The National Magazine of the Successful American Latino: Let’s make a movie

Let’s make a movie

Perhaps you have come out of the movie theater feeling cheated. You shot $5 on a ticket and another $8 or so on a soft drink that was more like syrup atop a pack of snow, a few pellets of chocolate, and a bucket of popcorn that you are not so sure was popped that week, and the film left you saying, “I could have written a better script than that.”

Possibly you could have. The difference between your script and the one used to make the film you just suffered through is that yours doesn’t even exist–yet.

Hundreds of films, teleplays, video-flicks, and DVDs that are produced every year begin as an idea from one person’s imagination, and that person could have been you.

NALIP is offerring a four-day screenplay workshop for 20 emerging Latino writers, beginning April 22. The NALIP workshops are famous for being both intense and nurturing.

Write to NALIP Writer’s Lab, Att: Octavio Marin, 2425 W Olympic Blvd., Suite 600E, Santa Monica, CA 90404 and request a list of workshops.


When Spike lee set out to make his first feature-length film, She’s Gotta Have It, he first acquired a small deck of credit cards. He worked furiously, topping out all his credit cards, and filming his story in 12 days for $175,000. His film found an audience, grossed $7,000,000 at the box office, and launched the career of one of America’s most daring, original, and provocative filmmakers. The film also saved his credit rating.

Robert Rodriguez was a film student at the University of Texas in 1991 when he signed on as a paid guinea pig in a drug research facility. While confined to the facility, he wrote the script for El Mariachi. He used the paycheck from the research to pay for the film. By also doing the directing, photographing, editing, and sound-recording himself, and by recruiting friends and family members to help, he made the film in two weeks for $7,000. He had filmed it on videotape to sell directly to Spanish-language video rental stores along the Texas-Mexican border, skipping expensive cinema releases, hoping to recoup his $7,000 plus a decent profit; but one of his film professors saw El Mariachi, submitted it to the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Film, got picked up by Columbia Pictures, and became the lowest budgeted and first film in Spanish distributed by a major Hollywood Studio, earning more than $20 million at the box office.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Ferraez Publications of America Corp.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group