- Unknown Binding
- Publisher: Plume Books (September 30, 1996)
- ASIN: B002G8KK2W
- Average Customer Review: 252 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,446,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player [REBEL W/O A CREW] Unknown Binding – September 30, 1996
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With respect to his development as a filmmaker, he starts out by describing how he was first inspired to make films, as a child, after watching John Carpenter's "Escape from New York". He tells of his childhood tales working with claymation, 8mm and VHS video. He then goes on to his film school days and how he made, while still in school, two films that he used as a basis to launch his career, "Bedhead" and "El Mariachi" (the latter of which can be rented on DVD from Netflix).
The story of the making of Mariachi is quite interesting. He uses almost no money ($7,000 to be exact) to make his film and describes, in detail, this adventure. For anyone involved in filmmaking a very interesting tale. Then he goes on about going to LA to market this product to Latino video makers and how, instead, the film was picked up by a major studio thus launching his career. The whole tale is well written, entertaining and interesting.
There are also important lessons for any filmmaker in this book. One is the need for passion, something that flows throughout the book. The second is perseverance, again another theme that flows throughout the text. Lastly, and possibly most important to aspiring filmmakers, is the very very important need to have a masterly knowledge of just about all aspects of filmmaking. Today's film schools tend to force students into specialized niches such as sound, cimematography, etc. His story emphasizes (and he states explicitely) one must be a master of all crafts of filmmaking to successfully become one. This means not only being a master of photography and videography, but also editing, sound, etc.
The lesson from his story (and his explicit advice) is not to "waste" money on film school but to instead master the art of filmmaking then use the saved money to go on and actually make a film as opposed to working as a niche technician on someone else's. Mastering everything in a book such as Pincus's "The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age" and Long's "The Digital Filmmaking Handbook " should provide one a more useful background than almost $80,000 spent on film school. This knowledge, combined with passion and persaverance, was the key to Rodriguez's success. His story (and he explicitely) emphasize, this is absolutely essential to becoming a successful filmmaker.