My good pal and writing partner, Chris Valenziano, gave me this book as a birthday present. He and I are very big fans of Greydon and have met him several times over the years. I find him to be a warm spirit who speaks gently which betrays his tall and broad frame. His book, On The Cheap: My Life In Low Budget Filmmaking is a prize for any filmmakers whether they are fans of his films or not. For those not familiar, my Greydon Clark must list has Without Warning and Joysticks. Classics.
I’m a very slow reader, but I breezed through this in about three night sittings. Greydon’s details on his life “in the circus” – as he calls it – are very engaging. He does a great job of giving just enough to keep you on the hook without boring minutia and unlike other memoirs, has some very specific information about how the business operates. He outlines the process from creative to money to distribution, and explains how they work hand in hand. For anyone who has had the passion to make a film on their own, this book will be full of nods and grins with sympathy. For those who haven’t, it will be very educational. He formats the book like a script breakdown, so you really grasp each aspect of what went on during his film career with ease and clarity
Like great scripts, the book’s third act throws a real twist at you – one which I was not prepared for. At the end, I realized I had been engaged in something much more than just a “how to” in the world of filmmaking, I was seeing into the life of a man. How he risked everything time and time again to make films his way, but ultimately to find that we are not the director of our own life.