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Low Budget Legends

Archive for May, 2010

13Bit Interview With Lloyd Kaufman Part 3

Part three of 13Bit’s Low Budget Legends Interview series. Here, we speak with Lloyd Kaufman, the head of Troma Films and the Director of such low budget legends as “Toxic Avenger,” “Class of Nuk’em High” and “Poultrygeist.” ” Lloyd has been making classic films for over forty years, and is heavily involved in promoting and protecting the rights of independent filmmakers.

We went out to Troma HQ in Queens last fall and are proud to kick off our series with Lloyd. Here is the third of our three-part chat with him.

13BIT:

Do you buy into the idea that people under 30 don’t want to pay for any media?

LLOYD KAUFMAN:

People under 30, I think, are willing to pay.  I think that they feel that the shit they’re getting in the movie theaters and on television doesn’t deserve to be paid for.  And the fact that they– I think they object– I think for the first time in history there is a generation of young people who are rebelling against television for the first time.  They’re looking at television as kind of a button-down parent type thing, you know, where you have to watch Matt Lauer in the morning with a shit Today Show.

And then it gets broken up and goes on CNBC and then MSNBC and this fat-ass weather man.  And they hate that stuff.  They don’t want to see Jay Leno.  They don’t want to see this shit.  They don’t find it funny or interesting.  And I think that’s the problem.  Why should they pay for that?  And to have to go and everywhere you look, you’re going the see the Transformers on every poster, every t-shirt, every newspaper, you go to the fast food dump and there’s Transformers in the Burger King.

And I think a lot of young people resent it.  And so they– why should they support these people?  You know, they’re– they– at the conventions, they don’t want to take free DVDs from us.  They want to pay.  They– sometimes I try to give stuff away.  They insist on paying.  They want to support Troma.  And these people have nothing.  They have nothing.  Takes them two weeks to get an unemployment check, by the way.  No, in Ohio recently, I understand it took six weeks to get an employment check, to get a check.

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13Bit Interview with Lloyd Kaufman Part 2

Part two of 13Bit’s Low Budget Legends Interview series. Here, we speak with Lloyd Kaufman, the head of Troma Films and the Director of such low budget legends as “Toxic Avenger,” “Class of Nuk’em High” and “Poultrygeist.” ” Lloyd has been making classic films for over forty years, and is heavily involved in promoting and protecting the rights of independent filmmakers.

We went out to Troma HQ in Queens last fall and are proud to kick off our series with Lloyd. Here is the second of our three-part chat with him.

13BIT:

How do you distribute?

LLOYD KAUFMAN:

Oh, oh, well, the pro– the– the biggest problem with distribution, and we all face it, and Troma faces it as bad as anybody, is this cartel, that it is not a level playing field.  And, you know, what’s sad is that so many independent filmmakers, including me, are making great movies.  And we get beaten up by the media and we get beaten up by the atmosphere because we can’t penetrate the hymen of the mainstream.

We can’t get in.  We can’t get through the hymen that is of the– of this vertically integrated media.  We can’t get publicity.  And we can’t get into the movie theaters.  And we can’t get on T.V. because everything is owned by Rupert Murdoch or one of his buddies.  Rupert or Viacom or G.E. or one of the four or five conglomerates.  And by the way, when we do finally penetrate the hymen of the mainstream, we’re the ones who get fucked.  So that’s why there are very few independent movie studios that have been able to survive.

And the media would have you believe, “Well, they don’t make good movies.”  Or, you know, “They make movies with guns.”  Or, “They make, you know, cheap, tacky movies.”  90 percent of them do, probably.  But there are pantloads of excellent movies being made by independent filmmakers all over the world that nobody gets to see because there’s economic blacklisting.  And that’s the biggest problem.  And Poultrygeist:  Night of the Chicken Dead was number one on May 9, 2008, number one screen in the country.

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13Bit Interview with LLoyd Kaufman Part 1

13Bit Productions is excited to present the first in our series of interviews with low budget legends.

Here, we speak with Lloyd Kaufman, the head of Troma Films and the Director of such low budget legends as “Toxic Avenger,” “Class of Nuk’em High” and “Poultrygeist.” Lloyd has been making classic films for over forty years, and is heavily involved in promoting and protecting the rights of independent filmmakers.

We went out to Troma HQ in Queens last fall and are proud to kick off our series with Lloyd. Here is the first of three-part chat with him.

13BIT:

How did you get involved in filmmaking?  And was that what you always wanted to do?

LLOYD KAUFMAN:

I got involved in filmmaking by making a huge mistake.  I went to Yale University.  And it was the ’60s.  I was going to be, like, a social worker or teacher and make the world a better place, teach people with hooks for hands how to finger paint, teach bums how to paint happy faces on beads and string the beads together.  But, they put me in a room with a movie nut.  My roommate freshman year at Yale was a movie nut.  He ran the Yale Film Society.

And I started wandering into the — to the auditorium and watched all these movies they started showing.  And I wasn’t interested in movies as a kid.  I was more into the legitimate theater.  Being a gay married man, I’ve wept through many Barbara Streisand shows and Judy Garland and all that stuff and pulleys and curtains and animals and all that.  But I didn’t know Charlie Chaplin was a film director.  I never even heard the word “director”.  I didn’t what a film director meant.

I never heard of John Ford, Howard Hawks, Jean Renoir, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol.  I knew who Andy Warhol was.  I didn’t know he directed movies.  I didn’t know any of that.  I had no idea.  And I suddenly just kept getting blown away.  I’d keep watching these films and– and there at the Yale Film Society.  And one day I was in the auditorium of the Yale Film Society.  About three other people were in there watching To Be or Not To Be, directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

And it so knocked me out that I decided right then and there in the darkness of the Yale auditorium that I would give what I have to the film-going public.  So if you want to, you know, get revenge for Troma, if you want to blame somebody for Troma, go to the graves of Ernst Lubitsch, Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack, the team that brought you To Be or Not To Be and urinate on their graves.

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