(Partial bio. Haven’t had time to update this since about 2011.)

A CV for Michael W. Dean: (podcast)

Partial CV:

Testimonials: “I’ve told people this before and I’ll say it again: Michael Dean laughs at deadlines. And then he gets mad at them and pulls out a stick and chases them around and whacks them into submission. And then he puts on his shades, throws his head back, and laughs yet again with the glee of a man who knows how to wield his willpower like a billy club. That’s what I say to people. “(Finishing the book) eleven days ahead of schedule, good gawd yawl… —Steve Weiss Executive Editor, O’Reilly Media

“Michael has the work ethic of a Kansas farmer, the brain of a Harvard professor, and the niceness of June Cleaver. And he beats deadlines into mincemeat! I’ve worked with hundreds of authors too, and that “all time favorite list” includes about five, so you are among the few. —Sandy Doell, editor on $30 Film School (by Michael W. Dean), $30 Music School (by Michael W. Dean), and YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts (by Alan Lastufka and Michael W. Dean), and a few hundred other books by other people.

“This book’s dangerous! Dean peels away every one of your excuses for not making it happen.” —Andy Rathbone, author of the multimillion-copy bestseller Windows For Dummies on Michael Dean’s book $30 Writing School

“Michael Dean GETS it.”– Lydia Lunch, writer/musician

“Read this excellent book and learn how to produce profitable independent films while sticking your finger in the eyes of the devil-worshiping media conglomerates who are sucking us dry of our spiritual and economic capital.”

–Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Entertainment, and creator of the Toxic Avenger

“In $30 Film School Michael Dean & his crew give great insight on how to avoid the tired conventions of commercial filmmaking and etch the subversive onto the screen for the greater good of cinema and mankind alike.”

–Joshua Leonard, Actor/Cameraman, “Blair Witch Project”

“Michael Dean is a Hollywood-hating, just-let-me-make-my-damn-movie kind of guy. For the nine-zillion hungry souls who fall into the same category, $30 Film School is the perfect book. The ultimate guide for the ambitious, artistic, alterna and penniless.”

–Jerry Stahl

Michael W. Dean CV:

An anagram for “Michael Dean” is “Deal Machine,” and that truly fits. Dean never sits on his laurels, and he’s constantly touching the world in special places.

Michael is the author of the books $30 Film School, $30 Music School, $30 Writing School, Starving in the Company of Beautiful Women, The Simple Pleasures of a Complex Girl, and DIY NOW! Digital Audio. He directed the films D.I.Y. Or Die: How To Survive as an Independent Artist and Hubert Selby Jr: It’ll Be Better Tomorrow. Michael played guitar in the band The Beef People. He sang and played bass in Baby Opaque and Bomb (Warner Brothers).

Michael W. Dean has toured America and Europe lecturing at youth centers, colleges, and museums. He was a speaker at the Podcast and New Media Expo.

Michael contributed to O’Reilly’s Digital Video Hacks book, edited O’Reilly’s DV Filmmaking: From Start to Finish by Ian Aronson, and wrote “MAKE a Mailbox Movie” in MAKE Volume 3. His books $30 Film School, $30 Music School, and $30 Writing School have sold over 45,000 copies.

He co-authored (with Alan Lastufka) a book for O’Reilly called YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts.

Michael recently finished his third film, “Guns and Weed: the Road to Freedom”

He does a weekly podcast called Freedom Feens. Michael sleeps in late, stays up late, and works at home as a writer and filmmaker. He lives in Casper, Wyoming with his lovely, nifty wife Debra Jean Dean and their three cats, Charlie Squitten Jr, Peanut McFluffernutter, and Fuzzbucket McFluffernutter.

Michael loves communicating out to the world, but says, “A good day is one where my phone doesn’t ring.”

  • • November, 2008, YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts (by Alan Lastufka and Michael W. Dean) released by O’Reilly Media
  • • January, 2008, started writing for the O’Reilly Digital Media site
  • • November, 2007, gave away my entire film D.I.Y. OR DIE: How to Survive as an Independent Artist for free on YouTube and in high-quality free downloads on Zune Marketplace and The film gets a top-four video podcast feature on Zune Marketplace and
  • • October, 2007, hired as a writer (and occasional guest podcaster) for the O’Reilly Digital Media site.
  • • September, 2007, spoke on panel at Podcast & New Media Expo, Ontario, California. Panel is myself, Stephen Eley, Matthew Wayne Selznick, and Evo Terra (co-author of Podcasting for Dummies.)
  • • April, 2007, documentary I directed, HUBERT SELBY JR: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow, came out in the UK, as half of a two-disc set with Requiem for a Dream.
  • • March, 2007, HUBERT SELBY JR: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow, came out in the US.
  • • February, 2007, applied for patent on Deal Machine RSS methodology.
  • • October, 2006. Started the “Clone the Homeless” podcast.
  • • October, 2006. Started the “Deal Machine” music podcast.
  • • September, 2006. Teacher Michael Samstag is using $30 Film School as the only required text for a course he’s teaching called “Guerilla Filmmaking” at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, TN.
  • • August, 2006, documentary I directed, HUBERT SELBY JR: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow, came out in the UK and Australia, as half of a two-disc set with Last Exit To Brooklyn.
  • • April, 2006, Speaker and presenter at Maker Faire
  • • April, 2006, Flown out to speak on filmmaking at University of Arkansas. Did interview on PBS affiliate, KUAF.

