Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the minds of many people, the obvious goal of a person working within creative media -- music, filmmaking, performance, writing, or visual art -- is to align yourself with a major commercial entity who will bring your work to the public through the marketplace. But for a growing number of artists, though working outside the framework of the major entertainment corporations may present greater challenges, it also provides far greater freedom, as well as presenting fascinating opportunities and permitting a total creative control you can't always get working for a Fortune 500 firm. Michael W. Dean's documentary D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist is a fast-paced and idiosyncratic look at artists who have embraced the "D.I.Y." ("Do It Yourself") philosophy, ranging from musicians Mike Watt, Ian McKaye, and J.G. Thirlwell, filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern, cartoonist Keith Knight, author and performance artist Lydia Lunch, and transgressive circus artist Jim Rose to a number of little known sculptors, painters, and dancers who stubbornly hold on to their independence as a key to pure and honest expression. For its release on home video, director Michael W. Dean took the unusual tack of demanding that D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist be duplicated without any copy-protection codes, so that viewers can freely duplicate and pass his film (and its message) along to others, as long as they don't charge for the privilege.
individuality, expression, independence, indie-rock, artist, cartoonist, creativity, inspiration, painting, performance-art, photographer, poet, sculpting