Director of Once Upon a Time in Mexico Edits Feature Films, Composes on Macs [video]

Saturday, August 1, 2009
By OP Editor

Director Robert Rodriguez with Mac Controlled Sound Board, talking about Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Director Robert Rodriguez with Mac Controlled Sound Board, talking about Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Well somehow I remembered seeing years ago, a special feature from movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico (Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek).

The movie director showed his Mac production set up and proceeded to demo how he can quickly and effortlessly make, record, transform, and combine multiple layers of his own music to produce an orchestral soundtrack for a feature film.

I guess that made an impression somewhere in the back of my brain.

Once Upon A Time In Mexico

Once Upon A Time In Mexico

On Director Robert Rodriguez

The Director is ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, is known for his rapid production schedule, low overhead, and consistently delivery of profitable crowd-pleasingfilms. Not bad to know he’s a Mac user, as seen with all his Apple computer set up and Apple Mac laptop.

He has many movies under his belt. He is known for the desperado series: El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. More recently directed Sin City. For a younger crowd, you might have heard about Spy Kids movie series, which contains his first hollywood $100 million box office hit. Robert Rodriguez often collaborates with Quentin Tarantino.

Robert Rodriguez is not only experienced in producing, directing, and writing his films, it is said that he can be “the one-man film crew”:

‘Robert frequently worked as editor, director of photography, camera operator, steadicam operator, composer, production designer, visual effects supervisor, and sound editor on his films. This has earned him the nickname of “the one-man film crew.” He abbreviates his numerous roles in his film credits; Once Upon A Time In Mexico, for instance, is “shot, chopped, and scored by Robert Rodriguez.”‘

Fun fact: his first movie El Mariachi, due to an extremely limited shooting budget of $7000, Director Rodriguez improvises to stay within budget. Instead of a dolly, he is filmed while being pushed around on a wheel chair. He shot with one camera, but paused the action so he can move to a different angle. Bloopers were incorporated in the movie, such as Mariachi failing to throw his guitar case on a balcony. In another scene, Rodriguez is visible when the Mariachi jumps on a bus.

Director Robert Rodriguez Mac Editing System with Laptop

Director Robert Rodriguez Mac Editing System with Mac Laptop

Studio Walkthrough, Music Composing Demo

For the Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Director Rodriguez made a quick walkthrough video showing his production studio where the magic happens – Troublemaker studio. In the video Director Rodriguez shows he can edit the film, produce soundtrack, collaborate remotely with effects house, all on Apple Macintosh.

Around the 3 minute mark Robert talks about his editing set up, and demos how to compose music quickly. He creates a virtual orchestra on the Mac by using a midi keyboard to add complexity with different layers of musical instruments. Then adds a lead guitar with sound tweaked with a virtual amplifier.

Wow, didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s some pretty advanced stuff made in a few minutes. Now you can do the same thing with Apple’s Garageband application (included with all Macs as part of iLife), or with one of many professional apps on a Mac.

Director Robert Rodriguez Music Creation on Mac OS 9

Director Robert Rodriguez Shows Music Creation on Mac OS 9

Side Note: Even the Older Mac OS (OS 9) is Capable

Wow, I can’t believe he did a good portion of that with Apple’s Mac OS 9. He is not behind on technology though, as he uses Mac OS X to provide directions to the effects house remotely.

Many people have misconceptions about the older mac os (many don’t even know there is a complete rewrite of Mac OS about ten years ago), but typically that misconception is caused by their experience of old, poorly maintained, shared public computers. As you can see, even the older mac os is capable of handling multi million dollar projects.

The current Mac OS, OSX was re-written over 10 years ago with stability, flexibility, security of standard compliant UNIX, plus technology Steve Jobs developed when he was ousted from Apple (Apple lost its market share when Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple).

Director Robert Rodriguez Mac Controlled Sound Board Close Up

Director Robert Rodriguez Mac Controlled Sound Board Close Up

Do you think being creative and efficient doesn’t pay? You might want to Think Different. Fast paced and efficient mac user Robert Rodriguez’s movies are consistently profitable, typically in the tens of millions of dollars per movie.

Robert Rodriguez’s production company, Troublemaker Studios has a regional premier of a new movie “Shorts” on August 16, 2009 in Austin Texas.

A FILM FOR A SONG, Robert Rodriguez’s Garage Movie [Filmmaker Magazine] on El Mariachi
Movie Trailer of Once Upon a Time in Mexico from [Apple]
Robert Rodriguez One Man Film Crew [Wikipedia]
El Mariachi fun facts, [Wikipedia]

Get Desperado Trilogy on DVD


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