This week’s Book of the Week is Rebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez. I first read this when I started living in Sydney, Australia for a year and it blew me away (Sydney and the book).
It details Rodriguez taking part in a clinical trial to earn the money to make his micro-budget masterpiece El Mariachi. The time spent in the trial is explored in depth and is very entertaining and eye-opening all on it’s own.
He then details how El Mariachi was made and how he substituted an expensive education in a film school for just going out with a camera, experimenting, overcoming any setbacks as he went along and having enough passion and imagination to make the project work.
But then Hollywood comes a-knocking in the form of Columbia Pictures (a far cry from the Spanish speaking ‘straight-to-video’ sector Robert hoped to sell the film to) and so we get to see a birds eye view of the kind of deals brokered to get Rodriguez’s film released and the obscene amounts of money given to him to make this possible. He quickly becomes the ‘next big thing’ and a Hollywood player. It really happens that quickly. There were plenty of parts of this book that made me say out loud ‘No frickin’ way!’
This book is an inspirational to any young filmmaker who wants to make a movie with next to no budget and how if you have the tenacity, persistence and vision then anything is possible.
A truly brilliant book and one of the best I’ve ever read regarding film.