Robert Rodriguez needs no introduction around these parts.
Between his numerous feature films and his TV network, he's been very prolific, and he's one of the more inspirational figures in the world of indie filmmaking. Despite his fantastic book, Rebel Without a Crew, and his numerous educational programs, his recent appearance on the Tim Ferriss show might have some of his best filmmaking wisdom yet.
In case you're not familiar with the show, Tim Ferriss, who has written a number of books including The 4-Hour Workweek, interviews world-class performers — everybody from chess prodigies and artists, to angel investors and entrepreneurs — and attempts to deconstruct the habits and strategies that make these people remarkable in their chosen fields.
So without any further ado, here's the rather lengthy interview with Tim and Robert (you might want to put it on in the background):
While I wholeheartedly recommend listening to the interview in its entirety — Tim asks some fantastic unconventional questions and Robert is tremendously insightful and willing to share every bit of his personal journey — you can skip around to certain topics and questions based on the list below:
- How does Robert go about journaling? [05:04]
- How does Robert keep moral high when working with a crew? [13:29]
- Being creative on set [14:31]
- “What clicked” that allowed Robert to be truly creative [15:57]
- Embracing the creative process “in the moment” [19:28]
- The amazing story of how El Mariachi was financed? [21:41]
- What was the story behind El Mariachi getting released by Columbia? [24:45]
- How to maintain the creative mindset once resources are no longer a creative driver [35:22]
- How cartooning helped creative endeavors? [39:53]
- The strange reason Robert changed the name of his production company to Troublemaker Studios [44:11]
- What book does Robert most frequently gift to other people? [55:35]
- The Directors Guild, Frank Miller, Sin City & the ‘Special Guest Director’ [57:41]
- Why setting precedents are important [1:09:59]
- How Robert spends his downtime [1:14:38]
- Why was Robert so keen to make the movie Sin City? [1:19:54]
- What does the first 60 minutes of Roberts’ day look like? [1:26:29]
- Robert’s TV network, El Rey [1:32:52]
- What is Robert geeking out on right now? [1:51:56]
- Tips for early stage filmmakers [1:54:37]
- What advice does Robert have for his 30-year-old self? [1:58:39]
- Robert’s one request of you, the listener. [2:01:07]
If you're interested in any of the resources mentioned in the interview, you can find a wealth of links over on Tim's blog. You can even download a full transcript of the interview.