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Video Highlights from Book Promotion with the Troma Team at Florida Supercon

I had a blast reuniting with the Troma Team at Florida SuperCon to promote, sell and sign copies of my book, Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER. Every time I get together with Troma co-founder, Lloyd Kaufman, it is just like old times and we slip back into the rapid fire, Troma-esque, witty (if we do say so ourselves) banter that fueled our fun working relationship so many years ago. As much as it was fun to hang out with Lloyd and Toxie for a few days, the highlight of SuperCon was by far having the opportunity to talk about my book with true Troma fans – signing copies, posing for selfies, and even getting great feedback from folks who picked up a copy of the book on one day, and came back the next day to tell me how much they were enjoying reading it. Nothing could possibly be more rewarding for an author, so thanks to all of you who I was lucky enough to meet during Florida SuperCon. And if you missed it, Lloyd, Toxie and I hosted a live reading from the book during one of the SuperCon panel sessions. I was even awarded a long overdue “Troma Diploma” 23 years after my service. 🙂

I took a lot of fun pictures and at SuperCon and below is a short video of some of the highlights. Enjoy!

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Live Book Reading at Florida Supercon with Lloyd Kaufman and Toxie Himself!

At the recent FLORIDA SUPERCON, I had the chance to read a few chapters from my book accompanied by Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman, who wrote the Foreword for the book. Lloyd and I were joined by The Toxic Avenger himself. Needless to say, I was a little nervous to read from my book in front of the very monster – er, mentor, who inspired me to write it. Thankfully, the audience of Troma fans were very welcoming and it was a lot of fun to share a few chapters with them, along with some live commentary from Lloyd and Toxie. Below is a video of the session. Enjoy!

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Florida Supercon, Here We Come! @Sass and @Troma (@LloydKaufman) United Again!

Greetings from Tromaville! It has been over 20 years since I was officially a member of the Troma Team, but since writing my book, “Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER,” I have been having a blast retelling my tales from Tromaville in interviews and on podcasts (and even on a few random street corners) to promote the book to anyone and everyone I can.

Later this week I’ll be rejoining the Troma Team at FLORIDA SUPERCON – the largest Comic Con in South Florida, where I’ll have a busy schedule signing copies of my book, hanging out with Lloyd, Toxie, Kabukiman and the Troma Team, and presenting my first live public book reading! If you are in South Florida I hope you can stop by and say hello. Besides my unknown self, there will be some amazing REAL celebrities at the Con, from your favorite movies, TV shows and comics including Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, Dr. Who, The Walking Dead, The Karate Kid, plus world famous comic book artists, wrestlers, amazing CosPlay fans, and much, much more. I’ve been to FLORIDA SUPERCON before and it is an awesome event.

On Saturday, July 29th at 3:00 PM I’ll be reading from my book live in room 304, joined by Troma cofounder Lloyd Kaufman as we relive some of my adventures in Tromaville together in what I can guarantee will be a fun and funny session.

In addition, I’ll be signing copies of my book in the official CELEBRITY AUTOGRAPH AREA at the following times:

Thursday, July 27th:  1:30 pm
Friday, July 28th:  10:30 am
Saturday, July 29th:  10:30 am
Sunday, July 30th:  10:30 am

The rest of the time you’ll find me at the Troma Booth. If you’re at FLORIDA SUPERCON, you’ll be able to spot me, as I’ll be wearing this awesome T-shirt I had made just for SUPERCON…  🙂  (And no, I won’t be wearing the same smelly shirt four days in a row… I had a few of them made!)

Chapter 2: The Troma Building

Greetings from Tromaville! Here is Chapter 2 from my book, Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the Foreword by Troma co-founder, Lloyd Kaufman, and the Introduction to the book as well as Chapter 1. Stay tuned for additional chapters to be published here. If you like what you read and can’t wait for more, please don’t be shy. You can buy the book now on Amazon (and also please don’t be shy about sharing, and reviewing the book when you do read it.) Both Toxie and I greatly appreciate your support! – Jeff Sass

 

Chapter 2: The Troma Building

In the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. Ninth Avenue and Forty-Ninth Street to be precise. A four-story walk-up brownstone that Lloyd and Michael had wisely purchased with the profits from one of their early hits, most likely the light T-and-A comedies Waitress and Squeeze Play. The north side of the brick-faced Troma Building was exposed, unadulterated, and clearly visible to all traffic heading downtown on Ninth Avenue. It was adorned with a giant-sized version of the one-sheet (movie parlance for a poster) of The Toxic Avenger movie and the greeting, “Welcome to Tromaville.” Yes, as countless buses, cars, and taxis voyaged down Ninth Avenue into the famous Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, they were greeted not by graffiti but by the infamous hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. A truly supersized Toxie, complete with a mop the size of a schoolyard flagpole. Heading south on Ninth Avenue, there was no question you had arrived in Tromaville.

