From the writer, director, and editor of Phantasm—the cult classic horror movie of 1979 and its sequels—comes this highly entertaining and motivational autobiographical account of Don Coscarelli’s filmmaking journey, True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking (St. Martin’s Press, 2018).
Combining biography with the entertaining art of filmmaking, Don shares his journey as an independent filmmaker from his childhood to date. Though the five Phantasm films take the center stage of his indie film career, the book includes plenty of information about his other projects—Kenny and Company, The Beastmaster, Survival Quest etc—and some details about his personal life. There are so many exciting behind-the-scene stories of his various projects that each chapter literally leaves your imagination on fire for what’s coming next. From designing sets to working on stunts and auditioning actors that would later become mega stars in Hollywood, True Indie is literally a unique rollercoaster through the world of entertainment and filmmaking.
Don’s writing style is entertaining as well as moving. He is fun to read as he lovingly takes us through the details of his film work and a few other projects, like music, TV episodes, or worldwide web ventures. And he touches hearts when telling about the dedication of some of his regular cast and crew. He even moves us to tears as he gives a first-hand account of the last days of the Tall Man of Phantasm—the unforgettable Angus Scrimm, who, as Don tells us, was the kindest man in his real life.
Whether or not you are a fan of the Phantasm world of Don Coscarelli, or his other works in the entertainment world, True Indie will very likely be a fun read for you if you into movies and particularly if you are into independent filmmaking. And for any aspiring indie filmmakers out there, Don shares some important tips near the end of the book under “Don’s Five-Minute Film School”.
This is a book you don’t want to miss.
Disclaimer: This reviewer is a proud Phantasm fan and got this book as a Christmas gift!