Wired interviews director/etc. Robert Rodriguez, a young master of the atypical production process, for the launch of his new film, Spy Kids 3-D. It's less than a year since Spy Kids 2, when the NY Times' Rick Lyman looked at Rodriguez's one-man-band approach to movies. (Director is only one of seventeen different credit categories in his imdb profile. More than almost any other director, a Rodriguez film is literally, a Rodriguez film.)
But yet he's not really considered an auteur. Unlike more auteur-y directors (Steven Soderbergh comes to mind) who enjoy passionate followings among critics and film schoolers, Rodriguez' vision is far less rarified. I mean, he sets out to make westerns, teen and kiddie movies. But he makes them well, he makes them profitably, and he makes major production innovations that should have a farther-reaching influence.
Here's an early interview by John Connor, from just before El Mariachi's appearance at Sundance; not much has changed, it seems. Rebel Without a Crew, Rodriguez's production diary from El Mariachi, is a modern, entertaining bible of the behind-the-indie-scenes genre.
[update: Maybe more like the bible than I intended. Making a feature for $7,000 is as tough to duplicate as feeding 5,000 with a fish. Indie filmmaker Felix suggests that anyone who reads Rebel Without A Crew should also read The Unkindest Cut, movie critic Joe Queenan's hilarious failed attempt to replicate Rodriguez's $7k feat.
Also, the Ed Park's Voice review pegs Rodriguez for his "DIY monomania." If his DVD commentaries are anything to go by, he may be to annoying to become a guru. ]