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El Mariachi Film Finding A Way

El Mariachi Film - Finding A Way

Robert Rodriguez made his film El Mariachi with a borrowed 16mm camera and a cassette recorder with a Radio Shack microphone. Shot for about $7000 (mostly for film stock and processing), it was acquired by Columbia Pictures, won the audience award for best dramatic film at Sundance, and was exhibited in movie theaters worldwide.

The Celebration (aka Festen) was a production that took a consciously unorthodox approach to filmmaking. Shot with an ordinary Sony home video camera (the PAL version of the TRV-9) and transferred to 35mm film, it went to on to win a Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 1998, and was given theatrical release by October Films.

Two major documentaries, The Cruise and Hoop Dreams, were originally shot on video (The Cruise with a Sony VX-1000, Hoop Dreams on Beta SP), and transfered to 35mm film for general theatrical release. (Just how many documentaries of any kind ever get a theatrical release?)

And then, of course ... there's the Blair Witch Project. A mixture of 16mm film and home video, it was made for forty thousand dollars. A moviemaking effort by a couple of film students that has now gone on to sell over $100,000,000 worth of tickets at the box office...

The point?

Simply that all these movies were actually made. Made on a micro budget - and then given major theatrical release. The first time in history that something like this has happened.

Of course, you can't actually complete a movie that is ready to exhibit in theaters for $7000, but you can put together a finished video that will bootstrap it into the big leagues. And as to opinion on the artistic quality of some of these examples ... well, your mileage may vary. But if you think you could come up with a better movie - isn't that the point?

If you want to, there's now a way.

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