Make Your Own Damn Movie! Secrets of a Renegade Director

Lloyd Kaufman with Adam Jahnke and Trent Haaga; Foreword by Trey Parker; Introduction by James Gunn

L.A. Weekly Books



Trade Paperback

352 Pages



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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 its current—and legendary—status as a lone survivor, a bastion of true cinematic independence, and the world's greatest collection of camp on film.

As entertaining and funny as it is informative and insightful, Make Your Own Damn Movie! places Kaufman's radically low-budget, independent-studio style of filmaking directly in the reader's hands. Thus we learn how to: develop and write a knock-out screenplay; raise funding; find locations and cast actors; hire a crew; obtain equipment, permits, and music rights (all for little or no money); make incredible special effects for $0.79 each; charm, schmooze, and network while on the film-festival circuit; and, finally, make a bad actor act so bad it's actually good.

From scriptwriting and directing to financing and marketing, this book is brimming with utterly off-the-wall, decidedly maverick, yet consistently proven advice on how to fully develop one's idea for an independent film.


Praise for Make Your Own Damn Movie!

"If you want to make a movie because you want to become rich, go put a thousand dollars down on thirteen black . . . Your odds are way better . . . If, however, you want to make a movie because you want people to laugh, or cry, or puke—then read [this book]."—Trey Parker, from the Foreword

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

  Make Your Own Damn Movie
CHAPTER 1Let’s Make Some Art!I was surrounded on every side by vermin, roaches, and rat shit. And I wasn’t even meeting with executives at Blockbuster.This was the basement of the Troma Building in New York City. For years, Troma has occupied this four-story building in the part of Manhattan formerly known as Hell’s Kitchen.6 From this mighty temple, we had steered the mighty ship of Troma through such films as Tromeo & Juliet, Terror Firmer, and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV. The Troma Building occupied a proud, majestic place
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  • Lloyd Kaufman with Adam Jahnke and Trent Haaga; Foreword by Trey Parker; Introduction by James Gunn

  • Lloyd Kaufman has written, produced, and/or directed more than 25 films, including The Toxic Avenger, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Terror Firmer. He is president of Troma Entertainment. This is his second book.