What do Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson, Trey Parker, Eli Roth, James Gunn, Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent D'Onofrio have in common?
They have all been influenced by and/or worked with Lloyd Kaufman. Lloyd Kaufman is the biggest influence on independent film as we know it today. He has helped countless indy film makers get their movies made and distributed. He currently is the Chair for the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) and has done more to help indy film makers than anyone.
His movies have become cult classics, his work as an actor has helped small film makers get other actors to agree to do some smaller indy movies and his work as an advocate to fight against consolidation and to keep an open entertainment market has made him one of The Movie Whore's heroes. I admire him for everything he does and have the utmost respect for a man that gives so much to provide entertainment for us all. On to the interview.
TMW: I have you as one of my friends on MySpace and recently saw the post for The Toxic Avenger the Musical. Can you tell me a little more about it?
LK: I have little to do with the artistic part of putting this together, which is probably best, but it is being produced by some of the same people that produced the Broadway version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the music is being done by one of the original founders of Bon Jovi, David Bryan. They are keeping with the troma-esque feel of the original movie. You can find more information on it on the Troma home page at www.thetoxicavengermusical.com
including the latest press releases.
TMW: Great, thank you. I will be definitely checking that out. Now as a fan of Troma when I sat down to watch Tromeo and Juliet ten years ago I was shocked to see Motorhead front man Lemmy. How did you get him to do the movie?
LK: Lemmy is actually a fan of Troma movies and was in New York at the time and reached out to us because he is a supporter of independent film makers. Around here, at Troma, we are big Motorhead fans so we have actually used him in a few movies. He will also be doing a side bar in my new book "Direct your own damn movie" and is actually here today to film some stuff for the book.
TMW: That's great, looking forward to reading the book. Now one of the reasons I admire you so much and have a tremendous amount of respect for you is your work in supporting other independent film makers. Could you tell us a little about what you do to support other film makers?
LK: I act in a lot of independent movies like Brokeback Zombies and Slither as my way of giving the project legitimacy allowing the film makers to get actors like Sid Haig that may not have considered the film otherwise. I like to reach out to other independent film makers to give them a leg up.
I have also recently been elected the Chairman of the IFTA which includes 200 film companies and 40% of those are outside the US including the companies that put out Crash, Lord of the Rings and Roger Corman's company. I have been a long time member and ran for the office to fight media consolidation and keep world markets open. We have lobbyists in Washington working to get government support to force conglomerates to open the market up to independent content. We are also pushing for net neutrality.
There used to be rules, that have been done away with, that required TV to license 35% of their content from independent sources. This rule has been done away with and we are pushing for the government to get involved to bring it back. This will get more independent quality in to bring in better entertainment and bring more of an audience. With more of an audience there will a bigger pie for everyone to eat from. Well, if more people are coming in, they eat the pie making it smaller, but maybe if they threw it up and add it back to the pie it will make it bigger.
We have shot several PSA's to fight media consolidation and support net neutrality.
TMW: Where can I find those?
LK: They have been posted on YouTube and College Humor.
TMW: You also have Poultrygeist coming out next month.
LK: That's right it opens in New York on May 3rd and in Los Angeles on June 13th. It is a satirical look at the fast food industry. You can find more information about it on the troma.com
TMW: Thank you. With this being an Interview with The Movie Whore is there anyone you want to whore out for a future interview?
LK: NukE PuK'em is a former Tromette of the month and the Official Tromette of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
TMW: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me I really appreciate it.
LK: You are welcome call me anytime.
Lloyd Kaufman is one of my heroes. His dedication and tireless work with the IFTA to get more quality entertainment into the market not only in the US but world wide is an inspiration to independent film makers around the world. He was an absolute pleasure to talk to and I look forward to interviewing him again. If your not familiar with Lloyd, I recommend renting The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo and Juliet and Terror Firmer as well as other Troma releases and spend some time snooping around the Troma website for more information about Troma and Uncle Lloyd.