Robert Rodriguez the director who became famous for making El Mariachi, with an ultra-low budget of 7k documented his experience ins 1995 book Rebel Without A Crew, which is now being adapted into a six-part series by Go90 and El Rey Network. Rodriguez gave five first-time filmmakers the chance to replicate his own near-impossible feat. Aléjandro Montoya Marin is one of the five first time filmmakers who mark the 25th anniversary of El Mariachi. Aléjandro talks to indieactiivty about how he single handedly write, shoot, an edit a feature length film in 14 days.
indieactivity: How did you qualify for Rebel Without a Crew?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: It was a long process. I had to submit resumes, one sheets, previous work, and do several skype calls. It was a process that took about 2 months.
indieactivity: What is it like making a feature with 7k?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: Stressful! We had to cut corners any way we could, because I knew I had to have money for the soundtrack. Thanks to the bands for working with me honestly. My AD and I shared a lot of sandwiches.
indieactivity: How many hours did you log during shooting?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: We were only allowed to shoot for 9 hours every day. So that just adds to the pressure of getting all of your coverage.
indieactivity: What is it like working with Robert Rodriguez?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: It was amazing! He shared his knowledge, geeked out about films, and was always there to support. He’s calm, calculated and extremely friendly. I’ve read so many stories about “NOT MEETING YOUR IDOLS” I’m one of the lucky ones who’s story can be a positive one. Meeting Robert was epic!
indieactivity; How does he direct? Do give a specific scenario?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: I didn’t work with him on set, yet.
indieactivity: Robert Rodriguez is pretty much a home buddy, how does he start to create?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: This man constantly surrounds himself with creativity. He writes, plays music, edits, shoots, cooks, paints, I mean hahaha what the heck. He is non stop creating. The cool thing is his kids are also like that super nice, and always wanting to create haha it was awesome.
indieactivity: What is the production process like on Rebel Without a Crew?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: As one of the filmmakers? Get there, crack open a redbull, shoot, shoot , shoot, shoot, joke, shoot, shoot, lunch, red bull, shoot shoot, wrap, drive for an hour hahaha. This was my schedule in a nutshell.
indieactivity: Will Robert Rodriguez, Go90, or El Rey Network become your executive producers (financiers) as your career progresses?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: Go90 and El Rey Network were producers on the film based on my participation on the series “Rebel Without a Crew,” there are no future collaborations with them planned, but you never know. Robert was an incredible mentor and I would be honored to work with him again in the future.
indieactivity: What is special about Rebel Without a Crew?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: This show captures the filmmakers in high and low points. It’s what making a film is all about, the struggle, the pain, the stress, the magic that is making a movie. Things will go wrong, but how can you suck it up and move forward. That’s how I saw it.
indieactivity: What advice did Robert Rodriguez give you?
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: So much! To just go and do it. Art should be celebrated and we need more of it. To be patient. We live one life, do what you love.
indieactivity: What do you constantly experience working on Rebel Without a Crew that haunts you
Aléjandro Montoya Marin: Haunt me? Oh man, being monitored 24/7 Ahaha It gets to you, I felt like Jim Carrey in the Truman show. I almost started talking to myself and would say, “Good morning, and in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and good night.” But I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world.
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