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Monday, July 8, 2013

Mean Streets

To continue from last week's short list of all time great indie features, let's take a peak at Mean Streets. It's fitting that we discuss Mean Streets after Faces, as the story goes, John Cassavetes told Scorsese after he made Boxcar Bertha - "You've just spend a year of your life making a piece of shit." He then told Scorsese to make something personal, something you know.

This inspired Scorsese to make a film about his own experiences growing up in Little Italy. The budget was around 300K and raised independently. The film was released by Warner Brothers and was well received by most critics, and has become one of the most original American films ever.

So for all you first time feature filmmakers, make something personal! Write/direct something you are passionate about. The biggest mistake is to try and make something you think will earn a ton of money. Don't think this way. If you're passionate about the story, good chance maybe we will be too.

And be lean and mean. Few locations. Small cast and crew. Keep it simple.

Here's a link to the script. Read it, it's great: