Reading Rebel Without a Crew, one thing that struck me was Rodriguez's dedication to film as a kid. From the age of 13 on up, he was using video cameras to make home movies nonstop, each one getting better then the last. It reminded me of exactly what Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book Outliers. He says in order to be an expert at a given task you need a solid 10,000 hours of experience. He gives examples such as Bill Gates having access to nonstop coding as apposed to the antiquated punch card system. It's when a technology shifts that a certain generation gets an advantage, having access to something not a little better, but significantly better. Instead of practicing for 4 hours a week, one can start practicing for 80 hours a week. For Rodriguez, the technology shift was access to video instead of the old ways of film that let him practice. This allowed him for 10 years to hone his skills, something he brushes over in the book.
With digital it's a new paradigm shift, yet again, making both the shooting and the editing simple.
Mostly, I wanted to mention my thoughts on Rodriguez's relation to the 10,000 hour rule. You could read Gladwell's Outliers for the low down on it or save yourself the effort with this 1 sentence condensation: It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, normally between the ages of 10 and 20, that only a lucky few get access to due to their circumstances. There. I just saved you the effort of reading the whole book. If you must read Gladwell, stick with his one good book, The Tipping Point and listen to him on This American Life, (Episode 348, Act 4) . If you must read about the 10,000 hour rule, stick with this quote from Chuck Jones:
Therefore, it was no discouraging surprise to me that my first instructor at Chouinard Art Institute, like Nicolaides at the Art Students Leaugue, greeted his beginning classes with the following grim edict: "All of you here have one hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone."
This was not a discouraging statement to me, because I was already well into my third hundred thousand. (Chuck Amuck, p 51)
For my part, I have well over 10,000 hours in the realm of knowledge and practice of all things Jewish, about 6,000 hours plugged away in drawing, another 4,000 or so of writing, and not nearly enough at Improv, and yet despite all this, don't see myself focusing in on any one area anytime soon.