find their own way. That's the basis of the DIY ethic. If you need a reminder that it IS possible to live your life as an artist, you'll be reinspired by the film. If you wonder whether you have to 'sell out' to be successful, the film will offer some answers. A very useful movie for anyone in the arts, thinking about an artistic career, or those trying to understand artists better.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 16, 2003
Format: DVD
Loved it! I bought the book $30 Film School by Michael. In the book he referred to the film quite a bit so I bought it as well. The book was great and the film was just as good. Both left me feeling completely inspired. Hearing the words of so many other artists, and being able to completely relate, gave me hope for the future of art. I plan on buying this DVD for everyone I know as a Holiday gift this year!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Rebold on May 12, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dean taps into the core of the punk rock DIY ethic by interviewing independent musicians, photographers, performance, print, film, and graphic artists. These artists are both entertaining and have profound things to say about independence, integrity and working outside of the "culture industry." The message is solid and inspiring while it isn't sugar-coated. A solid film and one to copy and share with your friends. (Its encouraged!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2003
Format: DVD
The interviews have a comfortable feel. They are light hearted and fun, and make you want to be an artist. The interviewees are intelligent and well spoken; they are people you may of heard of, you may not of heard of, but you will be glad you heard speak.
Some of the tech and production may be a bit rough - but it has a good spirit.
You want to see this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John of I_infect on January 10, 2008
Format: DVD
Being an independent musician and ravenous film buff, I was obviously drawn to this movie for the title alone.
Having seen more than my share of low-budget B-movies and homemade fan films, to tell the truth i wasn't
expecting exactly what this movie was about... an affirmation.
It seems I was naive to the parallel world of artists,writers,photogs and musicians that this movie delves into.
Interviewing such names as Fugazi, Jim Rose,and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, to name a few, Michael W. Dean
finds much more than a "How to" survival guide through his explorations. It is an anthem for the passionate.
It has a spirituality and sense of community. Most importantly, it's done what so many movies have failed to do...
it's inspired me.

John

I_infect
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SPX on July 31, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've read Dean's $30 Film School and it's a great guide for the beginning filmmaker so naturally I wanted to check out his first film. In a way, this is more a collection of interviews than a proper documentary, but it serves its purpose, which is to prove that yes, you too can say %$@* the system and make art and continue to eat while doing it. If that's your dream and you need a dose of inspiration then you should find this film helpful indeed.
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