Interview I did with The Writing Show podcast:

Site has information on all my books, as well as frequently updated tips for writers.

  • • March 2006, $30 Film School, Second Edition (with DVD) released. Course Technology. Book is completely updated from first edition. ISBN: 1598631896
  • • February 2006, finished co-writing book, Digital Music DIY Now! Que Publishing. Street Date: May 26, 2006. ISBN: 0789735407
  • • November, 2005. Interviewed in book Alternative and Activist Media Mitzi Waltz, published by Edinburgh University Press.
  • • September 2005. Flown to Deauville Film Festival in France to premiere our film: HUBERT SELBY JR: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow.

Film received a favorable review in Variety:

  • • August 2005. Finished documentary that I co-directed with Kenneth Shiffrin. It’s on the life and art of Hubert Selby Jr. (Author of Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream.) The film is narrated by Robert Downey, Jr., and features Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Darren Aronofsky, Alexis Arquette, James Remar, Jerry Stahl, Richard Price, Henry Rollins, and Anthony Kiedis. The title IS HUBERT SELBY JR: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow.
  • • August 2005: edited book, DV Filmmaking: From Start to Finish by Ian Aronson for O’Reilly tech publishing company.
  • • August 2005: contributed to O’Reilly’s Digital Video Hacks book.
  • • July 2005: contributed article to O’Reilly’s “Make Magazine”, Volume 03.
  • • October 2004: $30 Writing School released by Thomson/Course Technology. Covers everything from basics of English to good writing to finding an agent and publisher to being a software primer on self-publishing.
  • October 2004: taught a music class at The Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  • October 2004: taught filmmaking classes at Leisure Learning Unlimited in Houston.
  • October, 2004 lectured on digital video at University of Houston

Like all my textbooks, $30 Writing School stresses artistic integrity and believing in yourself over waiting for major corporations to act like fairy godmothers to do all the work for you. The three books in this series all stress a do-it-yourself ethic, and encourage placing art before commerce, but also show how to make a living. I do both.

  • • June 2004: Invited speaker on panel at The Global Entertainment and Media Summit, Los Angeles Hilton and Conference Center
  • • Summer 2004: Finishing up fine art DVD of renowned photographer Steve Diet Goedde. It is called Living Vicariously Through Steve Diet Goedde. I was the co-creator and co-executive producer of the Living Vicariously series along with famed media architect Blaine Graboyes, who created the DVDs for Final Fantasy and the last two Super Bowls. He has also designed DVDs for Lou Reed, Jennifer Lopez, Yoko Ono, as well as Disney, Miramax and Museums such as The Guggenheim and The Whitney. Blaine is a member of the producer’s union, and is my frequent creative as well as business partner.

Margaret Cho wrote the cover blurb for Living Vicariously Through Steve Diet Goedde.

  • May 2004: Flown out to lecture at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona for Cyndi Greening’s media class. My $30 Film School is required reading for the class.
  • May 2004: Finished writing a new novel, The Simple Pleasures of a Complex Girl. Am also finished writing a children’s book, Newberry and the Milk Cats.
  • April 2004: Did speaking tour/book signing tour of Pacific NW, including lecturing at the University of Oregon and teaching filmmaking class and “how to promote anything” at DIVA (Downtown Initiative for Visual Arts) in Eugene. Also did book signings at Borders books in several cities.
  • April 2004: Interviewed on the TV show Connie Martinson Talks Books


  • • January 2004: VH1 did a news item featuring $30 Music School. Showed six times in one day. I acted as my own publicist to secure this.


  • • January 2004: My film D.I.Y. or Die was featured on an NBC news story, to showcase the “Rock For Cats” movement I started. Rock for Cats

benefits cat shelters throughout the world.

