Recaps SXSW TV & Film

SXSW 2018: Robert Rodriguez talks “Rebel Without A Crew”

Inspired by his book, “Rebel Without A Crew,” and the 25th anniversary of his first feature film, “El Mariachi,” writer/director Robert Rodriguez has made a TV series also titled “Rebel Without A Crew.” The show follows Rodriguez and five up-and-coming filmmakers as they attempt to do what he did with “El Mariachi”: make a feature-length film for $7,000 and shoot it in two weeks with no crew. As tough as it sounds, the five filmmakers (and a plus-one to help them) came to Austin to make their movies.

The chosen filmmakers included 28-year-old actress/writer/director Scarlet Moreno from Laredo, Texas; 32-year-old animator/director Josh Stifter from Crystal, Minnesota; 35-year-old filmmaker/production manager Alejandro Montoya Marin from Albuquerque, New Mexico; 31-year-old producer/writer/director Bola Ogun from Dallas, Texas; and 29-year-old filmmaker/virtual reality producer Bonnie Kathleen “BK” Ryan from Columbia, South Carolina.

One of the requirements for applying to “Rebel Without A Crew” was having a feature film screenplay written, which was (mostly) true of the five filmmakers. Each one took a different path but they all fell into genres: Moreno and Ryan made psychological horror films, Stifter made a horror-comedy film, Ogun made a science fiction film, and Marin made an action-comedy film.

Rodriguez didn’t talk much about his own film that was made during the series, other than to say that his son was the additional person he chose to help him shoot it. He was very supportive of the five independent filmmakers onstage with him, commenting on how well they learned skills they’d never before used and how seamlessly their movies came together in his eyes. Just like the applicants were unsure the task could be done, Rodriguez was also unsure of the premise of his “Rebel Without A Crew” series, but seemed pleased with the outcome.

The features made by Moreno, Ogun, Stifter, Ryan and Marin had their world premiere at a private screening at the Violet Crown Cinema during SXSW on March 12. The screening was hosted by Rodriguez’s own El Rey Network and go90, their programming partner for the series. The series will have its premiere on go90 and Tumblr on March 19 with later airings on the El Rey Network, while the feature films made on the show will premiere later this year on go90.

For more on what Rodriguez and the other filmmakers had to say, read our tweets below:

 The series will debut on go90 and Tumblr on March 19 followed by airings on El Rey Network. Check out more SXSW recaps, interviews and reviews here

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