Spike, Mike,A Guided Tour Across
Slackers & Dykes
a Decade of American Independent Cinema
John PiersonWith the Conversational Collaboration of
FROM THE JACKET AND BACK OF THE BOOK:
Variety called John Pierson the "guru of independent film." Why? Perhaps because he:
- Wrote Spike Lee a $10,000 check to finish She's Gotta Have It.
- Sold the documentary Roger and Me for $3 million.
- Made Clerks famous. ("Just because they serve you doesn't mean they like you.")
- Has seen over 1,000 debut features, and (unlike most independent film companies) managed not to lose his shirt while backing those films he liked most.
In short, he's been at the epicenter of the tumultuous last decade that changed independent film forever, and launched a new generation of hilarious, ambitious, talented, and sometimes wacked filmmakers.
Here, for the first time, he tells it like it is--the unvarnished truth about:
- Film financing. (If your parents offer to pay $5,000 for your sister's wedding, it's your duty to demand the same to fund your movie.)
- The importance of timing and lighting.
- Creating a sensation on the film festival circuit.
- The dark side of overnight success.
- The anatomy of the deals that get films to a theater somewhere near you.
- And what definitely not to do if you want to make a film (illustrated with dozens of embarrassing examples--like having Elvis come back as a golfing vampire who's shooting a feature).
As punctuation throughout the book, Pierson and Clerks creator Kevin Smith dish about everything from Batman, sex, and Quentin Tarantino to American Psycho, Matty Rich, and of course, Rob "Vanilla" Weiss, who "typifies everything you don't want to be as a first-time filmmaker."
Spike Mike, Slackers & Dykes is a first of its kind: an inside look at the art, the heart, and the enterprise of the spiteful, fractious, and finally, entertaining place that is the world of independent film.
John Pierson lives and works with his wife, Janet, in the Hudson Valley of New York, where he stages an annual summer film workshop.
"The most contentiously witty and revealing view of off-Hollywood around."
--Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"After I read this book, I showed it to my wife, and it was really a revelation to her because she never got to meet the struggling person that was Spike Lee ten years ago...the person that was trying to rub two nickels together to get a dime, the one that was struggling to keep Con Edison from turning the lights off or Ma Bell from turning the phone off. She said she wished she knew me then, John Pierson has faithfully chronicled the American independent scene. He was there, he knows."
"A terrifically entertaining history of the formative decade of the American independent film world. A real insider's perspective infused with humor and drama. The Roger & Me chapter reads like a thriller."
--Geoffrey Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival