LBJ Distinguished Lecture: Robert Rodriguez
September 16, 2015 | 7 p.m.
Robert Rodriguez is a film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, and musician. He is also the founder, chairman and CEO of El Rey Network, the new genre-busting English-language cable network.
As 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.
The film, El Mariachi, went on to win the coveted Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and it became the lowest-budget movie ever released by a major studio. Rodriguez wrote about these experiences in Rebel Without a Crew, a perennial guide for the independent filmmaker.
Rodriguez has gone on to write, produce, direct and edit a series of successful films, including Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, and Machete.
In 2000, Rodriguez founded Troublemaker Studios, an Austin, Texas, based production facility of which he is co-owner and president. The studio includes a world-renowned visual effects house, music and publishing arms and has played a primary role in making Austin a vibrant filmmaking hub.
In 2010, he launched Quick Draw Productions, a development, production and financing company that gives Rodriguez "green light" capabilities to develop and produce his own media projects across film, television, gaming and interactive platforms, while closely controlling the creative process.
Rodriguez recently completed Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For. The second season of his From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series started airing in August. He resides in Austin, Texas.
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