In the last few years it has become increasingly common to find armchair movie critics everywhere you look. Hell, I suppose that’s what I am-- just a movie lover that got carried away and found a place that will actually print my ramblings. Everyone’s a critic, and everyone thinks they know how to make a good movie. Nowadays, with digital video being so inexpensive, we armchair critics no longer have an excuse not to make a flick of our own.
So how the hell do you make a movie? Well, Troma (the fine folks that brought us The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo and Juliet) President Lloyd Kaufman has released a five-DVD boxed set called Make Your Own Damn Movie!-- a companion piece to his book of the same title-- to walk us through the process. That was nice of him to make a DVD so that even illiterate people can make films. Although, if you’ve ever seen Independence Day, you know they’ve been making them for years.
Among the lessons we glean from Kaufman’s thirty years of filmmaking, we also get gems of advice from people like Trey Parker and Matt Stone, George Romero, Stan Lee, John Avildsen, Eli Roth, James Gunn, and many more. There are full-length making-of features to show how Troma classics Terror Firmer and Citizen Toxie were made, plus hours of tips created exclusively for the set. With the total access that Lloyd gives viewers, it makes you wonder how anything gets done at Troma HQ.
This exhaustive set tells it like it really is, and the stories about the problems faced while trying to make movies are worth the price of this set alone. With film school tuition in the tens of thousands per year, you can get all the information you really need for less than what a single textbook would set you back. Plus, I’m sure film school doesn’t teach you about how film union people will come down to sets and threaten people to get them to shut down a movie set.
The Make Your Own Damn Movie! boxed set makes the perfect addition to your bookshelf, right next to Roger Corman’s How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime, Syd Field's Screenplay, and Lloyd’s other book, All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger: The Shocking True Story Of Troma Studios. Did I mention it comes with its own diploma? Your folks will be so proud!
So whether you’re interested in making your own damn movie, or you’re just one of those armchair people who thinks they can make a better movie than Hollywood because they’ve seen a few behind-the-scenes specials on E!, this set is for you. The ins and outs of the movie business are discussed in a frank, realistic, and entertaining way for those interested in making movies on their own.
The other nice thing about this set is that it’s entertaining enough in its own right that if you are one of those DVD geeks that just likes checking out special features, Make Your Own Damn Movie! is five discs of special features. And if you get tired of all the tips and behind-the-scenes goodies, you can turn the set into a drinking game-- just take a drink every time someone says, "Make your own damn movie!" See you in the hospital!