IFH 520: Making El Mariachi and Troublemaker Studios with Elizabeth Avellán

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Get ready to have you mind blown. If you ever wanted to know the TRUE STORY on how the mythical El Mariachi, written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, then this is the conversation you want to listen to.

Today on the show we have producer Elizabeth Avellán.

Elizabeth Avellan was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where her grandfather, Gonzalo Veloz, pioneered commercial television. At thirteen, she moved to Houston with her family and later graduated from Rice University, where she had her first behind-the-scenes experience working as stage manager and prop master for several student productions.

She moved to Austin in 1986 to work in the Office of the Executive Vice-President and Provost of the University of Texas, continuing her studies in film production, art, and architecture. There she meet Robert Rodriguez – cult filmmaker and her husband to be.

Avellan worked as an animator on Rodriguez's award-winning 16mm film, Bedhead, which aired on PBS after gathering acclaim on the festival circuit. She and Robert co-founded Los Hooligans Productions when the two began work on El Mariachi (1992) in 1991. Since then, Avellan has co-produced Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Desperado (1995), The Faculty (1998), and upcoming Spy Kids (2001).

Besides she developed several scripts and produced with Pamela Cederquist and Rana Joy Glickman, Real Stories of the Donut Men, a dark comedy written and directed by Beeaje Quick, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March, 1997. Additionally, Avellan served as producers' rep. with Rana Joy Glickman for Love You Don't Touch Me, a romantic comedy premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.

She co-founder Troublemaker Studios with Robert and have been causing “trouble” in Hollywood ever since. Elizabeth and I have an epic two-hour conversation spanning decades in the history of her, Robert and Troublemaker Studios.

We did a bit of myth busting on the now legendary indie film El Mariachi. Elizabeth also discussed what it was like working inside the Hollywood machine, the moment she introduced Robert to Quentin Tarantino, the uphill battles she faced becoming a producer and so much more.

Get ready for one heck of a ride. Enjoy my conversation with Elizabeth Avellán.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
I like to welcome to the show Elizabeth Avellán. How are you doing, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth Avellán 0:16
I'm doing great. Alex, thank you for having me come and share some fun stories with you.

Alex Ferrari 0:23
Yes, absolutely, it is. I'm a great fan of the work that you've done over the years. And I mean, you know, as a Latino filmmaker, you know, you and Robert and what you guys did together with El Mariachi and Desperado. And everything that your your giant filmography? Is, is remarkable. And I mean, I can only imagine the the struggle that you had not only being a female producer, in the studio system, but being a Latina, female, you were like, the one right, there weren't many in the 90s. I can't remember. But one of the few, one of the few. So I mean, it is an inspiration to see what you've, you've done, specifically as a producer. But before we go down this road, what was the thing that made you want to be in this insane business?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:16
Same, you know, I try to be go back to a little bit to the beginning. Because that encourages people, they themselves go back to that moment, when you're a kid. And you're starting to see what what your talents are. Little things inform that. You know, even when you're seven, even that was a huge film lover, as a kid, my parents loved going to movies, it's been a lot of time in theaters. And I, you know, I recognized good writing, I could tell that I recognize why isn't good, movie Good? And why some of it is kind of like bad, you know, because they will take us to all kinds of movies. And some of them, Are they fun, you know, like some sort of pulpy kind of your Lawrence of Arabia at six years old, that you're like, Okay, this is amazing, you know, like, you realize, you can't handle the contact, but you see the shots, and you're like, Whoa, and they don't my siblings didn't really in this early, you know, especially my, you know, just in general, at least I didn't realize they were noticing anything. And but I did, I noticed I noticed Peter tool, I noticed every nuance moment of you know, his blue eyes. And you know, when to close David Lee, I mean, just all those shots. And then the next week we went to see, I think it was A Fistful of Dollars, you know, part of the trilogy so it just kind of like game to the Yang, you know, very fun that way. My father loved all movies. So when they played on TV, you have watch this, you know, and he was not at all my mom's side of the family in Venezuela, are the ones that were in the film business. Well, in the TV business, my grandfather was panning of commercial television on Salloway lozman. Sara, the pioneer of commercial television in Venezuela, and but by the time I was born, he had sold what is now when we assume and moved on, you know, he was getting older. He had done he had been a groundbreaking guy. And he was ready to move on and had grandkids and his, you know, his, his daughters and sons. And so I didn't really grow up in it. But my father was very much against showbiz, and never allowed us. I mean, we were set, we were seven kids, my parents had seven kids, I was a second of seven. And we were asked to be in commercial because we have a few kids, you know, and my cousins were all in commercials. And we were not allowed, I mean, not allowed. And that so but I always had this yearning. And when I turn 40 We moved to the States when I was 13. And I started watching TV, I love seeing the pilot to things, because from there, I could see there was a seed of something or not, you know, I could tell, but I was like, how do you make money doing that? You know? And, you know, I was very, very studio so I went to rise, my father wanted to be an architect. And yet, you know, I there was the seed inside me that I got my car, it wasn't to go hang out with my friends. It was to go to River Oaks theater in Houston without anybody knowing to go watch all the, you know, high end film, it was the art house theater, and all in Houston, Texas. And that's what I wanted my car for. I just kind of plot it out and go see a movie there. And so I grew up doing that. I you know, my sister went to see Saturday Night Fever, it's 10 times I never saw it. You know, I was not that girl, you know, like whatever,

Alex Ferrari 4:40
John Travolta

Elizabeth Avellán 4:42
What I've chosen not to watch whatever, right? But as well as what I've chosen to watch. And so you see that and you don't know what it is, you know, and it's not until you piece it together. I freshman week I went to Rice University as a 16 year old, because I studied so much to learn English and I didn't want to go backwards by not taking summer school that I ended up graduating early and ended up at Rice University. And this senior girl said to me, you know, come on be come down to with me to the rice players, you know, I'm part of the rice players, it was the theatre group. I was like, I never had a chance in high school to do any of that I was studying, studying studying. So I mean, I just focused on learning the language really getting it down. And so I was like, okay, so I went. And of course, I mean, I knew that if I ever got involved in theater, because I love going to theater, I would be hooked. And it was always behind the scenes and never auditioned, it was always for me behind the scenes. So that's when you start kind of putting things together while you're going to architecture school. And you see a perfect marriage of Gosh, you could be designing sets for theater or, well, and rice at that moment, I think it was like one of the top five architecture schools in the country. And you got accepted into Rice University, and then you get accepted into the architecture school, they didn't see it that way. They were like you're wasting your time you you're the slot we've given you is precious, and you're not appreciating it very down, grading me. And at the same time, I thought I was working for an architect and I hated it. And I love working. So it wasn't the work part of it. So I'm like, this is definitely where I need to be. But my father's like, if you don't study architecture, I'm not paying for it. I got to be a little sneaky. Because so many athletes, so many art classes and the film classes, and the theater classes were all under under art, because it was such a small Rice's a very small school. And so I just knocked them in there without him, I need to take this for this, and I'm doing this for that, you know, so I kind of got them in there. And, and then, you know, it was the decision of, I really don't want to be an architect. And it's very painful to have to, you know, I was daddy's girl. And yet I knew that I needed to work. So I worked in medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, then I moved to Austin. And that's where things kind of shifted for me because I started working with executive vice president Provost at the University of Texas, and about three, four months in and my new my film, you know, reading all of that stuff is still in full growing mode, you know, and yet, I know I have to have a day job, you know. And in comes this young man, he wasn't even a sophomore in college had he just finished his freshman year thing, Robert Rodriguez, he was going to be our file clerk. And I was the youngest in the office. So and Latina Latino, you know, I was the only end of the night. Yeah. And, and he so we hit it off, you know, and he had done like, 20 short films, 20 Something short films. And he showed me one of them. That was a you know, we all got together and and, and I was so blown away. I was like, Whoa, shoot, he's He's like, he's really bugging me. He's like real, this is real. And and he hadn't even turned it into a film festival. You want to contest with it or something. And, and I and I thought, so I started talking when we started talking about all this. And I started telling him pointing out Film Festival. So that's how it started. He couldn't get into the film school because he didn't have the grades. I'm very academic. So I would we took some classes together so he would get his grades up. You know, even though I didn't need to take any classes I did. They wouldn't allow me one to take the hardest biology or things like that to get him through the gauntlet. You know, I think I got him through all his science.

Alex Ferrari 8:43
Science and Math right science and math. Yeah.

Elizabeth Avellán 8:47
And so but by the way, he became an all a student thing. And and he got into the film school because he also knew the new chairman of the film's called Tom shots because I worked for the second vice president problems and he was young and hip and cool. And he let Robert in because Robert one, the film festival that was a precursor to South by Southwest, the student films that were there with just Billy you know, and this little he grabbed three of his short films he's already he already made and put them together. And that's how it all really began to take off. And then mariachi you know and then he did bedhead first year his his production class so I was like whatever he needed, you know making a dummy so you could drag his brother to the ground you know just ways to do things without need because I need a dummy so you don't need a dummy. So we went to Walgreens grabbed a bunch of legs panty hoses and some stuffing from Michaels and I made him a dummy you know ever dressed it up and it set itself you know

Alex Ferrari 9:46
I remember I remember that dummy very well I remember that dummy very well i

Elizabeth Avellán 9:51
Im sure you've used that dummy

Alex Ferrari 9:54
I'm sure No,look

Elizabeth Avellán 9:54
Legs pantyhose

Alex Ferrari 9:56
Legs pantyhose and a wheelchair for a dolly. I mean, that's that's pretty much That's a that's a precursor.

Elizabeth Avellán 10:02
So So you know, it was really a beautiful thing because I also loved working at the university. So there was always an a plan that I would go get my Master's become a, you know, Vice Prez executive, but not exactly but never an executive, because professors do that, but at least an assistant vice president and had wonderful relationships there and, and Robert, they loved him. And he was working on mariachi, you know, just, you know, writing it there, you know, the computers there because nobody had computers at home

Alex Ferrari 10:31
89 - 90

Elizabeth Avellán 10:33
The rice at home, you know, I mean, I was a sugar mama the most cheap sugar mama you could ever have, you know. But, you know, I paid the bills, and I paid the rent, and I was really good with money, I had been able to be that person in my life always. And, and I, you know, so so as a result, we got all of that off the ground and things took off from there. So all of that. So the big question was, are you coming with me? Or are you not, you know, and it was a very Crossroads moment. For me. It's a very, like, and I thought that business is so hard, you know, we all know, and, you know, what context Do I go in? You know, how do I do this? I need to be thoughtful about because I'm a very, since I was very young, very thoughtful about when I saw broadcast news, I knew that too. I was, I mean, I was Holly Hunter. I was either going to go into news or I was going to go into into film, you know, or TV. I it was like, clear, crystal clear. For me. It's like that up. There it is. That's what I am a producer. Okay, got it. I understand now what I am. And I had been doing that with Robert all throughout. And so I really, really thoughtfully Alex, I didn't want to just do it because I want fame. I didn't want to do it because I wanted anything I wanted to do it because it's where I was supposed to be a my real destiny of life admission, you know? And I thought, you know, how do you guess who figured that? Well, you sit still. So I had already quit my other job. We had insurance. And I sat still for about a month in my in Houston, Austin, Robert was gone a lot of the time. And, and I was really, really, for the first time in my life, I think I was able to sit still. And try to listen to where I was supposed to be if I was supposed to do it. And it was. And, you know, it became very clear to me that I was supposed to. I didn't know why though. You know,

Alex Ferrari 12:47
That's the way the universe works. The universe. Yeah, the universe doesn't do that. Oh, yeah, no, no, no, no, no, that's not the way it works.