That small investment in Manhattan real estate was one of the many business and marketing strokes of genius executed by Lloyd and Michael and it, quite literally, put Troma on the map (at least on the map of the West Side of New York City). Think about it: Which other independent film studio could afford billboard advertising in midtown Manhattan, albeit the somewhat seedier side of said midtown? Still, it was great exposure, and it was free.

Speaking of free, the ground floor of the Troma Building had a retail space that was rented out to a variety of tenants over the years. The building was bought for cash and had no mortgage, so as long as the rent from the retail tenant covered the cost of insurance and real-estate taxes, Troma’s film business could occupy the rest of the building essentially rent-free. This low overhead advantage probably kept the company alive during the many lean times. And there were many lean times.

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That’s Chapter 2 – Another short and sweet one. Stay tuned for “Chapter 3: Meet the Moguls” and my first in-person encounter with Troma founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz…

The book in previous posts:

Foreword, by Lloyd Kaufman
Introduction: Lights, Camera, Action!
Chapter 1: Welcome to Tromaville!

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Samurai Says #46: B-Movies are Serious Business

I’ve been doing a bunch of podcast interviews for my book, and given the nature of Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER, I’ve had the chance to appear on shows focused on business, marketing, and entrepreneurship, as well as shows with a more pop culture appeal, including shows covering comic books, movies, and more. I recently had the chance to talk with Joshua the Samurai and his sidekick Chris on the Samurai Says podcast. Here’s how they describe their show:

“Join the Samurai, a man who’s many adventures in geekdom have given him a thousand and one stories that are equal parts tragic and hilarious, and his partner in crime Chris Maverick, as they talk about weird criminals, geek news, and strange old video games. The obscure, morbid, and weird are an everyday part of this off the wall podcast where there are no rules. Oh, and the world comes to an end every single episode.”

It was a fun, wide-ranging interview, where I talk about Troma, .CLUB and domain names, and even reveal the secret ingredient to Troma’s “fake blood” recipe.

You can listen to the show here or below. My interview starts at 17:40 into the show.

Josh: The Podcast, Finding That One Thing – A Conversation with Jeffrey Sass (Plus Book Giveaway!)


According to his bio, Josh Shear is: a Writer, Podcaster, Thinker, Work-in-progress, Freemason, Husband, Doggy Daddy, Web Designer, Social media consultant, Conversationalist, Motivational aspirationalist, Accountability partner, Connector, Self-experimenter, Awesome human. I’d add that he is also an excellent interviewer and host!

I was happy to appear on episode 63 of Josh: The Podcast. Josh asked a lot of great questions and led our discussion well beyond just talking about my book. Don’t worry, I plugged the book plenty, but we also talked about careers, technology, inspiration, passion, domain names, self-publishing, the future, and more. And to top it off, Josh is giving away a copy of the book.

You can read Josh’s Blog Post about the interview here. And you can listen directly to the podcast below.

Enjoy listening and feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Introduction: Lights, Camera, Action!


Greetings from Tromaville! Here is the Introduction to my book, Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the Foreword by Troma co-founder, Lloyd Kaufman. Stay tuned for additional chapters to be published here. If you like what you read and can’t wait for more, please don’t be shy. You can buy the book now on Amazon (and also please don’t be shy about sharing, and reviewing the book when you do read it.) Both Toxie and I greatly appreciate your support! – Jeff Sass

INTRODUCTION: Lights, Camera, Action!

There are a lot of similarities between making movies and starting companies. Film producers and directors are as much entrepreneurs as anyone who might create or aspire to create a Silicon Valley start-up. The purpose of this book is to draw valuable lessons in business and marketing from my experiences making movies—not in Hollywood, mind you, but rather in Tromaville. Since my filmmaking days, I’ve been a start-up cofounder, COO, CEO, and currently a CMO, and I don’t think I ever could have survived the C-suite if I hadn’t had the experience of making B-movies.

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Early in my career, I spent seven and a half years working for Troma, the low-budget film studio probably best known for the cult-classic action/horror film The Toxic Avenger. As I am sure you must know, The Toxic Avenger is the heartwarming story of Melvin Junko, a lowly mop boy who, teased and taunted, falls into a vat of radioactive waste and emerges as…the Toxic Avenger—the First Superhero from New Jersey!

As a movie, The Toxic Avenger was sloppy, gory, cheesy, tasteless, and perhaps even unsavory. But as a character, the Toxic Avenger (now affectionately known as “Toxie”) was remarkably endearing, especially for a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. In his 1986 review of the film, Stephen Holden of the New York Times said The Toxic Avenger “may be trash, but it has a maniacally farcical sense of humor, and Tromaville’s evildoers are dispatched in ingenious ways.”

