Make Your Own Damn Movie! (2005) (RePost from the old Ryan’s Reviews site)

Description (from the box):
Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Studios and Creator of The Toxic Avenger, has written, produced and / or directed scores of successful movies and shares thirty years of moviemaking know-how – from raising money, scriptwriting and casting to production, how to do special effects and distribution. Both informative and entertaining, Make Your Own Damn Movie shows you the reality of the film business – uncensored, non-linear, and often hilarious. Along the way, enjoy the stories and trade secrets of the best-known award-winning directors, producers and actors. Whether you are a filmmaker or just enjoy watching movies, Make Your Own Damn Movie 5 DVD Box Set will be invaluable to you!

Major Cast:
James Gunn, Larry Cohen, John Avildsen, John Badham, Hershell Gordon Lewis, Jenna Fischer, Stuart Gordon, The Spierig Brothers, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, William Lustig, George A. Romero, Adam Rifkin, Eli Roth, Kevin Eastman, Stan Lee, and Lloyd Kaufman

Special Features:
That’s pretty much what this is, 5 DVDs of special features! Way too many to list here.

Directed by Lloyd Kaufman

Lloyd Kaufman’s Make Your Own Damn Movie! box set is amazingly comprehensive. I originally intended to sit here and write a comprehensive review touching on everything contained in the MYODM set, but that would not be cool. Not only would I have Carpal Tunnel by the time I was finished, you (the reader) would have given up on reading the pages and pages of text that review would have contained! There is so, SO much information in this collection that the quote “It’s film school in a box!” is true! There is easily enough information between this collection and it’s companion piece – Lloyd’s book “Make Your Own Damn Movie!” – to teach a semester or two of film school.

Instead of going through disc by disc and telling you what I thought of all 12 hours plus of the MYODM set, I’m going to touch on some of the topics covered, the features found within, and what I particularly liked about this set. And first on the “what I liked” list is: the price. For around $50 (depending on where you buy it from), you can have in your hand years and years of filmmaking experience, told in stories and anecdotes. There is no other way I can think of to get SO MUCH INFORMATION for so little money. No matter what film school you might be thinking of attending, I
guarantee that $50 will barely buy you a textbook there; or instead you can send $50 to Troma and get at least a semester’s worth of knowledge in an easy-to-carry size.

MYODM runs the gamut, coving a wealth of information. Here is a list of the categories of information contained in the MYODM box set, and how many separate interviews/features deal with that topic: Financing (16), Screenwriting (12), Budgeting (9), Casting (10), Pre-Production (18), Production (25), Post-Production (13), Special FX (12), Editing (9), Marketing (17), Distribution (17), and Celebrity Advice (23). What’s really great about the MYODM set is the fact that, like filmmaking itself, the set is non-linear. You could sit down and watch all of disc 1, then 2, and so on until you’d seen it all, but the information would be somewhat random. Disc 1 is kind-of a “pre-production/production” disc, while 2 is kind-of a “production” disc, and so on, but there is so much other info along with that info on each disc. Instead of just watching it from front to back, included in the MYODM set is the “The ‘Make Your Damn Movie’ Tromatrix.” This is a color coded chart that shows you what each interview / feature entails. So if you are interested in learning about how to write your own damn movie first, you could star on disc 1 and watch the James Gunn, Larry Cohen, John Avildsen and John Badham interviews, since each of these has relevance to that topic. You would then move on to disc 2 and watch just what involves screenwriting on that disc, and so on. The Tromatrix is setup so that you can find information relevant to what you are doing right now in your own production, if you’re making your own damn movie.

Other than the many interviews contained in the MYODM set, there are also full documentaries like Apocalypse Soon: The Making of ‘Citizen Toxie’, All the Love You Cannes!, The Making of ‘Terror Firmer’, as well as The Thick Brown Line: The Making of ‘Tales From the Crapper’. Also included is one of Lloyd’s earliest films, The Battle of Love’s Return in a “workshop” version, with commentary by Lloyd.

There are also additional “how-tos” no necessarily for the filmmaker, but for people related to film, like the Make Your Own Damn Video Store and Make Your Own Damn Movie Theater sections, along with advice for making comic books, film festivals, etc., so the MYODM set teaches you how to make more than just movies!

A few features I found particularly important: George Romero speech about how he was screwed out of ownership on Night of the Living Dead, Eli Roth’s battles with the unions on Cabin Fever, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone… they’re just always hilarious.

Overall, I’d say that the MYODM box set is by far the best value for your money you will ever see as far as filmmaking instruction is concerned. There is so much info here for any aspiring filmmaker, even if they are NOT into Troma’s films. Remember, many a famous “Hollywood” face worked with Troma – Billy Bob Thornton, Samuel L. Jackson, Oliver Stone, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kevin Costner, and recent Oscar nominee David Strathairn, to name a few. While yes, the Troma alumni will get more kicks out of what the MYODM set contains, anyone interested in film will learn something new from watching. There’s no way you could NOT learn something new from watching this… unless you’re Lloyd Kaufman.

Instead of a X / 10 rating on this set I’m just going to say:
aspiring filmmakers: BUY THE MYODM BOX SET NOW. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn.

MYODM on the imdb:

MYODM for sale:

Troma official site:


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