Elizabeth Avellán 12:56
You know, like, you know, because, because if somebody tells you the why, or the universe, God, whatever you want to call it, it may not make sense, you know, or it may, you know, it may not make sense until you are practicing in it, you know, so I did I, you know, I started began to work. And it's an interesting thing, because, to me, the reason I am in this is for the crew, and the cast, to be there as a person that tries to be and by the way, I haven't necessarily been this person every time because you know, life goes like cyclical, but consistently, I try, you know, to be that person, including in this last movie, where the needs what are this? Because once you prep the movie, the producer is just what is it that my other person does, I'm just going to spare change on the set, you know, if you've done it, right,

Alex Ferrari 13:52
Sure, if you, if you built them, if you bought the machine, the machine runs,

Elizabeth Avellán 13:56
You build the machine. And by the way, you just keep adjusting you make sure it has oil, you make sure that it has what it needs, you do all that. But really truly at that point is where are the potholes that you need to be fluid to fill so that people have a smooth ride? We all give up our lives, you know, for a moment of we're making a movie, or we're shooting a movie especially everybody puts their lives on hold or so they think but things happen every time you know, it never ceases to amaze me the how something to a crew member or cast member. And then do you have the wherewithal and the compassion to be sure that that person if they if they can continue the film great if not, I mean I've had, for example, you talked about John Sayles, Felipe Fernandez, El Paso was our set decorator industrial Don, he went to do a movie with John Sayles after that as a production designer, the one he did down in Chiapas.

Alex Ferrari 14:57
Oh, not that long star. No Was it was in Lonestar

Elizabeth Avellán 15:01
It's down in Mexico

Alex Ferrari 15:03
Yeah, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes. I remember that movie. Yes.

Elizabeth Avellán 15:07
And my brain is going to come to me. But anyway, but Philippe's mother passed away, but we're in the middle of shooting Dusk Till Dawn in Mexico and and he had been my my set decorator also on Desperado that was the movie after Desperado. And he was like, No, I'll stay. I'm here, you know, we're in the middle of a dry lake bed in Barstow in the middle of August. And I had to sit with him and say, No, you have to go see your mom, we will do all the work. And if you want to come back, open the door for that, you know, if you need to stay, you stay, if you want to come back, your your step decorate, right. So thank God for those moments, because everybody was going so fast, it was a really rough shoot in that dry lake bed. And to be able to, to do that, for Felipe. And throughout I mean, Felipe is just one example. So life continues, you know, and you were laughing about how people are like, oh, you know, movie, the film business. So exciting, you know, and kids are like, I don't want to work. Why do you want to be in the service, I don't want to be in a job eight to five. And I'm like, so you want to be in one from 7am to 7pm, or from like noon to like midnight or more? You know, like,

Alex Ferrari 16:21
I was about to say those were very slow days,

Elizabeth Avellán 16:24
In the cold in the past in the whatever, you know, in the whatever. With the movie, you know, that's where you really, and that's, you know, there are some that that is their passion.

Alex Ferrari 16:37
It's I call it I once you get no, yeah, no, absolutely. And I've I mean, I've obviously I've talked to him a million filmmakers throughout my career, and worked with tons throughout my career as well. And I've just realized that there's an insanity. There is an insanity to being a filmmaker, I literally was having a conversation with with a guest yesterday filmmaker, who lost everything lost their home with six kids moved in with their parents, because the movie failed, because they didn't know what they were doing. And their ego was out of control. Because when you're young filmmaker, your egos out of control. And his only thought was not that I can't eat not that have no roof. Not that I've had to move back in with my parents for eight months while they come back out of this. Oh my god, I might not remember the movie again. And that was the only thought in his head. And I'm like, do you understand? And I stopped him. And I said, everyone, I want you to listen, we're insane. We're insane creatures. As artists, we're probably one of the more insane artists, because it's the most expensive. It's one of the most expensive art forms on the planet. And you can't do it by yourself. You need a lot of people.

Elizabeth Avellán 17:47
You need I mean, you need a good crew. I mean, you need crews to sign it with about 40 something. And let me tell you, that means the producer is Lord have mercy. Everything No, absolutely not being fluid. Yeah, but it's true. It is insane. And you know, it's always interesting to me when you have new people that are PhDs or you see which ones haven't mean they're, they're innate, you know, they have the innate passion, that they're so good that you're like, This guy's never really been on a real movie set. That's amazing. Because, I mean, we had one pa in our group, this last movie that was this kid, you know, that came to we're in a tiny town in Oklahoma. And he came because his parents were moving. So he came to help them. He did you know, he's doing a little theater, but he's doing visual effects mainly. And this kid the woman? I'm talking about town the most Oklahomans don't know. And this kid named Johnny Juanito. One that that I call him, Johnny, because, you know, he spoke English and Spanish. Sure. And he was our intern. His mom was, you know, because they're in that town. She was a dishwasher in the, and she told me, Nancy, what's her name? She told me about him. And then I met him and I was like, great. Oh, you can be standing as an intern, whatever, right? Oh, my God, that kid was like, a rock star. Everybody wanted to take him to the next thing with them. I mean, incredible. And it's an intern, you know? And then you have others and you're like, Okay, do you not understand that? People walk through, like hot coals to do have the job you have? Do you understand that? How many people would like do anything to replace you? And here you are, like, 111? You know, it's it's hard because at the moment, I'm like, and what I always try to get across is like, this is a very short intense time. The shooting part of it is very short and intense time and you if you're not loving it, don't be in it.

Alex Ferrari 19:54
Oh, no, no, no, it's just and I've told people that so many times if you don't absolutely love what you're doing in this business, You need to leave because it will eat you alive. It you it will eat you alive. And I've seen a few bitter Oh. So this is

Elizabeth Avellán 20:08
It because you're like, Yeah, you know, the best situations, you know,you're, you know,

Alex Ferrari 20:16
If you're angry and the one thing I always tell people when I speak when I speak sometimes to film students and stuff, I'll go How many of you guys here know one angry and bitter filmmaker, and then handful of people who raised their hands on like, Whoever didn't raise your hand, you're the angry and bitter filmmaker that everybody else knows. And because it's true, because we all know an angry, bitter filmmaker, an angry, bitter screenwriter. And if you don't know them, it's you. It's you know, a lot. So I wanted to go back a little bit to mariachi because mariachi is it? Well, first of all, for me, it was again, an integral part of my growing up. I mean, I was working at a video store in 91. When that was released. I was in high school still,

Elizabeth Avellán 20:59
Quintin's.

Alex Ferrari 21:00
Yeah, very Quintin. Very Quintin, very Quintines yes. Yes. That was my film school as well.

Elizabeth Avellán 21:07
I love it.

Alex Ferrari 21:07
Yes, I was working at a video store. I still have my El Mariachi video. So poster by the way. I've never I've got two copies of I stole two from the video store. I've never gotten rid of them. And my wife's like, what are you gonna do with those? I'm like, don't worry. One day, I'll put them up. And I have the but I always have them always, always ask them. And I remember when it came out, and it blew my mind because it was the first time to be honest, there was the first time I ever saw a Latino filmmaker. It was at a at any at any level in Hollywood, really. And there obviously had been Latino filmmakers before. But no one that really took the stage like Robert, and what you and Robert did. And obviously and I talk about Robert, I talk about El Mariachi constantly throughout the years of the show purely because I go look man, you guys are people still talk about mariachis, it's an urban myth at this point. It's an urban myth. They still talk about mariachi like, oh, you remember like mariachi, if he could do it for 7000. I could do my it was 1991. It was a very special time. It was the birth of the independent film movement, the Sundance independent film movement, you know, with Rick and, and Edward Burns and Kevin Smith and Quinton and Stuart, a Bergen, that that those that decade? Very specific time is a very specific time. And I always tell I had I had Edward Edward Burns on the show. And I asked him Oh, wow, yeah, I had Eddie on the show. And I asked, Ed, if if Brothers McMullen came out today, would you what do you think it would do anything? He goes? Probably not. And I'd argue that if mariachi showed up today, it'd be difficult to cut through the noise. Because originally from what I heard, and that's nothing against the movie, because there's a lot of no I agree with it's, it was just that time and then of course, all the blocks that hit you know, Robert Newman and, and that whole thing, but it was it because you can come on, of course, the story of mariachi, he was just going to do something for the Mexican video market. It was never actually supposed to ever be released in English. It was just as like his practice, film, all this kind of stuff. I have to ask you, what was it like being in the center of that hurricane? Because that was like, that must have been a world when? Because I mean, I read the book, obviously have it back there. It's it's it's a Bible for any filmmaker to listen to, to watch. And but what was it like being in the center of that? Because Oh, my God.

Elizabeth Avellán 23:34
No, it truly, I'll tell you, and let me begin with the fact that the seed for it. You know, one of the things that Robert was always confounded by was that people he would hear people say, Oh, well, if you go to film school, your short film and film school will cost $100,000 150 to $200,000. And, you know, it comes from a family of 10. We had, I mean, I barely we bet you know, we were it's not like my job paid a lot of money. But we we were able to stay out of debt, you know, which is a big one. That's a big one. Tell people out of college debt. And I talked to young kids about this, you know, it was a Tovar. But to say we can't be in debt, because you won't be able to be free, you know, to go do and take what you need to take. So my most important thing for Robert was that he continued to go to school and to get a camera. So when he did Bedhead, his first semester of film, was to get a hold of film cam, as he thought without a film camera. You know, I can't go to festivals, it's kind of thing, you know, without it being on film, really true to the bigger festivals, and so when he was able and everybody else was spending 1000s of dollars, you know, 2000 and he's, we don't have that kind of money. So because of his abilities, you know, and his siblings, he wrote Something that he already was just like my it, why do I have my kid my little siblings? I can do something interesting with them. And, and he had the film camera, which was an MLS film camera. You know, it was just a 16 tank tiny one of those crank up once

Alex Ferrari 25:18
Oh, well it was oh, so it wasn't even it wasn't even crystals. It was just a crank. So your production was probably was a ball either Bolex or an airy one of those. It was a fireball is one of those old ones. Yeah.

