Author: Robert Rodriguez
Original publication date: August 1, 1995

Thanks to Rebel Without a Crew, Robert Rodriguez should be regarded as a patron saint of struggling independent filmmakers armed with more dreams than dollars. The heart of the book is Rodriguez's production diary, written throughout the production of El Mariachi, his award-winning, DIY 1992 action flick that paved the way for future triumphs like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, and Grindhouse: Planet Terror.

He's a laid-back storyteller too, penning his tips for surviving the Hollywood studio system and "The Ten Minute Film Course" (in which Rodriguez explains how you can become a real director without wasting precious money on film school) with a conversational tone that's welcoming and easily digestible. —MB