Rebel Without A Crew
Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
by Robert Rodriguez

Published 1996
Copyright (c) 1995
ISBN 0-525-94794-3 (hc.)
ISBN 0-452-27187-8 (pbk.)


And thus with one word I sum up my opinions of this entire book. Well, no, not really. After reading this excellent piece of literature, I believe it should be as much a part of any independant filmmaker's library as The Filmmaker's Handbook, as much a part of his arsenal as beer and pizza.



This book consists of three parts. The first and bulk of the book is made up of exerpts from Robert Rodriguez's diary during the time he was in the medical research hospital, raising the money to make El Mariachi and writing the script for said movie (careful reading here will reveal a rather effect method of screenwriting), the filming of El Mariachi, the attempts at selling it, his dramatic break-in to Hollywood, and the post-production and theatrical release of El Mariachi, not to mention his experiences at the Sundance Film Festivals and others.

The second part of the book is Robert Rodriguez's Ten-Minute Film School, a rather telling speech on the advantages to becoming a filmmaker by just getting out there and doing it. Admittedly, it is a view biased by one who earned his success without film school, but it is still well worth the read.

The third and final portion of the book is the original screenplay for El Mariachi, with notes and such added in by Rodriguez about the shooting and changes made on-set by neccessity.

This book is easily one of the best reads for any aspiring filmmaker. It is inspiring, intelligent and highly educational. It's also damn funny in places. This book is soley responsible for me, an aspiring filmmaker, getting back to work on a year-old script and setting up plans to cast, shoot, edit and (hopefully) sell a movie I had originally thought would cost at least thirty grand. Instead, due to this book and SharQ's excellent nodes on stuff that goes 'boom!', I can probably produce it on my tax rebate.

So, if you're an aspiring filmmaker, go buy this book. Read it. Love it. And, most importantly, Do it.

Exerpt from Robert Rodriguez's Ten-Minute Film School

So you want to be a filmmaker. First step to being a filmmaker is to stop saying you want to be a filmmaker. It took me forever to be able to tell anyone I was a filmmaker and keep a straight face until I was well on my way. But the truth was, I had been a filmmaker ever since I had closed my eyes and pictured myself making movies. The rest was inevitable. So you don't want to be a filmmaker, you are a filmmaker. Go make yourself a business card.

Related reading: If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, by Bruce Campbell

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