Elizabeth Avellán 25:31
So he ended up spending, including transferring the film editing the film and everything. 800 bucks, which he had gone to paramiko to get lab tested. So he had a little money to do that way. And you know, you know, in the meantime, I was helping with whatever pay per semester or whatever needed to happen. And he was doing a comic strip that he got eight bucks a day whenever he did that comic strip. So he made a little, a couple 100 bucks a month. And so that started sort of like his ability to go, okay. $800.08 minutes, $1,000.80 minutes, that was the see. Wow, from there is when he thought I can make a feature for like, I don't know, 8000 10,000. So he talked to Carlos Guyardo. And this is he and I got married in January 1990 got married. And so this is a now a year later, when he's already that the film started going to festivals and started winning things. So he was like, okay, okay, this is possible, you know? Oh, and he also did the animation. And interestingly, that his professor at the time was like, Robert, you already have an A. And Robert looked at him. And he was like, Dude, this is not about getting an A, you know, this is? So anyway, and I, you know, I help them with I helped with whatever I filled in the little cockroach wings on the animation like, oh, so great. Yeah, one of those, you know, very, it was a very sweet time, you know, for us. And then, you know, so he had some friends that borrowed a 60 NES. He had been writing, and they've been talking about it. So some guys he'd met at the access channel, you know, in Austin. And so those guys said, yeah, we can let you borrow it. So you can go shoot my edge, but he'd been writing it. He'd been doing, you know, taking sophomore year semester, but he was kind of like, and let somebody else write that movie, and I'll be a part of it and blah, blah, blah. So then a, he was writing in, in the computers at the office, so he would stay there longer. And we work together that worked in that office still and, you know, with everybody was so kind because he loved these people to just like me. So it was a wonderful group of folks that loved him and loved us, you know, and what he was doing, you know, they saw the passion, they saw that and how much he gave to the office. Anytime there's a birthday, he do a beautiful put, he's an amazing artist. So do a beautiful little poster in full Prisma color. You know, like really funny stuff, caricature but funny. Most people in the office were part of his comic strip, they started getting in there as characters, including the executive, Dr. Funk. So, you know, so for him, if it hadn't been that we worked in that place, it would have been harder, because no computer, you know, no free time in between classes to sit there and answer phones while we were doing other things. So he could continue to write a script. And then it was ready, he was ready to go, you know, and then he went to farmaco for a month. And that's where he finished reading, writing the script. So it all kind of converged together, the right combination of having the right people around you that are supportive. And so and then Carlos, and he already had done so many short films. And Carlos was dialed in that shoot that shot there before many short films. So everybody knew them as his kids, I'd love to do this stuff. So Carlos had a lot. So they wrote everything around. Robert wrote everything around what he knew he had, that is really what he did. So went down there. And then he gets a phone call about 10 days in and the guys need the camera back. So they're under the gun. There's like we got and he didn't answer the phone, you know, it was a no cell phones back then. So you could pretend it in here that like they're calling me and they're asking for the camera and he goes okay until the weekend. So the 14 days of shooting. Thank God he was able to kind of stretch it so that he could do that and then drove back with all the film, transferred it to three quarter inch, and you know, and then edited out the Austin axis. So all of that together is what leads to if I tell people if Robert got $1 paid for every hour, he's mariachi, forget me forget Carlos forget anybody. It would have cost

Alex Ferrari 29:58
Millions

Elizabeth Avellán 29:58
100,000

Alex Ferrari 30:00
Yeah

Elizabeth Avellán 30:01
Easily I mean easily the budget would not be what it is. Plus he also did not make a film print. So that's why it's not 30 some $1,000 people he didn't make it for me stills, you know, urban mess. Oh no, he didn't make a film print. Hello me pictures made a film print for him. You know what the sound is? The sound guys in this plasma. So I heard the Columbia spent $200,000 in sound, because it sound Oh my gosh, is it? True? Not true.

Alex Ferrari 30:27
So what's what's the Okay, so this is the this is the urban myth that I've heard about this, like, okay, everyone's like, because I have I've had to defend Roberts honor many times at at film festivals, film festivals and things like that. They're like, that's all BS. That's all pressed at Columbia. He never made a movie for 7000. And I'm like, Look, he made the movie for 7000 He transferred the movie onto three quarter inch tape because I remember because I used to

Elizabeth Avellán 30:54
That only the film and then development of the film will release what cost 7000. and transferring right to 7000. restaurant was his own time.

Alex Ferrari 31:04
Right, exactly. So then he from what I understand he transferred it to three quarter ranch. He cut it, he cut it at the access at the access. You know, tape the tape? No, I did. That was my first job. I was cutting reels for a commercial house in Miami. And I know the Sony I know the Sony very well. So I edited on the exact same machine he edited on on three quarter inch, three quarters because you couldn't afford beta that was really expensive. So you couldn't do beta, you had to beta stuff dispelling the you know it's not true because it is true. So it's all so all of that. And I mean, and of course in the book, like he stayed overnight, and he couldn't leave because the alarms he had to he had to pee and in a jug of water, like all these stories, so you hear all this, but then they go so and then. And so they always talk about well, how about the audio and I go from my understanding, and this is this is what I understand. And I've done. I've read all the books and I've done that I've done all the research. I've I've studied Robert in depth, especially during that period of time. It was of course, he's wonderful. Yeah. To to so to my understanding. When Columbia got it. They obviously remastered the they went back to the print or to the not the print, do the negative remastered it all that stuff. But the sound is what cost them a good amount of money to redo cuz you have to be done everything.

Elizabeth Avellán 32:22
I'll tell you why. So he had him. It was as 16 escenarios 16 S No sound, right. So he had a Moran's tape recorder and a $50 mic and a box of TDK tapes. Same as that. Hey, the other kind that

Alex Ferrari 32:40
No, no, no, no old school with a pencil the pencil Pencil. Pencil. You're good.

Elizabeth Avellán 32:45
Those very much. Yes. And he since these guys were not actors, they kind of set things up the same rhythm so he could match the mouth, you know pretty well. So he would go through the paces all the Foley like they put the glass down. Like they think about the scene in the in the, in the bar, those three guys, you know, the beer, the thing, all the sounds is sound so he would go up and redo the whole scene for sound after after we shot so it's that so after you're done, and by the way, and he would grab when the beer was being poured. So he grabbed that kind of stuff, that glass hitting that same table. So he was kind of doing Foley slash down and they would go through say all the words again, you know, because he didn't have a sound guy with them.You know? None of that.

Alex Ferrari 33:33
And it wasn't it wasn't as cheap as it is today because now you now all this equipment is super super cheap, though Yeah, it's super affordable.

Elizabeth Avellán 33:40
So so that's why I was flipping through my sound guys this past movie. Let's it so what happened is so Jimmy Andre from Columbia Pictures that post production guy comes all the way to Texas to pick up the elements quote unquote Yeah, so he goes away with like, he brings us big bag. I mean the the film didn't even the TDK tape, just like you know the little box here it is. And Jimmy is sitting there in our apartment going Hello CUDA, by the way really good sound because he took the time to get so much stuff clean. Now, mind you, you're never going to be able to project this movie with that sound necessarily, necessarily. Unless you transfer it. And they didn't. They only sweeten things you can talk to Sergio antennae. They can tell you there were mixers at Columbia. And yes, they spent money in order to put something on the big screen like they were planning on it. You know? You can't show something that's in cassette tapes, of course not sleep, right. So, but they used all that sound. There was no ADR man There was none of that.

Alex Ferrari 35:01
When so there was no way so there's no so there's no ADR for sound but how about but for how about dialogue?

Elizabeth Avellán 35:07
No idea for sound. There was some Foley I saw that Foley happen. But Robert had gotten so many of the sounds in place they used whatever they could use it just wow. Oh, by the way, I mean, we're talking Columbia Pictures. Sergio antennae their biggest. Oh, no, no, no, no, they're just Latino. You know, antennae is a cool guy. They're like, we'll do this is we fun? You know,

Alex Ferrari 35:28
Nobody would nobody wanted to do this

Elizabeth Avellán 35:31
Sergio just passed away. He has been our mixer. All of these years. Oh, pretty much every single movie. He even moved to Austin. So he has mixed everything Sergio has So okay, so so he can tell he's passed away with all the you know, the truth which is this is the truth. I know it because we've talked about it so much.

Alex Ferrari 35:51
So So still think it's bullshit, you know? So, so then so then basically it was all sweetening there was there ADR that that all the talent have to come back in? And so all the all the dialogue

Elizabeth Avellán 36:01
All from the TDK cassette tapes,

Alex Ferrari 36:03
No hold up no hold up

Elizabeth Avellán 36:05
All of it

Alex Ferrari 36:05
So the dialogue the dialogue as well

Elizabeth Avellán 36:08
The dialogue all there was never ADR man. Never. Never no

Alex Ferrari 36:15
So they just so they just basically put it in their system sweetened it up, made it professional surround sound and did did as best as they could.

Elizabeth Avellán 36:21
Everything they needed to do. Yeah, exactly. And then then Robert himself and cut the film and a film print from his cut three quarter inch, they sat there with a camera looking at it.

Alex Ferrari 36:34
So they read Okay, there was no EDL there was there was no

Elizabeth Avellán 36:38
Self literally did this. And

Alex Ferrari 36:41
He did a frame he did like an old

Elizabeth Avellán 36:45
We created. That's what I'm talking about for every dollar. Mike. Yeah, if the amount of time Robert gave to this is pretty incredible. So then, so anyway, when I saw the film, because I'm I'm a critic, you know. Normally I said Why put as a film person, you know, I love I love film, you know? And I said to him, when I saw Moriarty in the three quarter inch version before he went to LA with it. I said, You know what? I give it three out of five. For the movie, I saw this movie is that three out of five? I saw it knowing rough, rough audience, but knowing the story of how you made this and how much it cost. This is a five out of five, you go out there and tell that story. You know, I mean, we agreed that that was really the thing. By the way, what he wanted to do also was, you know, he was a kid that never thought he could do it, because he heard there was so much cloak, you know, like these huge cloak curtains that you just did not touch as a Latino as a kid from a family of 10 or a family of seven. Sure. I know. You you financially know, you know, and to go to a family. We are in awe of like Rick Linkletter and your cantina who dared? You know, who dared? You know, but Robert decided to go open the curtain. And the wizard behind that is who exactly let's let's look at the wizard please. Okay. No, okay. There's no wizard is just keeping people up. So that's what he felt he had to do, which is why he convinced Columbia Pictures. It was laser discs. But back then.

Alex Ferrari 38:31
Oh, I know. I I had a laser disc

Elizabeth Avellán 38:34
That for the first time a movie like Omar Yeah, because it was all criterion. You didn't get to have

Alex Ferrari 38:39
Audio commentaries. You know, your your right, your right nobody

Elizabeth Avellán 38:46
It was criteria. And it was like

Alex Ferrari 38:48
$125. And it was $125. Yeah.

Elizabeth Avellán 38:52
Absolutely. Or Exactly. Or Robert convincing, this amazing guy named Clint Culpeper, who was so full of joy and, and enthusiasm for what was going on, you know, and he's still a dear friend. And Clint, and Robert. He was like, we're doing this and he convinced Clint Culpeper. And Robert convinced Columbia Pictures to do a laserdisc with the commentary. So to dispel the myths, but you know, people still think that is not true. And it is, it's, it's so beautiful, because it is all really true. So I'm so sad. You know, people were really angry some of them at Sundance that he had been. He had been a what do they call it media trained? No. By the way, Robert is one of the most shy humans in a lot of ways is very quiet. Very shy. You give him a microphone is the opposite of the of the states right? Yeah, the frog from Warner Brothers you know, hello, my baby. That's Robert backwards. You give that man a microphone, because he got so much sited about taking all that cloak and dagger stuff of filmmaking you know? And that's been his life you know?

