It should serve as no surprise that since its initial release, “Sell Your Own Dan Movie!” has sold big with aspiring filmmakers across the country, and it should also serve as no surprise that “Sell Your Own Damn Movie!” is probably the best how to guide for indie filmmakers on how to get their completed films out there and consumed for mass audiences. Whether you love Troma to death or hate Lloyd Kaufman like date rape, there’s no denying that the man has amassed decades of experience in indie filmmaking and has built an encyclopedic knowledge on the do’s and don’t’s on selling your film and how to get certain audiences aware of your creative work.
Co-author Lloyd Kaufman has a lot of wonderful and genius advice for indie flmmakers on how to sell their movies and get them in to festivals, and he does so with a ingenuity and humor that’s admirable. True, the book is mainly a how to guide, but it’s also laugh out loud funny. The chapters are filled with addendums that will make you giggle more times than you can count, and often times co-author Sara Antill adds her own addendums to Kaufman’s own anecdotes or false information that will spark some real gut busters from the reader. The list of ways you can raise money for festival entry fees is probably the funniest part of the book. While Kaufman and Antill definitely have their fun and lighten the mood with their dry wit and sharp humor, the book doesn’t hold back with its facts and truths. Getting your film seen is tough, getting it out there is even worse. Odds are you won’t get a distribution deal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try as hard as you can.
There have been success stories where directors tried their damndest and were met with immense success. Co-author Kaufman spends most of the book undermining major film releases, while inspiring readers to deliver movies of a unique premise and creative force, while also providing tips on how to get your film in the consciousness by the means of the internet and without the interet. There are interviews with many notable indie filmmakers, all of whom have contributed to marketing in their own way successfully or historically, and co-author Kaufman leaves no stone unturned. He even sheds light on many moments during his film career where he succeeded and failed to market a film of his, which included handing out custom condoms, to spray painting the title of his film on side walks. There’s even a funny encounter with an angry Chinese restaurant owner, at one point As is the typical with Lloyd Kaufman, he spends some of the book advertising the Tromapalooze film festival, which is free for any and all filmmakers willing to travel to show their films to the Troma audience, and he also tells of his experiences with various movie critics, all of whom either praised Kaufman, or provided him with back handed praise that he still fondly remembers with a chuckle.
Kaufman encourages internet piracy in one major chapter, and even interviews filmmaker Oren Peli. Peli, the director of the wildly successful “Paranormal Activity” movie series discusses hos journey from struggling filmmaker to successful Hollywood genre producer, and how his small horror film made its way through the Hollywood system. Co-author Kaufman doesn’t place a great importance on the internet and its ability to get the word out, as he is most respectful of the foot work that is tough but manages to get filmmakers out there and networking with the right people. And can provide them with a variety of great experiences they can take home with them. “Sell Your Own Damn Movie!” should be the essential tool for any filmmaker anxiously trying to get their movie seen by someone, anyone, and it’s a damn great read. Lloyd Kaufman knows how to sell himself and his movies; you’d be wise to read this book at least twice. Three times if you have to.