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Comment: Shared Knowledge is a not for profit public charity! Check us out on facebook. We provide funding for educational programs in Richmond, Virginia. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. Your purchase directly supports our scholarship program as well as our partner charities. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse. Thanks so much for your purchase!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: L.A. Weekly Books; 1st edition (April 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312288646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312288648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The experience of low-budget filmmaking is so bad it's good. This is the central bit of wisdom writer/producer/director Kaufman (his credits include The Toxic Avenger; Class of Nuke 'Em High; Tromeo and Juliet) gives in this riotous book. Equal parts how-to, memoir and shrewd marketing stunt, it tells young filmmakers to lower their expectations. Taking a reverse-inspirational tack, Kaufman admits indie films probably won't make you rich, famous, happy or very many friends. For emphasis, he begins with an image of him shoveling rat poop from the basement of Troma Studios and closes with a suicide dream sequence. It is to the tremendous credit of Kaufman's profane, self-deprecating, caustic but charismatic sense of humor that the book's opening, closing and everything else in between manages to make the low-budget filmmaking process seem like the most glorious and noble of life pursuits. Seven different contributors regularly interrupt Kaufman with commentary on aspects of the filmmaking process in general and Kaufman in particular. (He's both inspirational and profoundly cheap.) At one point, an argument that's been brewing between coauthor Haaga and Kaufman about whether film or digital video is better dissolves into a five-page, farcical cursing contest. Like the work he pursues, Kaufman's book is at times so bad it's good. 40 b&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Troma Studios impresario Kaufman is back with a manual for fledgling filmmakers seeking to slide down something like his slimy path to indie B-movie glory. Of course, the manual format is partly just an excuse for more raconteuring a la All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger (1998), Kaufman's memoir of crafting cult classics like Class of Nuke 'em High and The Toxic Avenger. Still, Kaufman does vend some pithy guidelines, one of the most succinct of which is "Get your wimmen nekid" because "one way to save money . . . is in the costume department." Not every insight involves salaciously soliciting audience interest; many are just useful, jaded tips for skimping at every juncture and finding somebody else's money to risk on one's celluloid magnum opus. Although the book is probably more valuable as entertainment than as counsel, its instructional content shouldn't be ignored. It isn't easy making low-budget movies, and Kaufman has definitely been there and done that. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Support Independent Films, make your own movie.
Whether you are an independent filmmaker or humor enthusiast, Lloyd Kaufman's book, "Make Your Own Damn Movie!" is guaranteed to entertain and inspire.
Juan Schwartz
His book gives you a very fun and enjoyable read, and the information will help you get on the right track to Making Your Own Damn Movie.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Gilbert VINE VOICE on July 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before reading this book, I had never heard of Lloyd Kaufman, Tromaville or the Toxic Avenger. Now I feel like he and all his crazy characters are family. And why not? You've got to love a guy who in the acknowledgments writes, "No thanks to: Viacom, New Corp, Vivendi, AOL Time Warner, Sony and other devil-worshipping international media conglomerates." He is a modern-day Don Quixote.

"Make Your Own Damn Movie," sounds like a call to action but it really isn't. For that reason, I gave this book four stars. Kaufman writes knowledgeably about how independent theaters, studios, and filmmakers are being squeezed out by consolidation - where Viacom owns Blockbuster, Paramount Pictures, Simon & Schuster Publishers, along with TV, cable and other media - basically all the channels of distribution and publicity in the marketplace. This book contains witty, subversive, smart and useful information, but to what purpose if the outlook is so bleak?

Kaufman closes his book with "sometimes lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for." That's hardly the call to action I thought I'd be reading. He clearly sees himself and his work as being a dying breed. This is a horror director who has written a tragedy. Has it come down to that for this innovative, dynamic and vivacious film pioneer?

If you are an aspiring filmmaker, this is an excellent autobiography about a 25-year veteran of independent films. But if you're looking for the nuts and bolts of filmmaking or a rah, rah you can do it tract, you may want to consider other material.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ton on April 20, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd Kaufman on February 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I loved this book.The author must be very wise and handsome;clearly he is talented.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Encyclopedia Tromatica on April 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
In terms of quality, the only book that can even come close to this one is "All I Needed To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger", by The Artist Formerly Known As Samuel Weil, Lloyd Kaufman. The two books by this film director are far different, however; "Make Your Own Damn Movie" is more along the lines of instruction and advice, with some autobiography thrown in, whereas "All I Needed To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger" is more autobiographical, with some bits of instruction and advice.
This book will tell you potentially everything you need to know to make your own damn movie, and I predict that it will change and improve the motion picture industry forever.
The author, Lloyd Kaufman, and the two co-authors, Trent Haaga and Adam Jahnke, know whereof they speak, all three of them having been making entertaining movies for years. In this book, Lloyd reveals how he did it, and how you can do it too.
And he does so with considerable wit and humour. This much is no surprise to anyone who is a fan of his films.
I can't recommend this book enough. This will tell you how to make your own damn movie step-by-step. This is a must have for anyone who is either interested in making their own (damn) movies, or is interested in learning how Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz did it themselves.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not sure how this book caught my eye. I think it was because of a discussion of cult horror films with an acquaintance and "Toxic Avenger" came up. If you haven't seen "Toxic Avenger", by all means do so. It is vulgar, infantile, gross, filled with mindless violence, gore and sex - and hilarious because of it. It is not awful: it is just strange and funny.

Lloyd Kaufman and his partner Michael Herz created "Toxic Avenger", so I thought a book on independent filmaking by Kaufman would be interesting.

It is - marginally. And it is a thin margin.

Mostly this is a book celebrating Lloyd Kaufman in all his vulgar glory. Well, how about just vulgarity, because there is no glory?

Kaufman and Herz must have an interesting story to tell. They have been partners for 30 years or so and made about 30 low-budget, independent films, only a few of which have made any substsantial money or even had substantial audiences. More importantly, they appear to have made a ton of money buying up distribution rights to lots of other independent films and distributing them.

First, the production values of the book are as low as the production values in a Troma film. Lots of reverse inserts (white type on a black background) that are essentially unreadable.

Second, while there are loads of anecdotes about various aspects of low-budget filmaking in the book, the whole book is about Lloyd Kaufman, Lloyd Kaufman and Lloyd Kaufman.

Lloyd Kaufman, as it turns out, is a vulgar boor. While his experience may be admirable and perhaps even instructive, page after page of his almost infantile obsession with dirty words, crude sexual allusions and uninformed political opinion is boring. And so is the "misunderstood genius" routine.
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