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FT 017: Lloyd Kaufman & Troma Films: How I Make Money Selling Movies

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Lloyd Kaufman & Troma Films: How I Make Money Selling Movies

What can I say about Lloyd Kaufman? Director. Writer. Producer. Indie Filmmaker. Innovator. Nice guy. Pain in the ass of mainstream media. I believe all of those statements are true and then some.

Lloyd Kaufman is one of the original indie filmmakers going back to the 1970s. The Troma Universe was born in 1974 with a series of highly original, raunchy comedies such as Squeeze Play!Stuck On You!Waitress!, and other film titles ending with an exclamation point.

In my favorite decade, the ’80s is where Lloyd Kaufman really made a name for himself. His 1984 sleeper hit The Toxic Avenger launched his career and his production company Troma Entertainment. Creating his own brand of independent films, Lloyd Kaufman discovered there was a market for his “unique type” of films.

The success of The Toxic Avenger was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs in a similar vein, blending fantasy, comedy, badass action, and a bit of eroticism in a style that can only be described as “Tromatic”.LLOYD KAUFMAN, Troma, Troma Entertainment, Troma Universe, The Toxic Avenger, James Gunn, Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, Troma’s War, Quentin Tarantino

These films, including the Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and Troma’s War were often ignored or scorned by the intelligentsia of the time but spoke to an entire generation (including yours truly) of young people who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late ’80s. Some of his fans include Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker.

Always one to help indie filmmakers, Lloyd Kaufman just wrote his most recent book Sell Your Own Damn Movie!, the latest installment of his acclaimed series of books on guerrilla filmmaking that includes Make Your Own Damn Movie: Secrets of a Renegade Director, Direct Your Own Damn Movie! and Produce Your Own Damn Movie!  The books have inspired Kaufman to teach a successful series of Master Classes at colleges and institutions across the country and the world!

To say this was an enjoyable and entertaining interview would be an understatement. Enjoy my conversation with the one and only Lloyd Kaufman.

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