Alex Ferrari 40:08
Oh he's been he is a troublemaker troublemaker Studios was and that was the thing that I and that's one of the things that I mean obviously found an immense inspiration for mariachi and Desperado and Robert and years career moving forward. But I've never seen the amount of hate bitterness of people that like when all he got him because of this or that and I got it because when you see when you see someone who has Oh, he got lucky Mita lucky and lucky no okay, look at the look look Lucky is lucky buddy man. Listen, Lucky will get you in the door, but it doesn't keep you there. And, and, you know and and yet there are certain certain things that the universe put in place, you know, that got mariachi? There's no question. The timing was right. I always tell people Robert was there with the right product at the right time. And and it just so happened that it went got to Robert Newman, Robert Newman said hey, let's do this. And and then it kind of took off from there. By the way,

Elizabeth Avellán 41:14
Robert Newman had no clients, right? He wasn't this big one was in ICM, right? I don't want a new one had that other people didn't have Robert Newman, Robert was given that name by a guy named dunk dominant. Robert Newman was coming down for a party for the film commission here in Texas. And Robert Newman, was the foreign sales guy at ICM he had no, he didn't represent anyone. He represented films that needed to have foreign sales. Sure that they had filmmakers that they were represent.

Alex Ferrari 41:46
Oh, by the way, just real quick, everybody. Robert Newman is Robert

Elizabeth Avellán 41:50
Robert's agent. Yeah. Yeah, he's that William Morris Endeavor, Robert Newman. And he has been from the beginning. But Robert was his first client, just so that you people know that, you know, but Robert Newman had been trained, he was the fourth person at a place called Miramax. And he worked for the Weinstein Brothers. Basically, when before they were an actual studio, or any kind of any kind, they were just, they would buy foreign films. So they went to festivals, and they physically take them to the Angelika theater to the laemmli in LA, all that stuff. They, you know, they, they, and they worked on campaigns for those little films to get them foreign, you know, Oscars if possible, you know, that kind of thing. But lots of Robert Newman was very used to foreign films, he was trained by the, you know, I hate to say not everyone's gonna is a genius of sorts in that realm, you know, and, and so that's who he, he was the fourth person, it was Bob Harvey, a British guy, I can't remember his name, and then Robert Newman. So he came from a training that he was really, really ready to see mariachi, with a different pair of eyes, timing agents would imagine, there could even if we just did the serendipity that the blessed sort of path, and by the way, and then it takes an assistant to an agent that is willing to open that door. So when Robert made that phone call, that assistant truly opened that door, so it is you know, I mean, I'm always very that person, you know, I try to be that person. So and I knew I knew who Robert was, and and I knew the purity of what he was trying to do too. Because it was it was pretty rough for people you know, you could not get it even if you were passionate and love the business you couldn't be in the business you know, you would never dream of assuming you're gonna be in the business

Alex Ferrari 43:53
Let alone Latino, let alone a Latina, let alone a Latino. Latino,

Elizabeth Avellán 43:57
Yeah, exactly. So so it was. It's a very opening of a world. So many people, you know, that. But it was also funny because Vietnam toto had done a lot of films Cronos you know, and we all were in festivals together with a mariachi, you know, and we went around the world with them. And lucked out to be as Quinton was finishing Reservoir Dogs. Last place that showed was Toronto and we were there. That was the second festival we were in. And when I met Robert not a person with a lot of friends. You know, he's shy. So he just works on his thing very obsessive and he has 10 siblings, you know, I mean, I understand it on my you know, you become friends with your loved ones in your house, you know? So, you know, you don't have time to go party. You don't have money like that. So, so a when I met Quinton, I was like, like I felt this immediately. I found a friend. I swear to you in the lobby of the Toronto hotel, we were staying. And I looked at him, because somebody introduced him to me. I may have been Robert Newman. And I said, it was oh my gosh, oh, wow. You know, and I was like, I want you to meet Robert, I want you to meet my husband. And he was like, Let's go immediately, like, let's go. And I was like, okay, so I took him up to our room, and I opened the door. I said, Robert, I have somebody for you to meet. It was like, magic. It was magic to find this.

Alex Ferrari 45:39
Brothers, brothers brothers.

Elizabeth Avellán 45:41
They've been that since you know, yeah, it found each other and they could understand each other. So well, you know, the same thing with em. There's just been certain people that Robert has done this with, you know, like, very, you know, I clicked into it. Yeah. And it's beautiful. Bizarre, you know, it's, it's not easy. This business bunch of fancy ones. You know? We're live in LA, we've never wanted to live in LA, you know? So it's been a beautiful, I mean, Jim Cameron. And Robert always hit it off, like, boom, you know, like, very close knit. So people are like, how did I leave that happened? It's like, they've been friends for a long time. Robert had been friends for a while, just like the emulator and Jim Cameron, you know? Yeah, he's his own person, you know, very close, tight knit people. They don't really hang out with a bunch of, you know, Hollywood types. Right now. So, so yeah, so it's beautiful. You know,

Alex Ferrari 46:33
It's kind of, it's kind of like, you know, we can smell our own. When you meet someone like that. It's like, oh, okay, I find it looks growing up you, it's hard to find other filmmakers that you can can or other people that you can connect with at that level. And that's why a lot of times when I'm when I say my passion, the, the that level of passion, the level of skill, and like all of that kind of because there's a lot of people who might be passionate, but that can actually pull off what you're doing. That's a very small group.

Elizabeth Avellán 47:04
That passion, though, leads to everything. I'm doing it because for example, in film school, it was hard for Robert because the other people that he was working with to make bedhead. You know, okay, get a party, I gotta go to you know, I gotta hurry up. We're gonna happen then to get tivity is a very interesting thing. It was hard for him, you know, and he just kind of went, you know what, it's okay. And he did all those films by himself. He didn't really need people to, to do that. You know? So so, you know, it was like that,

Alex Ferrari 47:35
I'm glad. I'm glad that we were able to put in the public record the story of mariachi, because it's been such an urban myth about so many things about mariachi through the and and yeah, and it's, it's beautiful.

Elizabeth Avellán 47:48
And the way that with my heart full, I can tell you and the writing of the book, I mean, that's his diary. Right? Look, his diary. He entrusted it to me to edit it a little bit. I was the pre editor before the editor got it. You know, just I just, you know, made sure that it made sense, you know, because it's just his stream of consciousness. And I admire that I don't write a diary. I don't. I'm not I'm not that person. You know,

Alex Ferrari 48:14
I've I've tried, I can't journal. I'm not. I've tried. I've sat down. I'm like, do we

Elizabeth Avellán 48:21
Yeah, it can do a greatfull list. That's about it.

Alex Ferrari 48:26
No, I'm a and that book. And that book, Rebel Without a crew is still to this day. It's a seminal book in independent film. I've, I remember. I was I remember when it came out. I was in I was in film school in Orlando. I picked up the book and I read it in one sitting. I just sat there just in awe. Because you again and for people listening you have to understand and 9192 I was in film school. I was 9494 95. I picked up a first edition. I still have my first edition of Rebel Without a crew. And wow. Oh, yeah. Yeah, no, no, no. So I said you said you. And I remember reading it. And for me, you people have to understand in the 90s there wasn't this. It wasn't cool to be the filmmaker just yet. The Rock and Roll filmmaker, the Rock and Roll director, which I think Quinton and Robert kind of created that kind of persona, because Spielberg had been around and Scorsese and Coppola, but there wasn't a rock and roll kind of like, present this kind of person. And so but there was no information there was no YouTube there was barely any making offs. There was like you had LaserDisc with commentaries. If you were lucky. There was nothing tense in that book for me when I was reading it. It was like a portal into Hollywood, which seemed like a world away. And I was being taken on a journey with a with a filmmaker, a Latino filmmaker, like so you have to understand the power of that for Latino reading. It was so influential and so powerful for me and I such reverence for that book that I always tell people, I wrote a book called shooting for the mob, about how I almost made him was made a movie for $20 million movie for the mafia. And I always tell people, oh, yeah, and then I was and then in many ways, so. So that what happened was, I made this book. And then, in many ways, because of the mariachi story, a lot of the stuff that happens to me in that book, I got flown out to LA, I met the biggest movie stars, I bet I met big power players. And I'm like, Oh, my God, this is my mariachi, but I got this psychotic gangster behind me threatening my life on a daily basis. So I always tell people, if you want to read two books in the film business, you read Rebel Without a crew. And that's the way that's the positive side of how a career could go and that you read my book is the opposite side of the coin, where I went into complete depression and almost got myself. So it's like the complete opposite.

Elizabeth Avellán 50:59
Yeah. I would say that.

Alex Ferrari 51:03
Like that book says, like, you could go off and have Roberts career, or you can go off and like, oh, you almost got killed. Almost this almost did that. It was it was a remarkable story. But anyway, but yeah, but

Elizabeth Avellán 51:16
He loved that. It was love that it must have been hard.

Alex Ferrari 51:20
No, hold on. No. I mean, it was it was

Elizabeth Avellán 51:22
No, but you know what I mean, I think that the negativity that came from it was harsh. I will be really honest, there was a lot of you either hate or hate, oh, God, a lot of hurtful things said. And Robert was really clear, he would even say it at the same Sundance where the other guys were, they're the ones that had a $38,000 movie. Howard said they did the same thing I did. It just made a film print. I didn't realize that's what a $30,000 is, you know, so that's the difference. I you know, I ended up going and shopping it around and somebody else made a film point for me. Because he was trying to encourage people that, yeah, you could do don't necessarily have to make the thumbprint. You know, so think about that, you know, he was already helping people think of it a little different, because it was like, I'm no different than a $30,000 movie. He was very clear in the panels. That probably wasn't even filmed at that time, you know, and saved. Because it, it really, but I just love that people like Kevin Smith saw that. And it. I mean, he was like, Okay, I gotta I gotta store that I work at a convenience store. I got some friends that are hilarious. You know, there it is. clerks. You know, I love that. I love that. And it keeps, you know, repeating itself. And, and by the way, I don't know if you know this, Robert, with some of our kids made a film called Read 11.

Alex Ferrari 52:47
Yeah, I'm dying to see it. When is it coming out?

Elizabeth Avellán 52:50
I don't know. I have to find out. But it is. It is a visual of how to do a $7,000 movie today with what you have. And exactly the mariachi styled but somebody, he had an actual crew film with him doing it.

Alex Ferrari 53:08
Oh, God, please, please release this

Elizabeth Avellán 53:10
So Luca fesi. resists. Latino also is the guy that filmed him doing it, but they were doing it, you know, exactly. The actors themselves. Were the ones. You know, my son rebel, is in it. And he also is the composer of the movie, I pay no money. But now he's composed to other movies. He hadn't paid for it. You know, he made the sacrifice for Cena, because he's a really good composed. You did we can be heroes for Robert. And you know, he's just a 22 year old kid. But man, he really is good. So you. And by the way, and he was buoyed by people like Don Dabney who, you know, wanted help to help them succeed, because we have had other people like that. Their kids have wanted to be filmmakers, and we've had them come and be interns with us or working on movies. You know. I mean, James Spader son, Sebastian worked with us for a whole year and a half, as you know, behind the scenes, because he loved and he had been working since he was amazing. You know, what I mean? We try to help mothers, you know, to for their kids to come in. It's and, and that they want something they want to learn from someone else.

