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D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist (2002)

Not Rated | | Documentary
This documentary features interviews with Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), J Mascis (Dinosaur jr.), John John Jesse (Demonic Erotic painter), Jim Rose (Jim Rose Sideshow), Jim Thirwell (Foetus), Lydia... See full summary »


Michael W. Dean

On Disc

at Amazon




Credited cast:
Ron Asheton ... Himself - Interviewee
Mike Boner Mike Boner ... Himself
Lynn Breedlove Lynn Breedlove ... Herself - Interviewee
Dave Brockie ... Himself
Simon Clifton Simon Clifton ... Himself
Cynthia Connolly Cynthia Connolly ... Herself
Michael W. Dean ... Himself
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Himself
Mark Enger Mark Enger ... Himself
Matt Enger Matt Enger ... Himself
John John Jesse John John Jesse ... Himself
Richard Kern Richard Kern ... Himself - Interviewee
Keith Knight Keith Knight ... Himself
Lung Leg Lung Leg ... Herself (archive footage)
Beth Lisick Beth Lisick ... Herself - Interviewee


This documentary features interviews with Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), J Mascis (Dinosaur jr.), John John Jesse (Demonic Erotic painter), Jim Rose (Jim Rose Sideshow), Jim Thirwell (Foetus), Lydia Lunch, Mike Watt (Minutemen), Richard Kern (Filmmaker), Ron Asheton (Stooges), Madagin Shive (Bonfire Madagin), Dave Brockie (Gwar) and many others. The 60-minute film explores the methods and motivations of independent American artists working in different genres and mediums. "DIY or Die" profiles a fascinating group of icons and unknowns working in various media including print, film, graphic art, performance art and music. Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated






Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The DVD, "DIY or DIE: Burn This DVD" has no region restrictions and no copy protection and people are allowed to make personal copies for non-commercial use. The DVD is the only low-budget indie production in the world with subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film it says "Now go make your own movie!" See more »


Friend Or Foe
By Foetus
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User Reviews

Fiercely independent and mostly starving artists unite!
23 August 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is an interesting documentary about the independent arts movement across America. While a few of those interviewed are immensely financially successful, the people interviewed all share a common thread of independence--doing art for themselves and a lack of regard for external validation. Simply put, they do what they do because it's compulsion that they love. Sometimes this produces really unique and ground-breaking work--other times, it's not! But what is fascinating is that most of these artists just don't care--it's their vision. So most barely make ends meet but are basically happy being themselves.

The style of this documentary is to mostly let the various artists just talk and explain what their art means to them, why they do it, what they consider success and their struggles to make it. A fascinating and rough glimpse into the world of fringe music, art, photography, film production writing, etc.. I don't always agree with the people and think some need to think about jobs (especially since my parents were artists and I teach at an art school--I just know way too many starving artists), but I sure have to admire their drives and idealism.

Oddly, this movie actually reminded me of an old Robert Montgomery film, LIVE LOVE AND LEARN (1937) as there are many, many parallels in the stories. Montgomery, too, is a struggling artist who is a Bohemian who could care less about financial success. When he loses sight of this ideal, his life spirals downward, as does his art.

FYI--The film makers really put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, as this film is totally free--region-free, copyright-free and freely distributed.

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