“A famous filmmaker once said you can learn everything you need to know about film in a week… he was being generous — you can learn it in 10 minutes.” — Robert Rodriguez
Director of movies like Sin City, Once Upon A Time In Mexico and From Dusk Till Dawn, Rodriguez made his first film when he was just 23 years old and raised his $7,000 budget by subjecting himself to medical experimentation. He then sold his now iconic El Mariachi to Columbia Tri-Star for a quarter of a million dollars.
Almost 15 years ago I first read his book Rebel Without A Crew which is his film diary telling the making of El Mariachi, and was first introduced to Rodriguez’s 10 Minute Film School in which he shares his inspirational mindset and determination for finding creative solutions for filmmaking problems.
You can get rid of the problem one of two ways – you can do it creatively or you can wash it away with the money hose. You got no money, you got no hose!
Throughout his career, Rodriguez has demonstrated countless ways to do things for free that Hollywood spends thousands on without a second thought and now, for your viewing pleasure I present to you a compilation of his best 10 Minute Film School videos that will change the way you view and make films forever.
First up is the ORIGINAL 10 Minute Film School:
Being creative is not enough in this business, you have to become technical. Creative people are born creative, but technical people can never be creative, you can’t buy it or study it, you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical so they become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that. If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.
You got all that?! Good moving on. Here is the EL MARIACHI DVD 10 Minute Film School:
If you want to make a movie for a really low budget you can’t spend on anything, you have to refuse to spend. You start spending a little bit, you start that money hose going and you just can’t stop it. Think of a creative way to get around your problem and keep your money in your pocket.
Here’s the DESPERADO 10 MORE Minute Film School:
People often ask me if I storyboard my movies. I did draw out some of the opening sequence for Desperado, but if you can’t draw use this alternate method of video storyboards. I use a video camera to get it very clear in your head what it is you’re going to be doing. This movie I was only going to have 38 shooting days, so to make it look like we had more time I had to have everything planned out, and shooting on video, as you’ll see, is what really nailed it for us.
At last but by no means least, this is the ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO 10 Minute Film School:
You get freedom when you can consistently deliver movies that are profitable, that don’t cost. And your chances of being profitable are greater obviously if you don’t spend the farm on things that you could have done inexpensively, if you just think about it for a few minutes and by versing yourself in technology and effects.
So that’s your lot but I hope you’re inspired to go out there and be more creative when making your movies. There are no excuses! Think creatively, get technical and be scary!
If you enjoyed this article, please share it and feel free to comment and leave your own creative solutions to filmmaking problems for others to learn from.
Thanks for dropping by and hope to see you soon.