Alex Ferrari 54:20
What I what I found amazing about what about what we've talked about so far, and just from what I've studied over the years about what you and Robert have done, is that you really did pull that curtain back for a generation of filmmakers, because they're, I mean, everyone on everyone listen, you have to understand before before mariachi before what Robert and, and honestly a lot of that generation, you know, Eddie and and Rick and all those guys. It was closed. There was the door was closed. There was no opportunity to do anything. And Robert was

Elizabeth Avellán 54:56
That glimmer of light it was one of those like thick blackout curtain. Yeah, you couldn't see. Yeah, it wasn't curtain but you thought it was a wall. You know it really wasn't curtain, but not one ounce of light came through it to help you nothing might nothing.

Alex Ferrari 55:12
Yeah, it was all you would see is I always say like there's there's gods and there's Demi gods of film industry and you would look at Spielberg and you would look at Coppola and Scorsese and and then Hitchcock and Lucas and Lucas and all these all these guys and and they would they just seem so far away the stories you heard that they were almost like you know, Stephen had his his mythical urban myth of him jumping off the trade off the off the tram and all that stuff. One day when I get him on the show, that's the first question I'm asking him. I'm like that Steven, please. Is this true? I just need to know. But, but it was so far away and when the story of mariachi showed up, and that's what I love about about one of the many things I love about mariachi is it was the first time the making of the film was in the marketing. Prior to that, no one ever led with I made a $7,000 movie. By the way, everyone listening don't do that anymore. You don't that's it's gone, because everybody can do that. Now. Stop Don't lead that you like I shot my movie with an iPhone don't care. Is it a good story, but back then, it was extremely impressive for him for Kevin, for even Rick and all those guys. It was extremely impressive.

Elizabeth Avellán 56:32
Nicholas Lopez, Lopez from LA you know, he He came with his little first film and and I love that he said he came all the way from Chile wrote me letters letter, you know, inspired. There's a character in Brasilia Rocco called Roberto Rodriguez. They lead characters named Robert Rodriguez, and he loves to draw and all this stuff. And, and he looked around at all Maker Studios and said, and I love this. He said, I'm going back to chillin to do this. And he has, you know, and that's beautiful. You know, when somebody gets inspired like that. I just heard while I was doing this movie about a, another filmmaker. That literally said, you told me to go home and create this at home. Sterling Sterling Harjo the Native American filmmaker, he, you know, he was like, I'm gonna move to Austin. I was like, and he told somebody that said to me, that I was the inspiration because I said, No Sterling go do and for your farm. That's what it's about in with your people with everything. And now he's working with Taika Waititi in reservation dogs. That's amazing. You know, and I love hearing stories of you said a little something that planted a seed and now it's giving, you know, it's growing and really going out there. And so sterling is doing it in Oklahoma man, and now they have 35% tax rebates. That's amazing. Amazing. That's amazing. Amazing. You know, so in Oklahoma,

Alex Ferrari 58:14
In Oklahoma, no less.

Elizabeth Avellán 58:17
So very cool. You know,

Alex Ferrari 58:19
So as so as a producer. Alright, so you go through the mariachi and and the whole world when and they go okay, Robert, we want you to make another movie and it's Desperado. And they give him more money. Then I kind of well no, no, no, actually it was road racers are road racers first

Elizabeth Avellán 58:37
I know about the road racers, but it was like, once they won the Audience Award, they were so confused as to what they wanted. They didn't know if they wanted a sequel. Or if they wanted to remake it reshoot redoing of it. They it was so confusing, because it won the Audience Award. That's what you're getting at Sundance. Yes. Before it was cool, just remake, you know,

Alex Ferrari 58:59
But then be like, wait a minute, people actually, like, reward people like this people like this movie. So it was Oh my god. So I good man, right. Originally, it was a blessing of a mess. Because originally it was not supposed to be released widely. It was like, okay, so obviously, we'll do this. We'll do that. But then Cool. Interesting. Cool. All right. He's got talent. Let's see what we can do. But now like, wait a minute one. Oh, my God, we're gonna have to put this out there. Like what do we want?

Elizabeth Avellán 59:26
By the way I mean, people are like, Oh, he just was media train and he was able media trinken media training tell you but let me tell you that that's not true. Because I'm gonna tell you right now, I'll tell you, right. It's not a competitive Film Festival. That was our first film festival. And, you know, we had the blessing of somebody like Chuck Jones, you know, from bunts money fame. Yeah. You know, John Wiley Coyote, who has a house intelli, right, and he had come to UT When lava was a cartoonist, and we love chuck a monkey. So he signed the book for us and everything. Robert always said the mariachi was kind of like a cartoon movie, you could turn off the volume and you knew exactly what was going on. And that his hero was Chuck Jones. And this man showed up. At a screening, we ended up with five screenings in, in Telluride, which is pretty unheard of. Yeah, like, huge films get by Sure. Sure, sure. Um, you know, movies that have done extremely well, but everybody wants to see it, because Robert got out there, and could explain what he did. And so it's really interesting. It's not, you know, Oh, he got a media train between, you know, but for Sundance, no, he went to Toronto, he did the same thing. He already been doing it, but he already knew what was important. Robert always knows how to, when you give them a microphone, he knows when you interview him. He knows how to get it's just natural with it really is.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:58
Yeah, and the thing, any interview. And I want I want everybody listening to understand that there was so many people and I was there. I wasn't there with you guys. But I saw it from a distance. How many people tried to tear him down? How many people try to break them down? Whether for whatever reason, there was so much jealousy? Oh, my God, I can imagine the amount of jealousy, even jealousy from like,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:01:22
If a lot of it from him, because me being people didn't know my face. Right? Here. These, you know, for example, somebody said, How dare they give him you know, go from the 7000 to $30 million talking another filmmaker that had been at Sundance $30 million for Desperado after tonight 30 million I went, No, it's not. I mean, it sounds like a lot. 7 million, but we had full actors full every day.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:46
And oh, no, no, no, it wasn't a lot. It wasn't no,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:01:49
It wasn't a lot. So and by the way, he'd done a $1 million movie called road racers. In the meantime, he did as Roger Ebert always said, the best room out of four rooms, they all have the same amount of budget. They all had Iraq, right. Yeah. And by the way, and that poor rooms is the seat of small kids. Yeah. When he says people, you know, it was like one of these people. Hmm. And then he thought, keep your mouth shut. Don't even say that word. Say it to no one, keep that seed, start writing it, start doing it. So when Bob needed somebody to do the faculty, which was a Kevin Williamson script, he had overpaid a lot of money for Robert it was like, okay, but you can't tell anyone this name until we got a deal where we could do spike ins and we could do other things. So, but we know it's like, okay, you do this for me. I'll give you five picture deals, you know, because already, you know, we had done though still done, you know? Okay, so now you want us to the faculty, okay, we'll do that. You know, you paid a lot of money for that. And nobody really wants to direct this thing. And we had fun with it. We had a blast. Yeah. And it but it helped us. That's when we began to work in Austin with our crew. You know,

Alex Ferrari 1:02:54
In the family. We're building. Yeah, the family

Elizabeth Avellán 1:02:56
It's literally with the people that we've created as a film family here. So all of that the faculty was a really important thing for us to do to come home. We always kept our apartment here in Austin. It was just that, you know, just they didn't let us edit Desperado. Here. So in Austin, I'm in Austin. And it but so he had to go to LA to edit it in the meantime, does still don't happen. So while we're there, we would come home and we had our stuff here. So and but yeah, so that's how that happened. That's a progression of things.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:30
So we

Elizabeth Avellán 1:03:31
Were like, how did he get all that? And how did he you know

Alex Ferrari 1:03:35
Again Oh, my God, it was so much hate so much. Eight. I just remember so many filmmakers

Elizabeth Avellán 1:03:40
In hate it's sad. It was suddenly we quietly and by the way, we also had it from the Latinos, man.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:46
Oh, no, I know. Everybody

Elizabeth Avellán 1:03:48
Knows it was pretty. It was pretty astounding. You know, when your own people, you know, crabs in a bucket, man.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:53
No, it's crabs. It's crap. It was because

Elizabeth Avellán 1:03:56
By the way our leaving, leaving, being at home is part of the reason that we just got really out of the way of everybody and just made our thing happen here, including the studios little by little, you know, they were close. I love it to get for a short time to film spike, it's one you know, and then lobby for keep it for longer than lobby to get the big deal that we got to be able to keep it and put money into it. So we've invested a lot in ourselves and just quietly got people to shut up. So and then whenever anybody of those people that were so negative wanted to glom on to anything, we just kind of went, we're okay here. Maybe I don't want to bring that.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:41
I don't think you guys would have been able to do what you did in LA. There's just no way. There's just no way. There's no no way.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:04:48
They amount. Yeah, because when you when you're in a place where people are. We just kept doing that thing. We just kept doing our thing and Bob was not in LA Bob Weinstein and who we worked for Bob, you know, that's what we have. They're up doing the rest of the movies for a long time for. And it was wonderful because I love Bob, I love what Bob Weinstein is, you know, hobbies, you know, whatever, you know, but Bob Weinstein was always a fair. And very, I just call Bob, I never had to call anybody else. It was just right. And so I got to the, you know, the buck stops here, kind of So, and, yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:05:23
So as a producer, when you were working on Desperado, this is your first big, you know, you got 7 million obviously, you're not the only producer obviously on that project, but

Elizabeth Avellán 1:05:31
Oh, no, by the way, I was just starting, like, nobody, I took no money. I was the wife, you know, like people are like the wife of

Alex Ferrari 1:05:39
I guess, if we get robbery I think that yeah,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:05:42
By the way, no. So I looked at them. I said, I'll tell you what, I'll be the producer intern that takes no money and I will work from beginning to end because I do want to learn so you know, people like Tony Mark who was our UPM really admired that because that person maybe that busted a move the people my the other line producer from Mexico, you know, they're still dear, dear friends, you know, cuz I passed the move. And I worked all through post production, nothing and learned so much. And I'm a studious human being you give me something to learn, I want to learn whatever it takes, you know, and, and you know what, so it didn't take anything from the movie. And I just was, you know, I was able to really navigate those things. Because nobody could say that I was being paid in right out of my art, you know, so, and I'm glad that would make it's not global was making a ton of money at that point, either. You know, that was the first film that was his first look film for Columbia Pictures. So it wasn't like, you know, oh, yeah, like, you gotta have a match check. Apparently, I'm going to put it all on the screen. I mean, we and by the way, and it was beautiful to be able to go back to that Konya where we shot a mariachi, yeah, actually pay people. You know, that's what we chose to shoot it there to go back and really pay people, because mariachi, there was no money. $7,000 What can you pay? So it's a beautiful way to bless a place that had been a blessing already to us, you know. And you had that back, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:07:08
And you had that in your head that young, young to two unknowns, here in the States, Mr. Antonio Banderas and Miss Salma Hayek and Mr. Danny Trejo, for that matter,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:07:19
Which, by the way, everybody wanted Antonio Salma, it was hard. Oh, no, it

