For filmmakers, the making of Rocky is just as inspirational as the movie itself. Sylvester Stallone was an unknown, unemployed actor who at an audition with producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler mentioned that he was also a writer. Because they liked him, they said come back when you have something, and he came back with Rocky. They liked the script and the character so much they wanted to buy it, but Stallone, who was desperate for money at the time, refused to sell unless he could star in it. United Artists wanted a name actor to play the title character, but Stallone stuck to his guns and won the role.
With a modest budget of under a million dollars, the filmmakers shot guerilla style on the streets of Philly. With the the use of the steadicam, a new invention at the time, they were able to shoot on the fly and give the film its unique look and feel. Rocky would later go on to become a sleeper hit grossing 10 times its budget and winning three Oscars including Best Picture.
Rocky would later become a major film franchise garnishing five sequels. Recently the franchise found new life with Ryan Coogler’s Creed. Sylvester Stallone reprised the role of Rocky Balboa for the seventh time and was nominated for an Oscar.
Rocky is an inspiration for anyone looking to make it in Hollywood. The technology and the method of making films may have changed dramatically over the years, but it’s still the will and spirit of those involved that get them made.