Open Source FIlmmaking, Part 2, Rodriguez/Smith Schools

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In Part 1, I discuss Quentin Tarantino’s legacy to the thinking in Indie Film. It’s hard to imagine the world without him. What he did to remix incredible ideas from the past led to the sampling and mashups culture, by once and for all, making it cool to steal from other artists.

But Tarantino has contemporaries. Guys who hang out with Quentin, watch movies at his house. Guys who were there, at Sundance, who came up together. And these 2 gentlemen complete the indie film tri-force of power.

From beginning, I’ve known Robert Rodriguez to be a teacher. At the end of the DVD of El Mariachi and Deparado, the famous 10 minute film school. The commentary tracks, we absolutely chalked full of recipes. Mr Rodriguez has consistently advocated that if you tell the filmmaker’s secrets, give away the magic trick, so other’s may produce their own magic. More secrets will appear. More mystery in the creativity. In part 2, I’d like to focus on teaching others what you know. With giving away the secrets in the hopes of building something much more valuable.

Open sourcing your film to possible apprentice/sage roles could be mutually beneficial. Teaching is really nothing more than telling your version or your experiences so far. It’s been mutated a bit by public education and ciriculum. I know I’ve learned the most from certain bosses.

From Rodriguez I’ve probably learned the most about the craft and perhaps the courage of it. Yeah, I’ve been going back and forth, but if there was a Link in this triforce it’d be Robert.

But everything is teaching if you look at it the right way.

Which brings me to Kevin Smith. A guy who I’ve certainly laughed with a lot more than the 1st two. Mr Smith and his old buddy Scott Moiser, do a laugh out loud podcast every week or so at Smodcast and have the last 8 years. Kevin Smith started Podcasting before Podcasting was cool before that other time it was cool. He’s got a whole podcast network. He finds shit to say to his fans 7 days a week. Far out doing his contemporaries mentioned above. He tours, podcasts, provides commetary to movies he hasn’t even made. Mostly to make you laugh. He’s not trying to replace film school as hard as Rodriguez.

But Kevin Smith inspires his fans to be who they want to be. An entire generation of admittedly mostly aging white guys was inspired to give it a shot the way he did with Clerks is amazing. It’s meaningful that his gift could be courage, ah damnit, messes up my tri-force metaphor, with 2 courages. Okay, but Kevin Smith is at least Zelda, because Quentin is mostly definitely Gannon.

If you haven’t listened to one of Kevin’s podcasts, you should. You’ll feel like part of his family. I mean it.

Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith taught a generation of filmmakers something more than it’s only to steal and you’ll never do it better than me. Sorry Quentin. These motherfuckers taught us how to make films for no money, with no resources, just do it and get creative. And to stick up for ourselves. To do something even when it’s hard and you’re sure you’re going to fail. They probably each deserve their own article, but I recently listened to Tim Ferris’s Podcast about this and it got me thinking. Tim’s another one that just opens the flood gates of magic tricks on how to life a better life. They give this knowledge away for free. Education is like knowledge. It wants to be free.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here’s some masters talking indie film shop. Some of my favorites from both of them.

Robert Rodriguez on the Tim Ferris Show.

Kevin Smith on his own show, talking about Sundance 94.

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