20 june, 1968
Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born on the 20th of June 1968 and, from an early age, exhibited interest in the world of film production. Being a Texan with a large family, he was able to develop his filming technique to create short films using his family as actors and critics. Rodriquez found his fantasy by emerging himself in the world of film, often expressing himself through the lens of his family's old camera. His genres include: fantasy, horror, sci-fi, thriller, drama and short animations that gained him the reputation as the "guy who makes movies" within his neighbourhood.
After developing his first few short films, he applied to the University of Texas to enter a film and television course but was rejected because of his poor academic record. However, this only pushed Rodriquez harder as he then wrote, directed and edited over 30 short films featuring his family and friends. Eventually, he was allowed into the university because of his talent. Through the course, Rodriquez learnt the fundamental techniques that would one day make his a Hollywood star.
After graduating, Rodriguez wrote his first big Hollywood film, El mariachi (1992). Rodriquez was, however, unfortunately unemployed and with little money. Unfazed, he signed up to have scientific tests done on him in exchange for the funds for the film. When he had raised the money, he headed out with his friend Carlos Gallardo to Mexico. After shooting, directing and editing the film themselves, Columbia Pictures approached them and offered to distribute the film. El mariachi (1992) tells the tale of a Mexican guitar player who travels to the town of Acuña looking for work. The Mariachi (as he is known in the film) dreams of becoming a big-time Mariachi (a Mexican-style guitarist who often plays in bars and restaurants for money) just like his forefathers. However, after a mix-up with an ex-convict and a drug lord, he finds himself stuck in between a rock and a hard place.
Rodriguez has since made many films whose genres include: action, thriller, sci-fi, drama and film noir. In early 2005, Rodriquez brought Frank Miller's Sin City (2005) to life by directing and filming three intertwining story lines - The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard. After convincing a stubborn Frank Miller into agreeing to let him work on the series, together with Dimension Films he brought the well-loved comic to the worldwide screen. As many critics cite, Sin City (2005) was created as a pure film noir piece to adapt Miller's comics onto the screen. Co-directing with Frank Miller and 'Quentin Tarantino' (who guest directed in That Yellow Bastard) allowed Rodriquez to again shock Hollywood with his talent.
In late 2007, Rodriquez again teamed up with his friend Tarantino to create the double-episode film, The Grindhouse featuring Rodriquez's offering of Planet Terror (2007). Planet Terror (2007) was a film shot in the specific genre of "hardcore, extreme, sex-fueled, action packed." Rodriguez flirts with his passion to make a showy film exploiting all of his experience to make an extremely entertaining thrill ride. The film is encompassed around Cherry (Rose McGowan), a reluctant go-go dancer who is found wanting when she meets her ex-lover El Wray (played by Freddy Rodríguez) who turns up at a local BBQ grill. They then, after a turn of events, find themselves fending off brain-eating zombies whilst trying to flee to Mexico (here we go off to Mexico again). Apart from directing, Rodriquez also involves himself in camera work, editing and composing music for his movies sound tracks (he composed the Planet Terror (2007) main theme). He also shoots a lot of his own action scenes to get a direct idea from his eye as the director into the film. In El mariachi (1992), Rodriquez spent hours in front of a pay-to-use, computer editing his film. This allowed him to capture the ideal footage exactly as he wanted it.
Away from the filming aspect of Hollywood, Rodriguez is an expert chef who cooks gourmet meals for the cast and crew. Rodriquez is also known for his ability to turn a low-budgeted film with a small crew into an example of film mastery. El mariachi (1992) was "the movie made on seven grand" and still managed to rank as one of Rodriguez' best films (receiving a rating of 92% on the Rotten Tomatoes film review site). Because Rodriquez is involved so deeply in his films, he is able to capture what he wants first time, which saves both time and money. Rodriguez's films share some similar threads and ideas, whilst also having differences. In El mariachi (1992), he uses a hand-held camera. He made this decision for several reasons. First, he couldn't afford a tripod and secondly, he wanted to make the audience more aware of the action. In the action sequences he is given more mobility with a hand-held camera and also allows for distortion of the unprofessional action sequences (because the cost of all special effects in the film totaled $600). However, in Sin City (2005) and Planet Terror (2007), the budget was much greater, and Rodriquez could afford to spend more on special affects (especially since both films were filmed predominately with green screen) and, thus, there was no need to cover for error.