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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

If you’re a film lover like all of us here at LRM are, then chances are you’ve at least considered dabbling in the world of filmmaking at one point or another. Sure, we love to watch this stuff, but at our hearts, many of us are creators, and growing up, I remember flexing my own creative muscles with a group of friends in high school, running out with a mini-DV camera and a head full of hopes and dreams.

One man who helped fuel the fire in my gut was Robert Rodriguez. As a young film fan, I consumed his films ravenously, but what really inspired me was the work he made in addition to his films — the “film school” features on his DVDs, the in-depth commentaries, and of course, his book, Rebel Without a Crew, which chronicled the making and selling of his first film, El Mariachi.

Rodriguez famously made his first film for $7,000 in a couple weeks, and the rest is history. Well, with his new show, Rebel Without a Crew: The Series, he aims to give a handful of young filmmakers that same opportunity. As such, these guys will be given $7,000 and two weeks to get their films in the can. You’ll be able to follow their journey starting this Sunday, November 18 at 7 PM ET on El Rey Network.

The Book (A Giveaway!)

Wanna get your hands on the novel from Rodriguez? The folks over at El Rey Network were kind enough to give us a copy, but I have a problem: I already own the thing and have read it several times. As such, I think it’d be best for me to throw it out to one of you fine readers.

So how do you enter? Just leave a comment below detailing your biggest creative inspirations, be they books, TV shows, films, or people, and tell us why. We’ll pick our favorite one and send the book in your general direction!

The Format

So how exactly will this show be executed? You may remember a bigger network attempting their own “reality show” in the past grounded in filmmaking, but that didn’t do too well, and in my opinion, it had to do with its emphasis on the films over the filmmaking. So how does Rebel Without a Crew handle it?

Well, Rodriguez has hand-picked five aspiring filmmakers: Scarlet Moreno, Alejandro Montoya Marin, Bola Ogun, Josh Stifter, And Bonnie-Kathleen “BK” Ryan. Over the course of 12 20-minute episodes, we will follow their journey mostly during the production process, and a bit of the post-production process. As such, most of the highlights will revolve around the difficulties of locking down locations, adapting to one’s circumstances, and overcoming obstacles in-the-moment.

We will not be seeing the process of screenwriting in this series, as each of the filmmakers already had a complete screenplay ready to go by the time we are introduced to them. Post-production is another aspect that isn’t emphasized, with it really only making up one of the 12 episodes. Finally, we’ll get to see the filmmakers share their finished products.

RELATED – Rebel Without A Crew Eps 1-3 Review: An Inspiring Look At The Filmmaking Process

So, based on that, it’s very clear that this is a production-focused series, and for many of you who have undoubtedly tried your hand in at least making shorts, it is a lot of fun to see how these filmmakers plan on the fly in their separate films.

The Films

But what kind of films will each of these filmmakers be making? Well, luckily, there is a wide range of types of films going on, and while watching the series, you may very well find yourself drawn to one over the other. So what are they?

Film Title: Phaedra
Filmmaker: Scarlet Moreno
Synopsis:
In the spring of 1975, at the height of disco, a peculiar young woman with a passion for nightlife and a hunger for stardom has an odd obsession with a doll collection she inherited from her mentally unstable mother. Upon meeting a man who she believes is a film producer, but is in reality a mid-level drug dealer with dreams as bigs as hers are, she is a swept up in a psychological nightmare of cocaine, delusion, and disco.

Film Title: The Good Exorcist
Filmmaker: Josh Stifter
Synopsis:
A young, socially awkward priest attempts to exorcise the demons from a ranch dedicated to relaxation. The owners of the B&B, a middle aged husband and wife and their strange son, have no idea how or why the demons got there. After a few failed attempts to get the demons out, they call on Father Gil, who claims to be the best in the business of exorcising.

Film Title: Monday
Filmmaker: Alejandro Montoya Marin
Synopsis:
Jim has lost his job and his girlfriend…and his day is about to get even worse.

Monday is an action-packed comedy that follows Jim, an unemployed stoner, on the worst day of his life. As he tries to put his life back together, Jim soon finds himself involved with two assassins and the war between rival crime families. With his best friend in tow, Jim must figure out how to survive the worst Monday ever, save his relationships, and try to become an actual grown-up.

Monday, a music driven film, embodies the ’80s action-comedy spirit and attempts to put a new spin on the genre.

Film Title: On the Run
Filmmaker: Bola Ogun
Synopsis:
Small town widow, Leeya, prefers her isolation as she deals with guilt from her past. Desperately looking for a way back into the CIA, a former operative becomes suspicious of her origin, while intergalactic bounty hunters land on Earth to capture her. In order to escape, she must find a way off the planet and out of self-condemnation.

Film Title: Grandma’s House
Filmmaker: Bonnie Kathleen “BK” Ryan
Synopsis:
Heartbroken and homeless, Julie rents a room in a southern gothic home with an elderly widow who likes to be called “Grandma.” At first, Julie reads the Woman’s old-fashioned rules as symptoms of the generation gap. But when Grandma’s behavior becomes increasingly unhinged, Julie finds herself at the mercy of a landlady with a dark and dangerous plan for her!

So what do you think? Will you be checking out the film come Sunday on El Rey Network? What are your greatest inspirations of creativity? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.