#66, The 100 Greatest Film Books of All Time, The Hollywood Reporter
The legendary figure who launched the careers of Spike Lee, Michael Moore, and Richard Linklater offers a no-holds-barred look at the deals and details that propel an indie film from a dream to distribution.
Pierson, a producer’s representative, explains how he has helped filmmakers with no profile at the time to get their work made, sold and seen by the world, sharing stories about Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, Moore’s Roger & Me and Linklater’s Slackers, plus Hoop Dreams, Clerks and many others. Chats with Kevin Smith serve as interstitials between chapters.
John Pierson hunted down, represented, and, in some cases, financed over twenty first-time independent features by directors including Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Richard Linklater, and Kevin Smith. After writing this chronicle of that era, he created and hosted IFCtv's first original series Split Screen, a globe-trotting, magazine-format show by filmmakers for film aficionados, which eventually took him and his family to Fiji's remote 180 Meridian Cinema. When he returned, Pierson moved to Austin to teach in the University of Texas Department of Radio-Television-Film, where he’s interviewed over seventy notable industry guests in his RTF master class.
"John Pierson has faithfully chronicled the American independent scene. He was there, he knows."
"The most contentiously witty and revealing view of off-Hollywood around."
"Sly, knowledgeable, deeply entertaining.. . . You couldn’t do much better than to hop aboard this ten-year wild ride. Grade: A."
Introduction: Stranger Than Fiction
A Quick and Slanted Pre-1984 History
Dialogue. Starting Point
Stranger Than Paradise and the First Golden Age
Parting Glances & The New Queer Cinema
She’s Gotta Have It
Tube Socks and Tube Steaks
Black and White
Birth of a Salesman
Dialogue. Be Like Spike
Working Girls and Women
Inspector Errol Morris Walks The Thin Blue Line
The Dance Part 1
Quantity Not Quality
Dialogue. Batman and Sex
1989: The Year It All Changed
Dialogue. Sex and Roger
Roger and Michael and Me
The Cinderella Syndrome
How to Make a Studio Deal
The Morning After
Dialogue. Role Models
Dialogue. Straight Outta Business
The Next Soderbergh
Sons of Mean Streets
How Low Can a Budget Go?
Amongst Jerks: Rob Weiss and the Dark Side of Overnight Success
Hitchcock: Who Needs Him?
The Odd Couple: Sundance 1994
In Hock and Staying There
Go Fiscal: Anatomy of a Back End
A Doc In The House
Dialogue. The Clerky Boys
Epilogue: It’s A Wonderful Life, July 4, 1995
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