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06/19/2003 - BOOK REVIEW: ?Make Your Own Damn Movie"

BOOK REVIEW: "Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director"

Not many filmmaking books include recipes for a crushed head, torn limb and fake blood. In fact, I know of only one: "Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director" by Lloyd Kaufman.

This is a great, weird book.

Great, because Kaufman knows whereof he speaks, He has written, produced and/or directed 25 films (at least that's what it says on the cover of his book). These include weirdo cult favorites "The Toxic Avenger" and "Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD."

Kaufman is king of the low budget, which is good news for all of us inhabiting the low-budgy world. He has been at this long enough that he shoots on 35mm, but he allows for plenty of miniDV/DV cam/24P kibitzing by his contributing writers/assistants, Adam Jahnke and Trent Haaga.

The book is blunt verging on raunchy at times, much like Kaufman's films. But it sure makes for an entertaining read. You're not likely to forget a chapter entitled, "Raising Money, or Mastering the Ancient Art of Fellatio."

This saucy masterwork covers it all, from the aforementioned fundraising, through writing ("500 Useless Screenwriting Books Boiled Down to One Short Chapter" is a must-read), crewing up, production, special effects, locations, publicity and distribution.

To Kaufman's point, you should make your own damn movie. And this book can help you do just that. Even if you don't make your own damn movie, you'll be a smarter screenwriter, and as we all know, smarter is better.

Buy the book. Have some laughs. Make your own damn movie.

Keep writing.



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