Sunday, September 11, 2011

2 DVD set

This two disc set from Troma continues in the series of "instructional" dvd's from founder Lloyd Kauffman intended to help young young filmmakers find their way in the  movie business. Intended to work with his book MAKE YORU OWN DAMN MOVIE and the DVD set of the same name and the soon to be released SELL YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE (which is the one I personally am looking the most forward too). Kauffman calls on his many years of film distribution experience and contacts to put together a fairly entertaining concoction of advice that is surprisingly useful.

The first disc is basically a throwaway and only of much use to fans of TROMA and Kauffman as it is basically Lloyd on several sets where he was doing comeo's. The footage is interesting, as we get a look at behind the scenes on films like the remake of MOTHER'S DAY, the new film MOMA'S BOYS or my own current favorite film of 2011 James Gunn's SUPER. The footage is fun, and a good time to see the bigger productions interact with with Kauffman, who basically seems clueless most of the time with how such machines actually work.

If the release was only this it would be nothing more than the kind of thing that would be you tube material but thankfully it is not. The second disc is a wealth of interviews conducted by Kauffman with a host of industry insiders on the topic of funding and producing movies in the film climate today. Ranging from bum rushing David Cronenberg at a convention to getting big time producer Avi Lerner to actually sit down at his office for a rather in depth discussion. Monte Hellman makes a HUGE major course breakfast while discussing his entire career. Roger Corman talks about the differences of making the very low budget Sci-Fi channel style films he makes now vs the old school classic he used to make. Newcomers The Duplass Brothers discuss their process of deconstruction and getting their ultra low budget films into Sundance. Ernest Dickerson goes into a surprising amount of depth about getting funds together and working within the mainstream. Uber producer Steven Paul talks about finding funding as does Caroline Baron. I skipped listening to Mick Garris.

The topic everyone discusses at length is how in the old days you could raise financing her in the USA with a good idea, or using things like Tax shelter, or penny stocks. Now you HAVE to have a star, or something ready to pre-sell the whole package and go to foreign sales markets. It seems ALL projects from a small indie drama to the biggest projects like RAMBO are funded the exact same way now through presales on the foreign market or through places like the American Film Market with things like big stars of marketable talent behind the camera as collateral. This is why remakes and sequels are such bankable ways to go, because it is a gaurentee on inestiment.

The second disc on the set is actually a very helpful, very interesting big of movie making insider information. Maybe not revelatory information, but certainty useful to those looking to break in and make films in the this climate. Disc one is just of use to TROMA fans who like to watch Lloyd Kauffman clown around.

Review ©Andrew Copp

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