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I guess that makes me a pioneer

Mark Pirro March 14, 2013


Filmmaker Kevin Smith holding a vintage super 8 movie camera. In the 80’s this was the cheapest format to shoot an independent movie with.

A cool article came out the other day talking about how us low budgeteers of the 80’s and 90’s sort of paved a way for the digital filmmaker of today.  You can see the article here.

I will grant that back in that time, there weren’t a great deal of DIY (do it yourself) filmmakers, like there are today.  I think the main reason was that there wasn’t the convenience and inexpensiveness of videotape.  We shot our project on film, whether it be 35mm, 16mm, super 8, or a combination of all three, and if exposures were bad, focus was off or there was a hair in the gate, we wouldn’t know about it until days later.  The bulk of our expenses usually went to film stock and processing.  The cost of my first feature film, A Polish Vampire in Burbank, produced in 1983, was two and a half times more than the budget of my last film, The God Complex, produced 26 years later.  I find it so amazing that a feature film can actually be shot today for a lot less than what our minimum cost would have been two or more decades ago.

Here’s to the independent spirit.  If I drank, I would hold a glass to you pioneers and consider myself proud to be a small part of this unique and exclusive group.

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Rick Popko

Neat story. You were most certainly an inspiration to Dan and I to get off our asses and make a movie.

Mark Pirro is the Owner of Pirromount Studios.