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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! But then again... it's from TROMA, of course!
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...
Published on 20 April 2003 by Ton

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an Easy Read.
I like reading "How to Make a Movie" books. I own quite a few. I thought this one would be an interesting addition to my library but, alas, it has proven to be one of my least favourite.

Whilst I admire what they have managed to achieve, over at Troma, this book really doesn't convey many positives about them or the industry. It was a difficult read not only...
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Amazon Customer


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! But then again... it's from TROMA, of course!, 20 April 2003
By 
Ton (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
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 region-free double DVD-set of CITIZEN TOXIE)!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Inavaluable. Literally., 28 April 2003
By 
Andrew Mackay "toxieuk" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
This latest pile of entertaining information from El Tromatique Presidente Senior Kaufman is an invaluable resource for the aspiring (and perspiring) everyday independent film maker.
From scriptwriting to auditioning, filming to editing and vomiting to head-crushing, "Make Your Own Damn Movie" soars above anything Syd Field ever wrote on the subject and will surely grace the back pocket of every film student for years to come.
The most prominent and stand-out feature in the book is Kaufman's witty repartee - a marvellous textual raconteur with an eye for deep description. "Make Your Own Damn Movie" even soars above and beyond Kaufman's previous effort "Everything I Need to Know About Film Making I Learned from the Toxic Avenger" - providing a more rigid and cohesive structure on his subject in a more "How-To" kind of a way: something which will be infinitely helpful to those who wish to avoid inevitable dangers of their next production.
Consider a full FIVE PAGE war between Kaufman himself and Troma regular Trent Haaga argue over film and video and which is the better format to shoot on: a war which certainly outlines both the pros and cons of such formats but also develops (or is that deteriorates?) into an all-out personal war! This is true nitty gritty stuff from the team who take pride in satarizing retarded kids shooting each other up Columbine-style.
Overall, MYODM is essential reading for the more serious wannabe film maker or even those with an interesting in the subject and are simply up for a curious giggle on how Troma make their stuff:- it's an excellent starter's guide for beginners and a timeless definitive, if a little disgusting, recap for those already in the know.
Andrew Mackay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an Easy Read., 7 Feb 2012
This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
I like reading "How to Make a Movie" books. I own quite a few. I thought this one would be an interesting addition to my library but, alas, it has proven to be one of my least favourite.

Whilst I admire what they have managed to achieve, over at Troma, this book really doesn't convey many positives about them or the industry. It was a difficult read not only because there are so many pages printed in black with white type or the many, many footnotes but because the author, Lloyd, spent a lot of the text arguing with his cohorts in a conversational/confrontational style. Amusing? No.

There's also a lot of 'fill' where I think he's just trying to keep his daily word count up. At times, I really wasn't sure if this was a self-help manual or a bitter personal rant at the film industry in general.

I already know that making a movie will be a long drawn out process where you will go to hell and back to get it finished and sell your grandmother to fund it. I can live with that. What I found most unhelpful was how he seems to have upset/fallen out with/argued/fought just about everyone who has worked for him...and they appear to work for him for free or very little.

This may be true but it speaks more about his personality and management style than it does about his film-making abilities.

I really, really wanted to like this book but it was a tough read that took a lot of effort just to finish it. If anything, it has put me off making films. Maybe that was his plan. I wish them well and still highly recommend viewing any of the Troma back catalogue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars damn movie was amazing!, 3 May 2009
By 
Mr. Ashton Bailly "Ashton Le Bizzle" (Canterbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
This book is not only very informative, but also an extremely fun read. as a film studies student i read many texts on the subject of filmmaking and most of them are very droll and hard to get through, using complex film terms and language most of us won't understand. This book does not, it is written for everyone and contains useful advice and entertaining anecdotes. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to go out and make films, and also to anyone who loves Troma, and wants to know more about Lloyd and the workings of his great company!
Can't wait for the next one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Troma Troma, 16 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
Wittily written and i reckon more useful than 'sensible' how to make a movie books. Only downside is the black pages with white print sections --- you really gonna need a magnifying glass with those- but hey--- buckle-up, get on with it - this is worth the effort. A must for film-minded Toxie fans. There's a few other Kaufman products out there, but i aint seen 'em yet..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kaufman told me to do this, too!, 4 Nov 2007
This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
I was lucky enough to meet Lloyd Kaufman today, and as well as get signed DVDs of The Toxic Avenger 1 and 4, I also got this signed too.

