Film / American Movie
is a 1999 documentary directed by Chris Smith about independent filmmaker Mark Borchardt and the struggles he went through to create the horror movie Coven
Part-time paperboy, army veteran, amateur filmmaker, slacker, and radio show scriptwriter Mark Borchardt has an idea for a Great American Movie: a potboiler drama about a misfit teen growing up in the suburbs of northwestern Milwaukee, titled simply "Northwestern". Unfortunately, his own lack of directing experience stymies the project, and he falls back on completing his half-finished black and white horror short Coven
to gain experience and, more importantly, capital. With the help of his friends and family, including his rich, decrepit Uncle Bill to provide most of the funding, his brain-fried ex-stoner-turned-scratchoff-lottery-ticket-addict best friend Mike to provide the music, and his own mother to play an evil minion, Mark sets out to finish Coven
at any cost, man.
American Movie features the following tropes:
- Non-Indicative Name: The film's full title is American Movie: The Making of Northwestern. The film does start out with Borchardt trying to make Northwestern, but he quickly abandons it, and the rest of the movie is about making "Coven," a short film.
- Overly Long Scream: Mike belts out one of these during an ADR session.