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Ten Minute Flick School: Fast, Cheap and in Control (2004)

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20 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ten-Minute Flick School  »

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1.33 : 1
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This short feature is on the DVD for Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), released in January of 2004. See more »

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References Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997) See more »

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Good concise breakdown of how some of the digital effects of the film were done, and Robert provides a few more tips
13 April 2007 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

The first Ten Minute Film School was about how to make a movie out of nearly no money at all... explaining how Rodriguez managed to make El Mariachi work with the shoe-string budget and the lack of a crew. The second was about how he made his first studio picture work, with a lot less time and resources than most major action films. Here, it's moved a bit beyond what these started as... yes, it's still low-budget, but the "low" is now $29 million, not $7,000. And while it is still mainly Rodriguez' work, he now does have a crew, and professional equipment. What is nothing short of impressive is how he rises to the occasion each time; on the first, he created an indie action film that felt much, much bigger than anything low budget. On the second, he made his first professionally backed action movie look as well-done as seasoned directors in the field such as John Woo(who was clearly an influence). And here, on the third, with technology offering tons of special effects that look good, he still manages to bring it in under budget, and make a movie that is every bit as intense as the movies that cost 5-10 times what he spent. Most of what he tells us here is not as much useful for aspiring film-makers as it is a good insight into how he pulled off certain effects. However, there are still tips to be found... more, I'd say, than was in the former Film School, the one focusing on Desperado. He shows us how to make the best of a location, how to safely do stunts that could be incredibly dangerous, and how to make the various shootouts and such look amazing and strong. The thing is, apart from maybe the first, all of this is only available to those filming in digital, and with access to CGI/animation programs of fairly high caliber. It's still fun to watch, and time still flies by due to his expert editing... but I doubt it'll inspire as much indie film-making as the last two, due to the cost of the hardware(and software) required to pull something off that even looks remotely as impressive. This certainly isn't bad if you want to know how stuff in Once Upon a Time in Mexico was achieved... but if you're looking for useful tips for film-making, I suggest the second film school, and to a greater extent, the first one. Definitely worth watching, but offers less than the first two efforts. Coming in at not much less than ten minutes, this is worth it for anyone interested in these documentaries that Robert does. I recommend it to any fan of the movie, Rodriguez in general and anyone who have had their curiosity sparked from reading this review. 7/10


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