Obviously I've not had chance to read it yet, but if it's anything like his masterclass (which it is), then it's well worth getting. Covers all aspects of making a movie, and entertaining to boot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kaufman told me to do this....., 12 July 2006
By 
C. Smith "Chris Smith" (Chester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
Yes, it's true. I emailed Lloyd Kaufman to tell him what a great time I had reading his book, and he asked me to do this review. And because I couldn't help admiring his cheek and constant self-promotion, I said I'd be delighted to oblige.

His book - part autobiography, part film 'how to' theory and part stream of consciousness - is a cracking read and very very funny (although he does overdo the 'I indulge in gay practices' joke too many times. If it is a joke......

One word of warning though: while fans of Kaufman's schlock horror films through his Troma independent film studio in New York will enjoy this book massively, and it might create more than a few converts to his flicks too, this should not be taken too literally by first-time film-makers.

Sure, Kaufman knows his stuff (generally). He's had to endure years of set-backs, low budgets, crazy and sometimes inhuman working practices and being treated terribly by The Man, but he does seem to buck against the system too much for his own good. Low budget schlocky 'art', as he calls it, is fine for starting off your career. Look at Peter Jackson, for example, or Sam Raimi. But anyone who'd then want to move onwards and upwards should be encouraged, not disuaded from doing so, surely.

After all, if a fledgling film-maker can get the backing of a major studio for their projects, then why not? Hollywood isn't entirely evil, despite what Lloyd suspects.

So you have to carefully pick and choose which advice of his to follow. He even says this himself (so he shouldn't be too miffed I'm saying it here).

In the end, your main feelings towards Kaufman are respect and admiration for him enduring so much and for continuing to fight against the system. He may be his own worst enemy sometimes, but we all love renegades, especially when they've been dipped in toxic waste!
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4.0 out of 5 stars There May Be Troma Ahead...!, 5 Mar 2006
By 
R. Jayne "Horror Fiend" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director (Paperback)
I harbour a burning desire to make a serious feature-length film. I have a great idea bouncing off the inner walls of my mind and I was on the look-out for some help in fleshing out the idea and preparing myself for whatever is to come in my would-be venture. I bought Make Your Own Damn Movie! written by Llyod Kaufman, co-founder of Troma Entertainment (the staple of any psychotics movie-viewing), the creative force behind films such as The Toxic Avenger, Terror Firmer, SGT. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D & Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. Ever since Troma had a weekly slot on Channel 4 in the UK I've loved Lloyd Kaufman and Troma Movies.

Now the first mistake I did was assume that a book by a guy who makes Troma movies will give me any help in the writing process. Troma movies have no discernable story! In fact, the book goes so far to suggest that you just get a goon to write it - suggest he have a hermaphrodite, a lesbian scene and a Columbine shooting scene then get on with making the movie! The second mistake I made was not putting it down even after I found out my imminent issues would not be addressed. I only say mistake because right now my eyes are hanging out my head from sleep deprivation, I lost a Saturday night & my girlfriend elbowed me in the face around 5am because she wanted the light turned off. I may also have some bladder issues in a few years since I haven't yet mastered being able to urinate and read at the same time (I didn't want to risk dropping the book down the toilet).

Mr. Kaufman's excellent tirade's against Disney, McDonald's, Steven Spielberg (although mentioning Vic Morrow & 2 child actors death's as being on SS's resume without saying it was actually John Landis in charge of that segment of the film was putting the blinders on just a little.), Blockbuster, all the major conglomirates, some Film Festivals and even his fellow citizens of Tromaville were hilarious. His tips on how to run a tight ship and take charge of your own movie has me wanting to just grab a camara, create some home-made blood and vomit and go create! The fellatio gags may run a bit thin (which was their prurpose all along I guess!) but if you've seen any Troma movie you should be prepared for that!

Well worth buying, even if it's not exactly what you're looking for you'll get some entertainment from it.

*Since this review (5th March 2006) I managed to lend this book away and not get it back. I recently re-purchased it - it really is a very good and funny book. I am now pretty heavily involved in a local video-production company and re-reading this book has given me another refreshing insight into the world of making films.

Robb - Oct 2009
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Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director
Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director by Lloyd Kaufman (Paperback - 8 Jan 2003)
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