Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies With John Waters

John Waters in front of Pete's Hotel Bar in Baltimore, 1974.

John Waters in front of Pete’s Hotel Bar in Baltimore, 1974. (from clip in LOVE LETTER TO EDIE)

When I first met John Waters, I was a naïve kid from the suburbs.  But I was curious and counter-cultural, and we hit it off.  I worked with John through five films over fifteen years: FEMALE TROUBLE, DESPERATE LIVING, POLYESTER,HAIRSPRAY, AND CRYBABY.

Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies With John Waters tells the story.

After making two films with John,  I moved from Baltimore to NYC, worked with big names, negotiated with top players in the 1970s New York City film industry, and hung out with some of the greatest artists and musicians of the time—but mostly on very low budget projects.  I started at the bottom where it was both painful and fun– nonstop.


John Waters and Robert Maier at the opening of DESPERATE LIVING in NYC

The big time was always just out of reach.  If one door opened, and you thought you’d made it, another door appeared right behind it.  But every actor, dancer, musician, artist, or writer goes through that.  I worked with giants of their time, like Andy Warhol, Martin Landau, Benny Goodman, George Burns, Bill Murray, Donald Pleasance Bob Shaye, Divine, Stiv Bators, Debbie Harry, Jack Palance and more.  I couldn’t believe a kid from a little row house in Towson, Maryland  (also the home of Divine and John) could hang out with Academy Award winners,  music chart busters, and millionaire artists.

Making  low budget movies, was an impossible way of making a living.  You couldn’t survive it if you took it seriously, and that’s really what the book is about.

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