Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA

Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA

Arts & Culture: It is evident comedian George Lopez is still a little sensitive about the on-again, off-again relationship he’s had with television. Whatever the... By Kiko Martínez 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

25th Anniversary Issue

Current 25: Once upon a time in San Antonio

1991-1995

Any young, aspiring filmmaker who ever picked up their parents’ VHS camcorder in the early ’90s probably knew there was more that could be done with the camera than simply shooting birthday parties and band concerts. When news broke that San Antonio-born indie filmmaker Robert Rodríguez’s Sundance award-winning debut film El Mariachi was initially made for a measly $7,000 in 1992, ballet recitals and footage of baby’s first steps started disappearing off tapes everywhere and getting recorded over with amateur backyard kung fu scenes. If a 23-year-old from San Antonio could make it to Hollywood, why couldn’t they?

“When El Mariachi came out it gave the Average Joe hope,” said San Antonio Film Festival director Adam Rocha. “I think he inspired, entertained, and educated young and hungry filmmakers.” Twenty years later, few filmmakers have found success in the same manner Rodríguez did. From studying film at the University of Texas at Austin to opening Troublemaker Studios and making film such as Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, and Machete, Rodríguez is still a rare exception to the rule.

Despite the slim chance that any creative kid can pick up a camera and make it to the big leagues — and despite that two decades later the term “independent film” means nowhere near the same thing it did back when Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith were dishing out Reservoir Dogs and Clerks, respectively — Rodríguez is still motivating moviemakers.

“Nowadays the market is flooded with filmmakers with better equipment and resources than Robert Rodríguez ever had,” said local filmmaker Alejandro DeHoyos. “The model for indie films is broken. If filmmakers want to stand out from the crowd they need more than just a fancy camera. They need to be different, have a unique style, and a great story.”

With successful indie films today including Juno, Napoleon Dynamite, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding costing in the range of $400,000 to $6 million and more, the days where ultra-low-budget or no-budget productions could compete on a high level are basically over (unless we’re talking gimmickry like Paranormal Activity, which shot for a reported $15,000). “The film industry has completely evolved,” Rocha said. “Filmmakers today are like bands back in the ’90s. Back then everybody was in one. Nowadays, everybody is a filmmaker. All it takes is a DSLR and a MacBook.”

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus