First, here’s a nice review and interview about the film at Dangerous Minds. Want to follow a secret identity artist through a dangerous Los Angeles as he escapes and hits like a criminal? Hang on and watch carefully. You may need to watch it 14 times to catch the drift. But you’ve probably got that kind of time anyway. This is a Los Angeles crime film. But it’s as if several films on celluloid fused together and what you end up with is an art film that gets overwhelmed by urban documentary and then collapses into a narrative thriller. It’s filled with hints, clues, evidence and misdirection. Images, ideas and sounds bounce off each other, mirror each other. There are secrets in this film. You have to watch carefully, through layers to catch things. I’ve tried to make a film that moves like disjointed thoughts toward the preordained ending. Continue reading …
Director Robert Rodriquez shows how he put several sequences together for his low-budget first feature, El Mariachi. His solutions for working with a single camera and extremely limited resources are ingenious. His consistent recommendation to young low-budget filmmakers is to simply refuse to spend any money on anything. After watching this film it becomes very apparent that the only thing really preventing people from making films is a simple lack of ability.
For further study, Mubi.com has nice in-depth article called 30 Minute Film School that covers all the shot types and lighting setups one needs in order to make a narrative film.
Here’s a fascinating continuation of the 10-minute film school in which Rodriguez shows how he filmed a complex shootout for Desperado with Antonio Banderas by using a video camera to pre-plan the entire sequence.