On the Cheap: My Life in Low Budget Filmmaking by Greydon Clark
Review by Lee Sobel (8/24/20)
5 out of 5 stars
Greydon Clark was born talented -- it was evident in his work as an actor, writer and director right out of the gate. Of course liking low budget movies in general is sort of necessary to appreciate his talents. If you don't like exploitation movies for instance, then don't even read this review. Nobody made Greydon Clark's breaks happen for him -- he did it himself, writing scripts for Al Adamson for nothing just to score an acting role for himself and overcoming every obstacle in his way to then produce and direct his own movies -- over 20 of them in all in a career that spanned 30 years!
Before he even directed his first movie, Greydon Clark wrote and acted in the biker movie Satan's Sadists directed by Al Adamson, which I think is a brilliant film and it far exceeds its meager budget in terms of production value. Writing and acting in this movie and other Al Adamson cheapies was Greydon Clark's film school before he felt ready to make his own movies. Greydon Clark's book, On the Cheap: My Life in Low Budget Filmmaking, is chock full of the kind of anecdotes from the filmmaking trenches that I live for. The book is written in a quasi-screenplay format which, if you're not
familiar with screenplays might throw you at first, but since Clark's life plays like a movie, it works well. Bravo for coming up with a unique format that I have never seen anyone use in a book before!
Ultimately, for a memoir, On the Cheap also works really well as a how-to book on independent filmmaking and for that is an excellent resource for filmmakers. In recent years, blaxploitation and other drive-in/grindhouse movie fare has really found an audience, thanks to Quentin Tarantino making liking these movies a hip thing to do. I'd like to see other exploitation directors write books, but until then, On the Cheap: My Life in Low Budget Filmmaking by Greydon Clark is pretty much the only one out there that gives you tons of great behind-the-scenes stories of the making of these kinds of movies right from the director himself. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
If you purchase the book directly from Greydon Clark's website, Greydon will autograph the book for you personally: