After attending CalArts Film School, independent film director Steve Balderson had something many filmmakers don't achieve in a lifetime: a fully realized artistic vision. At the young age of 23, he started his independent film production company Dikenga Films and made his first full-length feature film, Pep Squad, which became a cult classic. His second feature film, Firecracker, starring Karen Black and Mike Patton, was praised by critics worldwide and given a Special Jury Award on Roger Ebert’s list of 2005’s Best Films. His third film, Watch Out, was praised by critics as “One of the great cult films of all time” and shortlisted for Best International Feature in various film festivals world wide. And, the U.S. Library of Congress selected his 2011 film The Casserole Club for its permanent collection.
Film Threat magazine says, “Balderson makes movies that are so gorgeous that it’s not unreasonable to say that, cinematographically at least; he’s the equal of an Argento or Kubrick in their prime. Some people have perfect vocal pitch, Steve has perfect visual composition.”
Interested not just in film but also architecture, design and elements of time and space, Balderson's milieu is all-inclusive and his work bears an unmistakable, individual stamp. Though he chuckles when he says his idea of a good time is ‘going out to sketch a story board,’ he's not kidding. Driven and prolific, Balderson has also begun sharing his secrets in Maverick Film Production Courses, where he instructs and inspires filmmakers, both first-timers and those looking for a new perspective in the world of digital technology and alternative distribution.
One of Steve’s most successful film production courses is his teaching on How to Find Investors: for filmmakers and any entrepreneur. Since 1998, independent film director Steve Balderson has financed, directed, and sold 17 award-winning feature films which have been distributed worldwide. And he has done so totally outside the Hollywood system. Often asked, “How did you do that?” and “How can I do that” Steve decided it’s time to share exactly how he did it. You'll learn exactly how easy it is to get film financing and how to find independent film investors so you can make your movie!
Another resource for independent filmmakers is Balderson’s bestselling book “Filmmaking Confidential” with a Foreword by Lloyd Kaufman (Troma) and Preface by Pleasant Gehman (Punk Rock Royalty). “Filmmaking Confidential” is a volume of invaluable perspective, tips, how-tos and general philosophy about making independent films, no matter the budget, no matter the location.
Balderson worries little about who he will offend. Instead, he focuses his attention on what it takes to be a productive filmmaker in an industry that is risk averse and locked in a world where rigid process seems more important than creativity. This Kansas-born outsider has garnered awards, critical acclaim, and rave reviews globally, including one from Roger Ebert, who called him “Brilliant.” His acclaimed films have collectively won over 100 trophies and awards.
These kudos notwithstanding, the real potency in Balderson’s philosophies about making films and working with people – whether they be Oscar winning actors and Grammy winning musicians, or the waitress “extra” in the restaurant – have been the fuel for his remarkable collection of successful indie motion pictures. And why he keeps making films while simultaneously sharing his secrets with other filmmakers and independent film production companies through his Maverick Film Production Courses, as a film consultant and in his lectures.