Rodriguez, Robert: Director Profile

Robert Rodriguez is the writer-director-producer-cinematographer-editor of the film in Grindhouse, the double-feature that he and Tarantino made as a tribute to 1970s exploitation movies.

While a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, Robert Rodriguez wrote the script to his first feature film while sequestered at a drug research facility as a paid subject in a clinical experiment. That paycheck covered the cost of shooting his film. He planned to make the money back by selling the film to the Mexican home video market.

In 1993, Rodriguez wrote, directed, shot, edited and sound-recorded El Mariachi for $7,000. While shopping it to the video market, Rodriguez signed with a powerful agent at ICM. Columbia Pictures then bought the rights and signed Rodriguez to a two-year writing and directing deal. El Mariachi went on to win the coveted Audience Award for best dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival, and was honored at the Berlin, Munich, Edinburgh, Deauville and Yubari (Japan) festivals. EL MARIACHI became the lowest budget movie ever released by a major studio and the first American film released in Spanish. Rodriguez wrote about these experiences in Rebel Without a Crew, a book published by Dutton Press.

Although it was an astonishing debut for a 23-year-old, Rodriguez was already a seasoned filmmaker. The third of ten children born to Cecilio and Rebecca Rodriguez in San Antonio, Texas, he had prepared for film production classes at UT by making a series of his own home movies. Family members were recruited as cast and crew. His three youngest siblings starred in BEDHEAD (1991), a 16 mm. short film that was honored at many national and international festivals. Rodriguez also blossomed as a cartoonist at UT with Los Hooligans, a comic strip in the Daily Texan featuring characters based on his brothers and sisters.

Rodriguez went on to write, produce, direct and edit DESPERADO (1995), a sequel to EL MARIACHI for Columbia. The film introduced American audiences to Antonio Banderas as a leading man, opposite Salma Hayek. Rodriguez also wrote, directed and edited THE MISBEHAVERS again starring Antonio Banderas in 1995, one of the four segments of Miramax Films FOUR ROOMS. He then teamed up with Quentin Tarantino on the outrageous FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996) for Dimension Films. Rodriguez directed a cast including Tarantino, who wrote the script. He also edited the film and served as executive producer. Rodriguezs next directorial project was Dimension Films THE FACULTY (1998) starring Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood and Jordana Brewster.

In 2001, Robert fulfilled a lifelong dream and created the family adventure film. SPY KIDS, a critically acclaimed and box office success, went on to break 100 million domestically. He followed that with SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS which won rave reviews and SPY KIDS 3-D, an adventure in 3-D.

The third installment to the EL MARIACHI trilogy, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, was released on September 12, 2003, which Robert shot, chopped and scored himself. He also served as writer of this film.

Rodriguez opened two movies at number one in the North American box office SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO.

In 2004, Robert began his next endeavor FRANK MILLERS SIN CITY, which is co-directed by the creator of SIN CITYhimself Frank Miller. SIN CITY features an all star cast including Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy and Benicio Del Toro, among many others. It hit theaters April 1st 2005.

Also in 2004 he returned to his love of family fare with THE ADVENTURES OF SHARK BOY AND LAVAGIRL IN 3-D starring funny man George Lopez. THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL IN 3-D was released in June 2005.