Alex Ferrari 1:07:25
Oh, no, it was a first it was a female, first female lead Latino

Elizabeth Avellán 1:07:28
Road racers with her to give her one screen title on a movie in the United States. That was for Showtime. And that was strategic, you know? And he put her in there was actually that movie is David Arquette. Yeah. And it's tama, and it's John Hawkes. Yeah, on hawks, burst. I mean, he's such an incredible actor jaw. And David, it was really his first real lead, you know, like three of them leading and a million bucks. And the thing is interesting. So this is what sold Columbia Pictures. Finally, because Robert wrote 13 versions of the script. They can rewrites and more rewrites and more rewrites while he's doing road racers. Well, when he came in, it was 10 films for rebel highway series. Yeah, for sure. Right. It was me John Melius was one of the directors I mean, big time directors were doing this. And so many fell out. And they needed Wes Craven was doing one. I mean, people like that, you know, be and Robert was like, Oh, my God was Craven. And the reason why Robert did is because Deborah Hill was producing John Carpenter's. Sure. So by the way, she became one of my big mentors. Even before I did Desperado, I was able to take classes at UCLA Extension, because she called in favors for me to go into the higher level classes. And she let me sit not in Roberts part of the film, but in the other films, because I had nothing to do with those. And I was able to sit in budget meetings. So you know, I got a lot out of that, you know. And so it was a real blessing just to be humble. And somebody say, what are you when another woman says to you, what do you want to do? Me, Pascal pulled me into the office one day, I was just Roberts, white, you know, I can write and she pulled me into her office. She was not President. Back then. She was one of the executives. What did you I want to I want to get to know you. Tell me what you want it. I mean, how beautiful that is women, unreal. And so I've been blessed with having really amazing mentors that took me seriously, but also lovingly, you know, and so so that's the reason and Salman was able to get in because of that movie, but also because Robert really, really leaned in to get her to be the actress that he because that's what he wanted. He wanted some there was no option and I think it was that. There wasn't even a screen test, you know, and Robert just literally he coached some Yeah, he goes yeah. He would get it, you know, because he was like, hell no, that's what I want. You're not gonna give me some non Latina because there was some in the bunch that were non Latinas? Sure, that would have been testing, you know? So, you know, I was like, No, you know, this is who I want. This is the star that I'm going to put in my movie. This is the person, she has everything that I need for this movie. And she's going to be a huge star.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:25
And the chemistry and history. Yeah, and as we're speaking right now, Marvel Studios, the Eternals is opening. And she's, and she's one of the stars. She looks amazing and so proud of her. She done okay, she's done okay.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:10:45
Now, when she's such a dear, dear, dear sister, you know, I always, you know, just, we, we've had a great relationship throughout and I read act in love.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:55
I read somewhere I read somewhere that Salma called you like the best kept secret of troublemaker. Like, it was a very, like, like a really best kept secret of troublemaker

Elizabeth Avellán 1:11:05
She knows me because it's so weird what I do, you know, as a producer,

Alex Ferrari 1:11:10
so what is? So what is a producer? What is the definition of a producer for you,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:11:13
A producer is a person that, you know, in general, you know, gets the story of his book, or, you know, an article and puts together the development to create that script. And the filmmaker as a typical producer, the money sure brings in whoever the studio, you bring in, you start creating the creative group that will decide what the actors are you trusting who but the the director that you choose, or if it's a writer director that wrote the script and all that stuff, that's what I produce. And then you start, you know, in my case, I worked very closely with my line producer, UPM, and a man named Bill Scott to create the budget and to create, you know, we literally, that's what we did here, starting with a faculty and we did it for 17 films. So A, you just create all the synergy that has to happen, then you begin to choose the crew members, you know, and the teams that are going to come in. And like I said, All that happens in pre production, you're making it all work so that it is you have a schedule that matches what your budget that you know, that you know, that you're going to shoot, where are the locations that you you create all of those things along with the director. And, you know, with your, you know, with your first ad and you know, you you work in teams, you know, that's what a producer does. And then you you know, make sure that the everyday running of the movie as is going and you fix on and by the way, you make the deals with the actors, you so you're dealing with the agents, and then making sure the actors arrive and everything that's contractually theirs is there. And, you know, and happens and all of the the fun stuff. And you know, and you also, if you're a good producer, in my opinion, you make sure that they all feel, you know, safe and warm and cozy, you know, in a way.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:04
Like mother like a mother, like almost a mother hen in many ways, in a way.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:13:08
Yeah. And in some ways, you're also the principal. Yeah. Very much. And he comes in and it's when he has the gas here, so he's like, all bloody. So is this the principal's office? Am I Am I in trouble? Yes, it is. But it depends if you've been naughty behaved or not. What how you how we deal with you. It was so great. I love and he's always so funny. Oh my god. Hilarious. So i By the way, what a gentle way he was raised by his mama. Right? Let me tell you that guys like bad manners out the wazoo for women. But just in general, you know, like people just like, you know, very attentive, you know, very Latino that way people are nice, you know? Yes, he's and I'm like, noticing, look at that guy. Nobody else got up on him. When an actress came in, we were all at the pool. He noticed when she came in not because he didn't have any other reason than a gentleman you know. And he found a chair had a chair for that person made sure that he didn't just sit around and keep chatting, you know? So for that actress because she was just arriving into the fall. We were having a little party here at the house and I was like, man watching you and he's Yeah, I'm watching Yeah, that's good. Brownie points. So anyway, so So at the same time for me, like I told you from the beginning, there was a way bigger way bigger call for me. And it has to do with building something. It has to be with do with building. Even if I've never worked with a crew, how do you to help everything work? How do you become fluid or have the assistance so that you you foresee situations, you know, yeah. gonna happen or you see it. You know, most actors are in, you know, like, incredibly and very few that didn't feel the love that we create with it with a family we created in Austin with our crew. And, and it's a joy for anyone to come into that group and, and be received and then become part of the family if you had never worked with us and, and enjoy that it's a really beautiful way of working, you know, and I couldn't again, couldn't have done that in LA. No way we wouldn't have never had our own stages, you know, they're just angers nothing magical, just dumb boxes, that's all stages are. But to create a real place that you know, you're gonna be something happens, somebody cares, in your family in your life in, you know, in real life, you know, like real life always intersects a world of madness, you know, yeah. And I've had situations, somebody whose daughter, all of a sudden, I'm a big crew member, the higher up echelons overnight, all of a sudden has is in a in a coma because type one diabetic and didn't nobody knew a nine year old, you know, things like that have happened during my movies, and to not be able to cover for that person, so that their real life can be truly dealt with. And we create a bridge for that person. You know, it happens on everybody. We all are going through things, you know, oh, and then somehow, and if you don't have those eyes, and that heart, yeah, you can make movies. But you also don't. You know, I just I just finished a movie on Friday. Right? I told you, friend, it's not Saturday, Saturday, actually Sunday at midnight, one o'clock in the morning. And I never worked with this crew. In Oklahoma. They're mostly Oklahomans. And but it's a director I've been working with for a long time, who is a dear Lance Larson, writer, director, and a couple of other people that I've known for 20 years. Two of them were my breaking grips and the the faculty and inspire kids. And now all three were producers with me, and another produce for an entire period. But three, the three of them, one of them had been a first ad in a few movies for me, but he was a rigging grip 23 years ago. Another one is a big time DP he just finished crater. But he had been a rigging grip back then and went to UT. And the other one lands that writer director, and that the DP had gone to UT together. So it's these three beautiful humans that I have been around for many years. And then to be able to produce this with them, and then to, to let them do their job to you know, of being but Bobby bass thrash was, but he's Bob basta Raj producer, Bobby is the first ad guy back then. But now he was able to really be on set. And I knew that this set was taking care of, you know, we could you know, we had planned everything, so that he could be the producer there with his two buddies, it was their dream to do this together. But you know, the interesting thing is, you know, it's hard. It's hard. 99 degrees, but it was really cold one day, it was Yeah, you were in West Texas, and you know, a lot of stuff. And to be able to be so fluid as to make sure that you could take care of their wants. And it was only a 40 Something people crew and cast. And for me a movie making a movie. It's like going to summer camp and going to war.

Alex Ferrari 1:18:50
Oh, God. That's that whole lot. stop after stop there a second. That is the most perfect definition of going to a movie ever because it is a summer camp. But it is war at the exact same time. What a wonderful quote. Oh,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:19:04
It's war. Oh, and, and my job. I see my mission. My job as a producer is to make it more summer camp than more. And that's, that's why that whatever it takes, whatever it takes the fluidity of that. I mean, for example, we lost our caters. When we were going down to West Texas for reasons you know. They were they were great, but they couldn't come down to wisdom. So the Terra Pyrenean I decided, you know, we had to feed people a second meal. We're in the middle of nowhere in Westchester. I mean, like no cell reception, nothing. So we decided, You know what, we'll take care of the breakfast part of it get tacos and whatever from the businesses there. And you and I do the second meal because we have to provide a second meal for everyone before they go to bed, you know, and came all the way to us and we plotted it out so for six days She and I cooked a second meal a proper second meal for crew that was delicious, nutritious, yet nutritious. And you know what they felt so loved by what we did. So we would do everything we needed to do producer wise. And then we jumped in the afternoon to create a second meal and said, serve something, you know, that was that was that that helped them you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:20:27
And they would and when you as a producer, and as a filmmaker in general, when when the crew sees that, they will go down the alley of hell for you, they will walk right into it with you. Because you don't I've look, I've been on 1000 sets. That doesn't happen often. Unfortunately, unfortunately, it does not you don't you don't get to work with people like that often. And that's why when people do work with people like that, they're like, oh, no, no, no, I'm not gonna let you go, Oh, we're gonna work. That's why Clint Eastwood has the same team for the last 40 years. Like, and Ron Howard doesn't do a movie without his first ad. Like, and he waits for his first ad to be available and things like that. Because when you grab on, yeah, when you grab onto it,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:21:09
Emily is a family you begin to create. And by the way, just because I had never worked with them doesn't mean that I'm not gonna be the same person, you know, and be present for them. And by the way, it was not an easy shoot. But even though it was the first time these guys are just on a huge Martin Scorsese movie there in Oklahoma, the flower Moon something

Alex Ferrari 1:21:33
Yeah, they're posting that now. Yeah.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:21:35
Yeah, exactly. And that he, so you know, it so big. Lots of crafty, lots of them?