The oft-warped brainchild of two Yale graduates, Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, Troma has indeed been ingenious in creating a world outside the Hollywood norm, their own Tromaville, where the filmmakers are beholden to no force other than their own off-kilter creative muse. The proof of their ingenuity? Today Troma Entertainment still lives on, over forty years old and arguably the world’s oldest independent film studio. That monstrous creature Toxie? He’s gone on to survive three sequels and a Saturday-morning cartoon spin-off, along with the requisite comic books, toys, games, and apparel. A rumored “big studio” remake even threatened to star Arnold Schwarzenegger as Toxie.

The Troma Team is notorious for giving young, inexperienced aspiring filmmakers a chance to work, often way over their heads and always way under their expected minimum wage. But the experience, as they say, is priceless. It was for me. And as I hope this book will expose, my lessons from Tromaville extended far beyond my celluloid dreams. While many former Tromites went on to impressive (and more traditional) Hollywood careers (including the likes of actor Kevin Costner and director James Gunn), my own post-Tromatic career led me down the path of a marketer and tech entrepreneur. I think I am pretty good at what I do. I’ve had many great experiences in the business world since I emigrated from Tromaville in 1994. But if I am truly honest with myself, I must admit that I couldn’t have done it without Toxie.

Making movies is hard work, especially making movies on a shoestring budget. Actually, we couldn’t even afford shoestrings—we had Velcro budgets! But I learned a lot: how to mix theatrical blood, how to make a ripe cantaloupe substitute for a head being crushed…but making movies also taught me a lot about business and entrepreneurship.

In truth, a film production is like a start-up on steroids. You go from screenplay (business plan) to product completion in a matter of months. You have to hire, fire, build up, tear down, raise money, spend money, rally the troops, fight deadlines and external forces, and make constant compromises, all the while fighting to stay the course and make the best film (i.e., product) you can. Teamwork and camaraderie, on and off the set, make a big difference (culture), and in the end, success or failure comes from ultimately finding an audience (satisfied customers).

Nobody sets out to make a bad film, just like nobody starts a company with the intention of failing.

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That’s the book’s introduction. Hope you enjoyed it. Next, “Chapter 1: Welcome to Tromaville.”

 

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Talking Business, Marketing & Toxie on the #ChansLogic Podcast

Chandler Walker is a walking example of motivation. He runs the successful StoneAgeFuel School of Fitness in Reno Nevada, as well as the StoneAgeFuel Barbell Club and StoneAgeFuel Youth Weightlifting and Sports Performance. He is also the host of the ChansLogic Podcast, where Chandler talks about marketing, motivation, management and more.

I enjoyed chatting with Chandler about my book, Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER, and how the lessons I learned making mixed up movies are applicable to all businesses. We also share some valuable tips on leadership, management, and culture. I think it was a good interview and hope you’ll check it out.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to #ChansLogic EP 20 – Jeffrey Sass and The Toxic Avenger

 

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DNJournal: New Book Reveals .CLUB Superhero Jeff Sass Owes His Marketing Powers to The Toxic Avenger!

Ron Jackson is a former TV News Reporter and station Sports Director. He is a consummate journalist that today serves as Editor and Publisher of Domain Name Journal (DNJournal.com) the highly regarded online Trade Publication for the Domain Name industry. I recently gave Ron a copy of my book when we were both at the Domaining Europe conference in Berlin. Ron must have had a boring flight back to the U.S. because he had the time to read the book along the way. He also seemed to like it and wrote a great and fun article about it in his popular “The Lowdown” column.

What Sass can do is spin some fascinating yarns about his days in the late 80s and early 90s with legendary New York City-based cult movie production house Troma Entertainment where he spent more than seven and half years in film production, marketing, acting and assorted mayhem… Jeff learned many valuable and timeless business and marketing lessons from his experiences at Troma and he shares the best of those in his new book – in each case noting how the specific lesson learned can be applied in any business or marketing campaign today.

I mentioned that Ron is the consummate journalist. As such, it seems he could not read my tales of movie mayhem without getting a firsthand taste of Tromaville himself. So after returning from Berlin, it seems Ron did a bit of B-movie binge-watching, turning to Tromatizing his Netflix account by watching The Toxic Avenger, Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD, Rabid Grannies, and more. And Ron still wrote a great article about Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I Learned from THE TOXIC AVENGER.

Thanks, Ron!

You can click here to read his complete article on The Lowdown.

 

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@SethMeyers Compares President Trump to The Toxic Avenger!

Timing is everything. Just as I published my book inspired by The Toxic Avenger, Seth Meyers, host of Late Night with Seth Meyers, gives a political nod to our favorite hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. So, my book is not the only reason “Toxie” is in the forefront of our collective minds… ha! The Toxic Avenger is in the news… thanks to Seth Meyers.

By the time you’re out of office you’re going to look like The Toxic Avenger!

Watch below to see Seth tell President Trump, “By the time you’re out of office you’re going to look like The Toxic Avenger!” Thanks for keeping Toxie in the news Seth!

Click here to buy the book on Amazon!