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Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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 it ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 5th 2003 by L.A. Weekly Books
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This is a how to book that should be kept away from anyone who is less than completely serious about doing anything at all. It purports to be a joke, I think, but tells more--both of the nuts and bolts and of the philosophy of art and film--than a lot of the other film making books I've been reading. (Sadly, I've been reading a lot of them.) It is hilarious, which is the litmus test for me that determines whether or not I like any writing, it seems, and informative, accurate and also true. His c ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Roland rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: film
After being disappointed with his previous book (All I Need to Know About Film Making...) I picked this one up with lowered expectations. It's fantastic. Even though it's loaded with typical dick jokes and juvenile humor, it contains a ton of practical advice on how to make a film. In fact, regardless of how hellish he makes the process sound, you come away from reading this book thinking that making a film isn't such an insurmountable task after all. I can't wait to pick up his follow-up books ...more
August Niehaus
Kaufman is such a character. I'd like to meet him someday, though not work for him; his style and mine just don't jive. He did, though, have a lot of useful things to say to someone who wants to start her own movie project soon, and it's stuff I'll keep in mind for the rest of my career -- as a writer and as whatever else I end up being. I didn't enjoy all of the asides, though the extremely casual language was fun to read, so it only gets 4 stars.
I am going to give this book NO STARS AT ALL because it was horrible, deplorable, and an unprofessional way of depicting making a film. If you want an example of what not to do, sure go ahead, read this book, but be prepared to be grossed out and generally disgusted by what you'll find. As soon as I can find a way to delete this off my kindle, I WILL. I'm insulted by this entire book.
Not nearly as entertaining as All I Need to know about filmmaking, but a great read just the same. There are some tips about how to go about making your own movie, but for the most part just another life account of Troma Studios. I gain more and more respect for Kaufman the more I learn about him, he is truly an independent genius.
Lloyd Kaufman is quite the character, and this book is quite bizarre. But I actually found it to contain very helpful morsels of information about filmmaking. The morsels are spread out across the book, but the reading in between them is very entertaining. I found the last few chapters to be the most helpful.
Elizabeth .
I've always liked the Troma team, and as bad as some of their movies are, I've always enjoyed and supported them as a company. Lloyd Kaufman has been doing this shit for 30+ years and while he might not have it all figured out, he's sure entertaining and inspiring. Awesome book. I can't wait for his next one.
This isn't to be taken too seriously but still, read and learn. There are plenty of little tricks that can come in handy when making a film but this book is more for a satirical/comedy purposes. Still, this is the book I have laughed the hardest at. A good read but don't take it too seriously.
A great look at the practical site of film making by someone who has been doing practically everything related to film for over 40 years. It has solid advice, plenty of humor, and sidebars by the folks at Troma who have been working on films for years about every aspect of making a movie.
This book should have been required reading in film school. There was a shocking amount of stuff to be learned that I did not learn in school. Ah well. Between this book and my education, I am well equipped to take on the world. Thank you Mr. Kaufman!
bill york
whether you make movies or not, this book had me in stitches. My wife made me put it down at night because my attempts to suppress my outright laughter resulted in bed shaking that thwarted my attempts to not wake her.
I'm only as far as the introduction, and the foreward is hilarious (and I have -- had? -- no love for Trey Parker). Let's hope the book is as entertaining. I'm into all things film since August 19.
Jesus Nomellames
Please read this book. I will pay you money if you do.
You will not learn how to make movies. But you will be laughing so hard that you will get in the mood to make one.
An engaging and very practical guide to guerrilla filmmaking. Making a Troma flick is just as daunting a challenge as helming something like Gangs of New York or Fitzcarraldo.
Ike Khan
This is a hilarious and very true book. It also has a funny inclusion from a close friend of mine. But I should count the author as friend and fellow film maker also!
I give it 5 stars for the philosophy and tips contained within, but 2 stars for the writing. Choppy, with digressions that are neither entertaining nor informative....
I recommend this book to you even if you don't want to make your own damn movie. It isn't just educational -- it's damn entertaining!
This is the kind of book you just thumb through for ridiculous stories and far out crap. Makes me hanker for some tromeo!
Christopher Payton
Funny (and informative!) shit! Lloyd Kaufman will have you rolling page after page.
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Lloyd Kaufman is a popular American film director, producer, screenwriter and occasional actor. With producer Michael Herz, he is the co-founder of Troma Entertainment film studio, and the director of many of their feature films, including The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo and Juliet. Kaufman also serves as chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
More about Lloyd Kaufman...
All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from The Toxic Avenger Direct Your Own Damn Movie! The Toxic Avenger: The Novel Produce Your Own Damn Movie! (Your Own Damn Film School) Sell Your Own Damn Movie!

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