Alex Ferrari 1:21:43
Of course. Yeah.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:21:45
And this was a little movie. And so the ones that did decide to come play with us. I wanted to make sure that it was as good in other ways. Sure. The Independent to set a standard for what an independent film should be. Yeah. For them. And the Choose carefully in their life. You know, they want to continue in movies to find a way it's hard. It's not it's, it's hard making movies is art. It's not easy to never is lovely. And it was beautiful. Because Tyra Pyrenean, the other producer that she had interviewed me in spike, it's one. And that's what inspired her to want to be a producer, she was a journalist. And this was kind of beautiful, you know, because I got to take her by the arm, and she's a badass producer. She's worked for BBC, she lived in London, and you know, did all those royal, you know, documentaries, and that and I was like, Okay, in this one, we're going to be, this is what we're doing. And she goes, Okay, so we can't have any ego said no, actually, it's the opposite. It's very healthy ego, because nothing we do. Even if it's picking up trash, doing whatever we do, doesn't take away from us, and who we are, as producers, it's actually seen as a higher calling, in some ways, because most producers won't do. So all of a sudden, you are creating a situation in which people go, you know, what, if someday, I'm a producer, I want to be like that producer, versus that producer.

Alex Ferrari 1:23:19
And I hope everyone listening takes this everything that you're saying Elizabeth to heart, because these are the kind of words that I this is one of the reasons why I do the show, is to get this kind of information out into the world. That is not something you hear often, the things that you're saying are things we want to happen on a set I want people to act like, but often is never really, like I said, you've been around. I've been around, you don't see it often. You've created your own world. And you've had the privilege of being able to do that. And I think you you and Robert both understand the privilege that you've have in the youth that the universe is giving you and you've taken that and really done something pretty magical with it. I'll tell you one of the things I just recently moved to Austin, and I I'm Yes, living here. I live here. I live in Austin You're kiddingme. I live in Austin. Yes, I

Elizabeth Avellán 1:24:09
Do we get to hang out. We get we should definitely hang out to me, your wife and your daughter.

Alex Ferrari 1:24:13
Absolutely. Absolutely. But the reason the reason I brought that up is because I moved from Miami to LA because it was LA like you do you have to do. I was there I was there. 13 years, I met our common friends draw there to a month after I got there. And I haven't been able to get rid of him since I've tried many times. I can't get rid of him. He's like a dirty Penny. He's like a dirty Penny just keeps it all

Elizabeth Avellán 1:24:37
Wiseman is he's a patron saint of filmmakers he really is

Alex Ferrari 1:24:41
No no, no, no, he's it's one of those candles. Oh my god, that would be amazing. I should get that for his birthday. Oh my god, that would be amazing. No straw straw has been on the show. I had him on the show years ago to talk about what it's like to to what he does. Straw is a whole other conversation. But But I was there for 13 years. And I finally got to the point where people were like, Why did you move to Austin? Why did you leave la like the dream is to be in LA and, and to do all that stuff and I said to I said to everybody, I go I, I reached the limits of what I could do in LA, not in the business, but what I wanted to do for my family, or what I wanted to do for my company. Just like you guys couldn't have build troublemaker in LA. I can't build what I'm building with indie film, hustle and everything. I couldn't take it to the next level there. So here there's there's nothing but land. I just realize there's like

Elizabeth Avellán 1:25:38
A frickin

Alex Ferrari 1:25:39
There's nothing but land out here. Like I'm driving around like oh my god, like I cuz I live in bro. I lived in Burbank, so I lived in Burbank. And Burbank was awesome. I agree. I mean, it was just like, we're houses were on top of each other. And don't get me wrong. I love LA I love what I did. I love. I love going to LA I love LA I love LA not crapple that I love there. It's amazing. It's amazing. But But like, you know, I was right down the street from Warner Brothers. And I found out that my house actually was originally on the Warner Brothers ranch studio set. And they picked it up in the 30s and moved it to where it sat. I was like, What is going on? But you drive around a lake there's just there's no there's nothing there's no land. I mean, you got to go far out before you start seeing real land. And here the second I got here I was just like, oh my god, there's nothing even I mean obviously in the city it's the city but like it

Elizabeth Avellán 1:26:35
Yeah, the city is the city.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:38
The the smoke from Willie's 28 years does this smoke from Willie's house come over, you get a contact high or not?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:26:50
I can go visit him.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:54
But anyway, but that was one of the reasons I moved here in a lot of people have to understand that as you get older, you realize that there's things that what's important to you in life? You know, and where do you want to go? And it's a lesson for filmmakers to do as well. Because a lot of filmmakers think that you can only make it in LA and that's not true. I do do I think that filmmakers should go to LA for a short amount of time, you if you can get the experience that you get in LA I learned more in one year in LA working with straw. Then I did five years in Miami. And there's because it's just so much stuff going on there. But at a certain point you just go where do I go? What do I got to do?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:27:37
Where are they? Where are they openings to to? To grow to? To to expand to to allow the next set stage? Because you go in stages you know?

Alex Ferrari 1:27:49
Yes.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:27:49
Let me tell you a I'm at a place right now. Where I am extremely picky what I do and how I do it with Yeah, I know the feeling it's especially things that I've been working on for a while this particular movie and it's called dead land I Lance and I have known each other like I said I've known these guys so long loved them they're good people they've developed their talents to a point that man they can ask for money whatever money Lance has been an editor for a long time for Disney for people like that, you know like big studios and but they're all from around here you know that when T T and and I've known them so long and they've always proven to be these incredible hard working talented humans that love film that love movies love storytelling, great writers, Lance and jazz Shelton that up wrote the script with a couple other people David Elliot of people like that so so you know so to be able to now work and by the way the movie is 75% Latinos because it was written as a beautiful story of not about it by the way when Lance said it was a movie as a border movie I was like I don't do border

Alex Ferrari 1:29:20
Yeah, I'm good I'm good

Elizabeth Avellán 1:29:21
You know me it's not really a border movie takes place in the border. I said I said it wrong. Okay, Lance because I love Lance Larson

Alex Ferrari 1:29:29
Sure

Elizabeth Avellán 1:29:32
Spiritual open human that I loved working with just the crew just adore he and jazz. I mean, they just spirit in that set was so cool, you know, and I, but it's just how, you know, you think your personal history is a certain you have on pathology. We're talking about mythology about your family and what it is and What do you think it is, and the thing you've written into it yourself from things you heard as a kid, you know, and then there's the mystery part of it, you know, there's certain things that nobody talks about in your life trying to figure it out, or things like that. So, and it's a movie kind of like that, you know, that has to do with a, a guy that thinks his father never showed up for him is a border patrol guy. And yet the story's not that simple. And, and so the beautiful in development of what goes about because he's about to have a baby, you know, so that he can be more of a complete man is the story of this movie, but we had a productive Vina and Juliet Restrepo. Both of them are Colombians. We had Manuel Luisa, who is Mexican and Mexican American, but he's amazing. And then we had Julio Sileo, who has been a ton of stuff really was amazing. And also Luis Chavis. That is this wonderful. Young man. I don't know if you remember in in Ocean's 13 He's the guy in the truck with Casey Affleck. He's the Mexican guy. That's that's Luis. Oh, Elise is this incredible? He comes from from Michoacan indigenous comes from a little, basically Adobe. And just to hear, we drove together from West Texas, and I said, I want you to tell me just like your first question. I want you to tell me, what's your house? What was the seed? Oh, my God, what a trip that we took across the Texas landscape, you know, hearing this amazing story of how he got to where he was, you know, and so much of it, you know, the steps sometimes of what we made happen, or if somebody like the Capitol Montalban Foundation, to create a space for Latinos to train in, you know, acting and film and things. That's incredible. You know, it's all in values, you know, little little stepping stones, and that's

Alex Ferrari 1:32:10
Yeah, and that's the thing that people also listen, they have to understand, if you guys didn't do what you did, like in a year, like it, it's step by step, step by step, piece by piece patient by patients. And when opportunities present themselves, you take advantage of the opportunities and you keep moving forward, and you just, and you keep going, and you don't let the haters in. And that was one of the things I admired from a distance about what you and Robert, were doing, because you just kept doing you and you're like, you know what, the hell with everybody we're going to set up in Austin, you know, we're going to build up our own thing here. We're going to keep our doing our thinking, and we're just going to keep going forward. And I don't care what anybody else says. And that is something that because I mean, the amount of pressure that that you guys have been under. And that just with mariachi, it's continued and still probably continues to this day. Yes, it always is.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:33:02
By the way, sometimes Robert doesn't choose to do Latino centered films, you know, he's done. I mean, yeah, lead was a Latina girl.

Alex Ferrari 1:33:12
Of course it was. And there was a couple other Latinos in there. Of course, of course, it was a couple of

Elizabeth Avellán 1:33:16
Michelle Rodrigues plays a huge part. But people are like me and believe me, it's a term drives bad but I didn't produce Alita of a John Landau came and just loved working with our family. Yeah. Brew. You know, that was beautiful for me. Because I know that John understands. That wasn't built overnight, either, you know, Oh, no. And that love he found in a tiny state because by the way, our green Queen strange, it's like 9000 square feet. It's not big, yet, we were able to shoot everything and create that backlog. On it's insane. We're in this, you know, I used to be airport hangers, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:33:51
Right. It know. And working in. I've heard stories of Jim and Robert working together and, you know, just talking together about stuff. And when I heard that this movie was gonna come out. I was like, That makes all the sense in the world. Because if not, Jim is never going to make it because he's an avatar world.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:34:07
He's busy. He's so my job. We know. Well, he has avatar 2 3 4 and he has Titanic 2

Alex Ferrari 1:34:15
And there we go. Is that an insight is that a scoop? No. It's called Titanic 2 Jack's back

Elizabeth Avellán 1:34:26
Somehow found something amazing but yeah, so So you know there's been that friendship for a long time you know between those two and and a beautiful one you know between Robert and Jim took him under his wing in some ways you know, and then and encouraged him go

Alex Ferrari 1:34:43
When did they meet when they meet when did they meet

Elizabeth Avellán 1:34:45
Long I mean long like this Mariachi time Desperado times. A we probably met him blabbered got to spend time with him. What was the name of that movie when Robert really got To hang out a little bit back in so excited was way back. I mean, oh, it was a after Desperado, I would say also,

Alex Ferrari 1:35:07
So it's around there.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:35:08
We're living in LA. Yeah. What was the it was? It was with Arnold Schwarzenegger the one with that. Jody Curtis. What's

Alex Ferrari 1:35:16
True Lies True Lies 94 True Lies

Elizabeth Avellán 1:35:19
Around there. Exactly. When we were living in LA to live in LA, so he got to hang out. We went to the premiere. And,

Alex Ferrari 1:35:28
And he was just, he was even in it for Jim was Jim like,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:35:34
Anyway, you know, this is one of the things people blah, blah, blah with Jim Cameron. And, you know, my oldest son is someone that pointed this out to me a while back and this continues. He goes Mom, what other filmmaker Do you know, that has never in his life made a flop ever.

Alex Ferrari 1:35:49
Like, amen. amen,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:35:52
Like never had a movie that didn't perform and made money. And it's like Jim Cameron's.

