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A New Rodriquez?

December 12, 2009

I’ve always admired filmmakers who can make a good shoestring budget film. It’s no easy task and takes a lot of bull-headedness and luck. In my youthful days, Super-8 was the most accessible format, and some of my best childhood experiences revolved around making my own movies with my friends. The only concerns on those little epics were the financial concerns of film stock and processing, and other little trivial things, like the loyalty of the lead actor. Midway through shooting my most ambitious film, a Super-8 spaghetti western, my lead actor decided to get a summer job rather than finish my film. The film stopped dead in it’s tracks. Oh, the sorrow.

Robert Rodriquez is probably the most well-known of the DIY filmmakers, and he certainly deserved the open doors that came from El Mariachi.

Enter Federico Alvarez.  Alvarez made a short film, under five minutes in length, at a cost of $500, and posted it on YouTube. Not a bad little film for what it is. Mandate Films flew him to LA to offer him a $1 million directors fee to write and direct a “compelling” original film for a $30 million budget.  Mandate has put him in an apartment, given him a car, and assigned Sam Raimi to help him develop it.   Not a bad deal from a $500.

Alvarez isn’t a college aged youngster, however.  He’s 30 and runs a post production house in Montevideo, Uruguay.  But even though he’s no spring chicken, his achievement is something to be admired.

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