by Jim Bloch.
Bryan Hopkins made “Dirty Energy,” his award-winning documentary about the BP oil spill, for $30,000, a sum that wouldn’t cover the cost of a hair stylist on most movies.
Hopkins’ hero is filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, director of “Spy Kids,” “Sin City,” “Planet Terror,” “Machete” and more than 20 other features. Rodriguez is legendary for making his first feature, “El Mariachi,” in 1992 for $7,000. He distilled the process in the book “Rebel Without a Crew.”
“He’s one of my heroes,” said Hopkins. “He’s a god to independent filmmakers.”
Hopkins digested the lessons he learned from Rodriguez and distilled them into his own recipe for filmmaking on the cheap. The recipe is simple and contains only a handful of ingredients.
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