August 22, 2014
By Peter Black
Robert Rodriguez, director of "From Dusk Till Dawn," now has his own TV channel.
The El Rey network, which was launched with the help of $72 million loan from Univision, is now available on Comcast, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable. The network features grindhouse-esque content targeted at Hispanic viewers, although Rodriguez insisted that if the network's shows are to be effective they must "create storytelling that has universal appeal."
"That's how I had to sell Miramax on Spy Kids," Rodriguez told the Hollywood Reporter. "They asked me, 'Why are you making them Hispanic? Why don't you just make them American?' I said, 'They are American! It's based on my family.' I told them, 'You don't have to be British to enjoy James Bond.' The more specific you can make them, the more universal. Spy Kids, Machete, Desperado - they are Hispanic films, but they're for anyone. You can't beat people with the Latin stick. Even Hispanics don't want that."
Indeed, Rodriguez's method has worked, having directed, written and produced some of the most popular Latino-themed movies in existence, including "El Mariachi" and "Desperado."
In order to give novice Hispanic screenwriters and directors an opportunity to break into the industry, Rodriguez will allow filmmakers to submit their projects to El Rey People's Network website. If they're good, they'll get broadcast.
"If I like your work, you get it on El Rey and cash. I remember sending my films into contests - if I won 100 bucks, it felt like the biggest money in the world," Rodriguez said. "When I made El Mariachi, I didn't make it to sell to Columbia Pictures. I made it for the Spanish home video market. Today, people can send their films to us. I'm also going out to as many TV writers and directors as I can to start mentoring more diverse voices. More than 60 percent who work at El Rey are Hispanic, in front of and behind the camera."
Source: Design & Trend