Robert Rodriguez is a busy man. So busy, in fact, he doesn’t have time to sit down and think up a new series. He just creates one from whatever he’s already doing.
To promote his new television network, El Rey, Rodriguez hosted a press breakfast yesterday to discuss the pilot for “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” among other projects in development. The cable channel, which launched in December, also airs Rodriguez-approved films and TV series like “Starsky & Hutch” and “The X-Files.”
“Some of the movies we’re showing, I wanted to get introductions from the directors themselves to help curate it,” Rodriguez said. “John Carpenter had some movies like ‘The Fog,’ ‘The Thing,’ and ‘Escape from New York,’ that were going to play, so I went to go film his introductions, and I thought, ‘While I’m here, might as well knock out a show.’ So I’m going to do a show called ‘The Director’s Chair’ where a director will interview another director on the craft, kind of like an ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio.'”
The director went on to say “The Director’s Chair” would premiere in May with either a one or two part episode featuring his conversation with John Carpenter. Episodes will be an hour long, and Rodriguez plans to do as many as he can with directors whose films are already featured on El Rey Network.
“We’ll travel around and interview different directors, get them to do introductions for the films we’ll be showing and just have it be a very filmmaker focused/friendly network as well as classic cinematic television,” Rodriguez said.
The new network head went on to disclose information about his ideas for an upcoming reality show for the network that’s not quite a reality show:
“One of the shows I want to do is called ‘The Mariachi Project’ where I’ll give $7,000 to filmmakers of all types, of all diversities, and they’ll make [a movie] and they’ll show it and they’ll talk about how they made it — cheap programming. $7,000? That’s two hours of programming — and then I can say, “Fix this, fix that and come back and here’s $7,000 to go reshoot half of it,” or whatever.”
Rodriguez said each season would be a competition between filmmakers with an audience vote deciding the winner. Whoever wins would get to take their film to a “major studio” and remake it, much like Rodriguez did with “Desperado.”
“It’s kind of like a reality show, but it’s also a way to find filmmakers and to get the word out that we want people to submit their ideas,” Rodriguez said. “We can discover people that normally wouldn’t get into the system. Look at YouTube. There’s so much talent out there. People can make incredible things.”
Rodriguez’s latest film, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” is currently in post-production. Keep checking Indiewire for more developments with El Rey Network.