  • January 2004: My book (with multimedia CD-ROM) for Course Technology—(formerly Muska & Lipman) called $30 Music School was published. (ISBN: 1592001718) It is a complete course on all aspects of electric and electronic music production and distribution, from picking out a guitar to booking a world tour. Book also includes my interviews with Joan Jett, Henry Rollins, Jonathan Richman and more.
  • December 2003: interviewed by NPR in Ohio. Audio is archived here:
  • November 2003: Taught filmmaking classes, “$50 Film School” at Leisure Learning Unlimited in Houston.
  • September-October 2003: took my D.I.Y. OR DIE film on tour of Europe. Showed film in 37 cities in 45 days, in England, Ireland, Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. Did extensive lecturing, Q&A and many interviews, including the BBC. Many of the interviews are archived at
  • Taught filmmaking workshop at Mumbo Art Center in Manchester, England.
  • June-July 2003: Shot and edited 10 short films for extras on DVD of DIY or DIE. (DVD is called, “D.I.Y. or DIE: Burn this DVD”. It contains no copy protection, and made a profit despite the fact that people are encouraged to make personal copies.) Prepared translation tables, and supervised translation of subtitles into five languages. (This is the ONLY no-budget DVD with five languages of subtitles. And the translations are quite good!). Got 20 people to help for free, because they believed in the project.
  • May 2003: My book (with CD-ROM), $30 Film School (ISBN: 1-59200-067-3) was published by Muska & Lipman. It is a complete course on all aspects of digital filmmaking and distribution.
  • April 2003: I was the feature of a video presentation created and shown by Blaine Graboyes (member of Producers Guild of America) in the DVDA 2003 International Conference in Washington DC.
  • February 2003: Lectured at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary art.
  • October 2002: Lectured at Cal-Arts college in Valencia, California.
  • Summer and Fall 2002: Took D.I.Y. OR DIE on a 40-city self-booked tour of microcinemas, youth centers and bars in the US and Canada. Was interviewed on many radio stations, including CBC in Canada. Did all my own booking, promotion, press, and interviews. Did extensive lecturing, Q&A and many interviews. Was featured in many magazines and newspapers. D.I.Y. or DIE is sold at the Whitney Museum in New York City.
  • June 2002: Was flown up to lecture at the Yerba Buena Museum in San Francisco
  • April 2002: Completed a documentary film called D.I.Y. OR DIE: How to Survive as an Independent Artist on the do-it-yourself ethic in art and music. Interviewed many influential and respected alternative musicians. Film Threat magazine said, “Forget about art school, this film is all you need.”

The film includes interviews with Lydia Lunch, Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), J Mascis (Dinosaur jr.), Jim Rose (Jim Rose Sideshow), J.G.Thirlwell (Foetus), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Richard Kern (Filmmaker), Ron Asheton (Stooges), Steve Albini, Dave Brockie (Gwar) and more. The film is a monument to the D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) ethic in art production and promotion..

I secured and negotiated a DVD distribution deal for the US, and a separate deal for Canada. Both yielded cash advances, and got the film into stores everywhere. It is carried in every Tower Records in America, sold on Netflix, has been on many TV channels throughout American and Europe.

  • October 2000: My novel, Starving in the Company of Beautiful Women was published by Kittyfeet Press. (ISBN 0-9705392-0-7). Rogue fiction about a rock musician from San Francisco. Loosely inspired by my experiences in the music business.
  • 1998, 1999 volunteered as a kitten socializer for the San Francisco SPCA. I had over 50 kittens in my home in two years (one or two kittens at a time.) Helped save cats by making them adoptable.
    • 1999 Invented computer utility MouseCount.
  • • 1996-1997 Played guitar and sang in band SLISH, with members of Cracker, Counting Crows, Smash Mouth and the Wallflowers.
  • • November, 1996. Launched Website,

Site is constantly updated with new art, info and writing, and is still active today.

  • 1987-1993: Played in influential San Francisco rock band, Bomb. Self-released one album, released two on independent labels and one on Warner Brothers. Did some of our own producing, as well as working with A-list record producers like Bill Laswell. Played over 500 gigs, about half self-booked and half done through agencies. Toured the US six times and Europe once.

Have been reviewed and interviewed in Spin Magazine, Variety magazine, for National Public Radio, and on the front page of the San Francisco Examiner. I have been interviewed on countless radio shows and my music has received extensive radio play on both college and commercial stations.

1996. I was one of the first adopters of sharing my own music over the Internet, sharing episodic audio (a precursor to Podcasting) and am a relentless promoter of art, both mine and others’.

I have put out 13 records with five bands. I’ve played alternative rock since before the term “alternative rock” existed, and put out albums before CDs even existed.