Robert Rodriguez is one of the most inspiring filmmakers to me. He is a beautiful example of Jack of all trades and proves that we don’t need to specialize in just one field to become successful. He is a director, he cuts his movies, scores them, he operates the camera and takes part in the VFX work. He shot his first movie for $7000 and then described the whole process in his book Rebel without a Crew. Since then he has shot countless other films and always shared the knowledge and the experience. DVD versions of his movies oftentimes contain commentary and even the footage that didn’t go to the film.
In this post, I would like to share with you some of the most interesting resources I have found where Robert talks about filmmaking, shares his tricks and shows how he made all his movies possible.
10 Minute Film School
In the film below Rodriguez explains his attitude to filmmaking. According to him, the only way to learn how to make movies is to start making them. The worse equipment for starters, the better. More advanced equipment starts to limit us as filmmakers. A too heavy tripod will make us leave the camera stationary too much. He says that fancy equipment takes away the life from the footage.
Tim Ferriss podcast
An absolutely must-listen podcast episode hosted by Tim Ferriss:
I had to listen to this podcast two times, it was that good. Really great questions and really great answers.
In the clip below Robert explains what his take on the special effects is. He talks how he prepares for the VFX on set, shows examples from his movies with before and after sequences and proves that most of the special effects are really easy to pull off without a very specialized equipment.
The below is the 2 part clip where Rodriguez explains how he was able to make his first movie El Mariachi with a budget of $7000. All the money was actually spent on the film stock, so on top of that he didn’t spend almost anything.
Director’s Chair is a series of interviews where Robert talks with other directors about the craft of filmmaking. It’s infinite resource of behind the scenes stories that the most known directors share. They also present their thought process as well as the way they handle all the challenges of filmmaking.
Director’s Chair episodes can be also watched on youtube channel below, but they get released some time after their original premiere in Elrey Network:
In the short clip below Robert explains the process of shooting one of the scenes from Desperado. He explains how he rehearsed and how he videotaped the rehearsal takes, edited them to save time and money when the scene was actually shot.
Planet Terror was a movie directed by Rodriguez and Tarantino. In the clip below Robert explains how he made his half on a minimal budget and how he pulled off most of the special effects on the cheap:
Grindhouse – discussion with Rodriguez and Tarantino
Want to know how Rodriguez came up with the idea of machine gun leg or what was the thought process of Tarantino working on a car chase, watch this:
The process of creating Sin City was very challenging and in the short clip below Robert shows us the steps that were required to achieve the final movie.
From Dusk Till Dawn
In the video below we can see a deconstruction of one of the scenes from the film From Dusk Till Down. Rodriguez shows us step by step how the whole scene took shape and how he added extra lines on top of the screenplay with the actors on set.
Film is Dead
Quite the old talk where Robert explains the advantages of digital cameras and how they changed his approach to filmmaking.
Living creative life
In the clip below we can see Robert talking about creativity and the topics covered in the podcast episode with Tim above. Very motivational and inspiring.
Speech at the University of Texas, Austin
Awesome speech with a couple of interesting questions from audience at the end. Definitely worth watching (some of the stories were mentioned in the materials above).