Marfa-based New York Times entertainment writer Whitney Joiner has her long-in-the-works profile of producer Elizabeth Avellan, published in Sunday’s edition. Joiner takes a look at the past, present, and future for Avellan, one of Austin’s unsung heroes of the film industry. We were thrilled and lucky to have “A Conversation with Elizabeth Avellan” at SXSW 2007, as she has been a longtime supporter and participant at the festival over the years. Recently, though, many have wondered what will become of Troublemaker Studios, the enormously successful Austin production company she runs with her estranged husband, director Robert Rodriguez. From Joiner’s article:
In a place where crew members had grown so accustomed to regularly working with Troublemaker that some had picked up and moved here from Los Angeles — Ms. Avellan lovingly refers to them as her children — the dissolution of the marriage raised the obvious question: What would become of the moviemaking miniempire they had built together?
Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Avellan say they plan to keep Troublemaker as is, and to continue working on some joint projects, like a planned family film called “Shortz.” But for Ms. Avellan, 47, personal hardship is leading to a professional evolution. Most of her career she has willingly ceded the limelight and the major creative decisions to Mr. Rodriguez, a charismatic character who famously got his start by partly financing his $7,000 debut, “El Mariachi,” by spending a month in an Austin hospital testing a cholesterol-lowering drug. Now Ms. Avellan plans to transform her own ideas into movies and television shows and take Troublemaker in new directions. For the first time, she is producing a major studio picture with a director besides Mr. Rodriguez.