Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes

Author: John Pierson

Release: January 1, 1997

Tagline: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema

Publisher: Miramax

Genre: Cinema, Art, Entertainment, Business

ISBN-10: 0786882220
ISBN-13: 978-0786882229

Declassified by Agent Palmer: Revisiting the Golden Age of independent film

Quotes and Lines

This book is not a how to, it’s a how come.

“I’ll only have ex-friends.” Perhaps that’s because his mind is always filled with so many current ideas.

The debate about documentary “truth” is endless. I came across a Jean-Luc Godard quote that captures my feeling: “In filmmaking you can either start with fiction or documentary. But whichever you start with, you inevitably find the other.”

The composite prototype low-budget production would observe the following guidelines:
1. The script is written to fit the budget, keeping in mind an inventory of available assets.
2. There is an organized rehearsal period with the cast and director of photography that may be longer than the compressed shoot itself, whether principal photography is twelve straight days or twelve days on weekends over six months.
3. Sets and locations are cheap or free.
4. No one in the small cast and crew gets paid a salary, and even the deferred salaries are modest.
5. Since film stock and processing are unavoidable expenses, the shooting ratio is very low after using a Kodak student discount and getting DuArt to defer half its lab fee.
6. You have to feed people decently and pay the caterer.
7. Postproduction consists of a low-rent Steenbeck in your apartment or after-hours access to an AVID video editing system.

I like Pulp Fiction the movie, yet distrust Pulp Fiction the phenomenon.

….the audience has to be retrained, or in the case of these under-twenties, trained for the first time. Millions of consumers under twenty are turned on by a wide array of fairly obscure music on independent record labels. Yet few ever go to a review-driven, nonstudio movie–almost none without television advertising. As for the twentysomethings, the aging boomers, and the aging boomers who still want to act like they’re twentysomethings (like me), the chains of laziness must be broken. We don’t mind thinking about a movie we’ve seen, but we show less and less of an inclination to want to think too hard about what to see.