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Brown - Dark
San Antonio, Texas
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Director, Producer, Editor
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A native of San Antonio, Texas, Rodríguez began his interest in film at age 7 when his father bought one of the first VCRs, which came with a camera. He took the camera and started to make short films with his brothers and sisters participating as the cast and crew. It helped that there were ten of them (including Robert), and these early stages provided the crucial groundwork that would lead to Rodriguez`s development as a filmmaker.
While attending St. Anthony Catholic High School, he was commissioned to videotape the school`s football games. According to his sister he was fired soon after for shooting them with a cinematic style; getting shots of parents reactions and the ball traveling through the air instead of shooting the whole play. After graduating Rodriguez went to the University of Texas where he also developed a love of cartooning. His grades were not good enough to get into the school`s film program, so he invented a daily comic strip entitled Los Hooligans with many of the characters based on his siblings – in particular, one of his sisters, Maricarmen. The comic proved to be quite successful, running for three years in the student newspaper The Daily Texan while Rodríguez continued to make short films.
Rodríguez grew up shooting action and horror short films on video, and editing on two VCRs. Finally, in the fall of 1990, his entry in a local film contest earned him a spot in the university`s film program where he made the award-winning 16 mm short, "Bedhead", which is available for viewing online. The film chronicles the amusing misadventures of a young girl whose older brother sports an incredibly tangled mess of hair that she cannot tolerate. The rest of the short film is a humorous account of how the young girl tries to fix her brother`s follicle monstrosity when she discovers her telekinetic abilities. Even at this early stage, Rodríguez`s trademark style began to emerge: quick cuts, intense zooms, and fast camera movements deployed with a sense of humor that offsets the action.
This short film attracted enough attention to encourage him to seriously attempt a career as a filmmaker. He went on to shoot the action flick El Mariachi in Spanish. El Mariachi, which was shot for around $7,000 with money partially raised by volunteering in medical research studies, won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. The film, originally intended for the Spanish-language low-budget home-video market, was "cleaned up" with several hundred thousand dollars before being distributed by Columbia Pictures in the United States, still being promoted as "the movie made for $7,000". Rodríguez described his experiences making the film in his book Rebel Without a Crew. The book and film inspired legions of hopeful filmmakers to pick up cameras and make no-budget movies. The film and the book are widely considered important touchstones of the independent film movement of the 1990s. Many people realized for the first time that with only a little money and a lot of hard work and talent, it was possible to make a successful and popular film.
His next feature film was Desperado, a sequel to El Mariachi starring Antonio Banderas. The film introduced Salma Hayek to American audiences. Rodríguez went on to collaborate with Quentin Tarantino on the vampire thriller, From Dusk Till Dawn (he co-produced two sequels), and with Kevin Williamson on the horror film The Faculty.
In 1999 Kevin Smith offered directorial duties on the film Dogma to Rodríguez, yet he passed insisting that Kevin should direct the film himself . In 2001, Rodríguez enjoyed his first $100,000,000 (USD) Hollywood hit with Spy Kids, which went on to become a trilogy, with the last film released in a crude form of 3D. A third "mariachi" film also appeared in late 2003, Once Upon a Time in Mexico which completed the Mariachi Trilogy. He operates a production company called Troublemaker Studios, formerly Los Hooligans Productions.
Rodríguez co-directed Sin City (2005), an adaptation of the Frank Miller Sin City comic books; Quentin Tarantino guest-directed a scene. During production in 2004, Rodríguez insisted that Miller direct the film with him because he considered the visual style of Miller`s comic art to be just as important as his own in the film. However, the Directors Guild of America would not allow it, citing that only "legitimate teams" could share the director`s credit (e.g. the Wachowski Brothers). Rodríguez chose to resign from the DGA, stating, "It was easier for me to quietly resign before shooting because otherwise I`d be forced to make compromises I was unwilling to make or set a precedent that might hurt the guild later on." By resigning from the DGA, Rodríguez was forced to relinquish his director`s seat on the film John Carter of Mars (2006) for Paramount Pictures. Rodríguez had already signed on and had been announced as dire
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University of Texas at Austin
Full Name at Birth
Robert Anthony Rodriguez
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Robert Anthony Rodríguez (born June 20, 1968) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor and musician. He shoots and produces many of his films in his native Texas and Mexico. He has directed such films as the Mexico Trilogy, From Dusk till Dawn, The Faculty, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, Spy Kids, Sin City, Planet Terror, and Machete. He is a friend and frequent collaborator of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
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Film director, film producer, screenwriter, film editor, cinematographer, musician, actor
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