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Robert Rodriguez: 1968—: Director, Filmmaker, Screenwriter Biography

Won Way Into Film School, Low Budget "mariachi" Impressed Hollywood, Moved Toward Family Oriented Action

Robert Rodriguez: 1968—: Director, filmmaker, screenwriter.

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez amazed the moviegoing world in 1992 with his debut feature El Mariachi, shot for the unheard-of total of $7,000 when Rodriguez was 23 years old. That film introduced to the world a director with a dazzling visual style and a fabulous flair for storytelling. The making of El Mariachi was widely described and celebrated, and Rodriguez himself even chronicled it in a book called Rebel Without a Crew. An equally impressive accomplishment, however, was Rodriguez's successful self-transformation from independent filmmaker dependent on shoestring financing to established Hollywood director—without losing the artistic values that had made him fall in love with the art of moviemaking in the first place.

Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas, on June 20 (some sources say July 20), 1968, but grew up in Austin. His mother was a nurse and his father a cookware sales manager. The third of ten children, Rodriguez felt out of place amid a sea of sports-loving siblings, and his parents encouraged the interest he showed in the family's Super 8 movie camera. Sometimes he made film-like flip books to amuse his siblings. Rodriguez began to dream of becoming a filmmaker after he saw John Carpenter's science-fiction thriller Escape from New York, and by the time he was 12 he was making home movies and videotaping his father's sales meetings.

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