SPY KIDS 2:
THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS
is the Writer, Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Editor,
Visual Effects Supervisor and Composer of SPY KIDS 2, his eighth feature film.
The film is the third in a five-picture deal with Miramax/Dimension Films.
While a student at the University of
Texas at Austin in 1991, 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.
The film was "El Mariachi"
(1993), which Rodriguez wrote, directed, photographed, edited and sound-recorded
â€“ 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 which 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. Rodriguez's next directorial project was Dimension Films'
"The Faculty"(1998) starring Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood and Jordana
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.
The third installment to the "El
Mariachi" trilogy, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" will be released
in the fall.
Rodriguez and his wife, producer
Elizabeth Avellan, make their home in Austin, Texas where they live with their
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