And at a high level No, and I always tell people I always I loved and I also defend Jim not that he needs my defense. But anytime. I'm always out there. I know. Jim. Jim is Jim is one of one of the on the Mount Rushmore of filmmakers for me, Jim, so Jim and Pete because he's such an underrated writer. And he's such an underrated, you know, a lot of times people like because everyone's like, Oh, he's direct. He's very direct. Like you read aliens. Are you kidding me

What he'd already done. Character, by the way, the character was the one that told me is Elizabeth, the character. But I've learned so much just receiving this treasure to direct. Because it taught me the character break. I mean, he knows who these people are. Each one of them is fresh and fully out, you know? And he said, It is such an incredible joy. And trust me that He has given me to do this, you know, and I hope we get to you know that the studio gets to make a second one. Oh, no. Has to because it's definitely part. Yeah, I'm praying hoping for that. Because they're incredible stories, you know, that? Truly, I mean, the father daughter story is just

Alex Ferrari 1:37:17
No, no, it's it's, it was beautifully shot. And what Robert did was amazing with it. But what I always also say with Jim ago, who else what other filmmaker on the planet today, can walk into Fox Studios and goes, Listen, I've got an idea. It's about a bunch of blue people, it's based no IP, there's a new technology that I'm going to develop, I'm going to need 200 million to develop the technology. It's gonna take me justice, just to see if we can make it happen, then there's going to be three years to three years of me, you know, messing around with that twiddling around with that, then I'll probably need to probably a couple 100 million more to finish it all up. And and we're going to do all that and it's going to be probably about good five, six years. Before you see anything. I challenge anyone who who will not any of the other gods that we've talked about filmmaking gods like that Scorsese and that Spielberg no one else has that. There's nobody else on the planet that can do that.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:38:13
It my, every day, I take my hat off to it can't really do it. sounding. So I'm going to ask him love the relationship with his brother to find Yeah, synergy of, you know, creating, I mean, we were able to do a 3d movie because of what they had done. Yeah. When we did track reliable girl 3d I love that movie came from, you know, on a spike. It's 3d. It came from the rig. They had an event, you know, and they have created so it's such an insanity. So much. I mean, imagine I mean, he's creating equipment, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:38:49
He's like, he's like, creating equipment. It's like, it's, it's an insane,

Elizabeth Avellán 1:38:53
Unbelievable, designing a little submarine that can go down to the friggin Titanic. I mean, that's a shoe. That's some high level stuff. But that's high level, that people from another planet know. And that's how I, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:39:08
And you start looking and you see, like, people like people, aliens. They're literally I think they're from the abyss. No, and people always talk to me, like, you know, a lot of people I know have worked with Jim. And they go, Jim gets frustrated on set when you can't do things the way he wants to do it. But the thing is that he can do your job better than you and everybody else is better because he's, he's not. He's, he's not. He's a completely different level.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:39:35
No, no, he's a tough guy, by the way, but John Landau was so yeah, he's moved things over. He reminds me, you know, he's a great example of being that person, you know, that can help smooth things out. You know, you know, Robert can get frustrated at times. Because, by the way, everything nobody else in that set. If Robert doesn't wake up and get that thing moving and tells them where to go. Nothing. Nothing goes. That's the director. And that's what I try to impart into directors. It's like so you and I also even tell them it's like you need once you're finished, I told Lance, I said, we was finished shooting, and I said, I need you to take the week off and cool your brain down. Feed your brain. Relax your brain. Because you have been on a daily calm, let for months now. You know? Yeah, and you have to, and I'm glad that Jim takes time in between things. That helps him

Alex Ferrari 1:40:35
Too many too many too many years, though. I mean, I mean, he's, he's, he's bordering Kubrick now at this point in the game. I mean, it's like, yeah, Jim. It's enough, Jim. Let's Can we just get them out, please?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:40:49
That's one of the things I love about filmmaking. And by the way, one of the most generous human beings is Quentin Tarantino, who I adore and winner and Desperado. He said to me that somebody asked him, you know, again, people throw in trash, you know, oh, God,

Alex Ferrari 1:41:01
I'll talk about hate

Elizabeth Avellán 1:41:03
And Quinton said, you know, they asked him so what are you gonna do next? He just finished Pulp Fiction won the Palme d'Or, the thing was going on in theaters. And and he was acting in Desperado. And they were sitting around, he goes, Do you have no idea? People ask me, What are you doing next? And I tell them, I'm gonna take a couple of years off. And this person goes, you can you can afford take a couple years off. And Quinton looked at them and said, because you're a filmmaker that was actively making films. Yeah. And he says, You can't Quinton lives. So simply, and it still does, you know. So simply, you know, he still was renting the apartments where he would have been living forever and present it you know, at that point, and driving in the little Geo Metro that he got from the money he got for Natural Born Killers, you know, 30,000 He got for that. And so when he said those words to me, he goes, Nick, people go, you know, oh, they've throwing trash with people. And he goes, I want my friends to make great films, because I can only make one every two or three years. So and I love going to the movies. So why wouldn't I want my friends want to support my friends in making good movies? You know? Yeah. That was, that was back in the day. And he still has the same ethos. He's still that person. And I love that, you know, he still loves going to the movies. I mean, seen him stop for a moment with a bunch of kids, when he's coming out with the, you know, the Arclight or whatever, you know, and talk to them. They're just standing around, and he just came out of a movie. And they're like, we'd known to just talk to us like, yeah, that sorry, did some, you know, awesome, that see that person still great. Clink laters the same way?

Alex Ferrari 1:42:49
Oh, Rick is Rick is. I love loving.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:42:53
I would i By the way, that's whether it's funny because I don't get to choose. I didn't get to choose with Robert, what themes? Movies I would make. I would dream to have been the producer of the before trilogy.

Alex Ferrari 1:43:07
Oh. boyhood or Yeah, no, no.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:43:11
I think those that by the way. He gave me original posters and sign them and everything because he knows how I feel about his movies in general, but also about that trilogy. To me. It's just

Alex Ferrari 1:43:22
Oh, it's Oh, it's beautiful. Oh, it's beautiful. And talking to Rick when I'm boyhood. Yeah. No, when I had Rick on the show, and I had the pleasure of talking to him for a couple hours. He was so generous with his time. He's such an artist. He is just such a. He is like, he's a consummate artist. And the one thing he said best advice I ever heard one of the best pieces of advice. I always ask people, what's your advice? And he's like, however long it's gonna take, you think it's gonna take it's gonna be twice as long and twice as hard. And it was like, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:43:59
And even for him, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:44:00
And it's still it's still struggle. He says I was talking to him the other day.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:44:03
And the movie is I tell people don't think that because you've made all those movies and you now have a studio do whatever the hell you think you have. No, it's still going to be hard. Still hustle? It Right? It's still hustle. Exactly. Right? Nation of, and by the way, and with me, I'm one of those people that I'm always bringing the ones I'm supposed to be here and take the ones out that are not supposed to be I'm in that process the whole time. So I'm never like, sad when an actor can't or decides not to or whatever says not for me. I'm always like, that's not the person that is supposed to be here, you know? And so they come in and out and then it begins to shape up. You know, Lance, we've been working on dead land for a couple years cuz you know, they got jobs. I got job. I mean, I got stuff to do too. You know, and so, someday we all had our jobs, you know, being the peas and things and editors and stop First Ladies, and you know, and I was always kind of the one there making sure that we were trying to get the right cast, you know, as the cast had to be just right. And and then Lance said to me, back in April, he said, Elizabeth, so, because he said, Oh, we're gonna start such a tilted date, and it never felt right for me. And I was like, okay, okay, perfect. Sure. And then he said in April, he said, So Jim is going to go off and do crater, jazz Shelton as it and then after that, he's going to free himself up, and we're going to go do the movie. So we're gonna start September 27. And I can't tell you how it was almost like, oh, just hit me. Just hit me like, This is it? We're moving? In? And it's been a couple years, you know, COVID kind of stopped the flow of Sure. You know, when it's September 27. That's what we're doing. That is exactly what that's what we're, we got to pull toward the scope, you know, and then, at one point, you know, we're running a little behind and some stuff happened. And I, you know, they were like, well, maybe we'll push and I said, if we don't start September 27. It's gonna fall apart. You gotta go. And we started September 27. And I'm so glad we did. Because none, by the way, is the first day of Mercury Retrograde, which is hilarious. By the way, the wireless thing is Robert, with hypnotic, which had fallen apart because of COVID. Last year, started September 27. Also, there was something about that date. Really important. Good, if not extend that day to, you know, at the studio. I was up in Oklahoma doing it. But But yeah, so there was something about that, you know, how you know, that, you know, you have this have the wish, that that's going to happen, and you have to have the faith that's going to happen that day, moments gonna come when it all coalesces. And man, when it does is like lightning in a bottle.

Alex Ferrari 1:47:06
When can I have to ask you, you I mean, you seem like a person who really listens to their instincts, listens to their gut a lot. And it and as I've gotten older in life, I've realized how important listening to my inner voice is. And and those feelings and especially like what you just said, like not September 27, like hot? And when other people don't understand what's going on. You're like, no, no, no, no. That's when this happened. The importance of understand listening to your inner voice as a creative and as a producer is so so important. Would you agree?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:47:39
Yes, by the way, it's truly what has guided me. And it's a thing that is elusive. Because it's you know, because sometimes you question it. Sometimes you like throughout the process with LANSON and COVID happens, and then No, no, this happened. You're like, that moment? You have to know that that moment, unless we like, okay. You know, because as a filmmaker, he's trying to lift it up as hard, you know, as he could. And it's funny, because we talked about it. And he goes, Elizabeth, when you said it's September 27, back in April. That's when I knew. I know. Because I knew that you knew, you know, and so you're like, No, yes. It's a it's some moment of like, the synergy of it. Yeah. I don't know why I thought September 27. Would be the moment. But we had no way we would go into a whole new wave of COVID. I mean, Jesus, I mean, it just got thick, man. And so you're like, No, no, we're gonna I did a movie during COVID with no vaccines the year before. And totally, but we really really became like a bubble. Yeah, camp, a real bubble. Nobody left. You know, it was a very simple movie with six actors total that four of them were the adults and that was it. And so the blazing world and I so a and that one was filmmakers that I didn't know I met them along the way but Carlson Young is just a beautiful writer and a beautiful young woman and a really great director that is sure she's gonna have a beautiful career. And so anyway, I but with Lance's we've been together for 10 years and the couple of scripts that you know, several things that he's written, and just a friendship and that's a real real connection, and his wife from Panama, and she's hilarious and they used to live in Santa Clarita, you know, until about about nine months ago, Ted no beginning of year, so about a year ago, and he decided he was coming home and she's from Austin. She grew up in Austin, her mom's Panamanian Rose, Rose Larson, and she She was like, I'm not coming back to LA, done. I'm not. And, you know, talk about the gut, you know. And she, and he's still working at Fox, and then everything shuts down. So he's working out of his house. He's like, What am I doing here? My family's back there. I'm here, you know. And so, so he moved this way. And by the way, but before that, Rose had said, No more brighter kids. They were in Texas, and the school that their son was going to start freshman year in. There was a shootout, puncher shooter, an active shooter. first week of school, oh, my God, so many of their little friends. And that's when Lance realized his wife had a gut, too. And was like, she knew something I didn't know. You know. And so I have to start listening to God, you know, really listen, so he moved. The funny thing is, I called her from Austin, I won't tell them what to do you know what I mean? And then, so he finished, he moved in. And I was like, so what did you move to? And he goes, Oh, and we ended up in Lake clay rough house, and like, You're seven miles from my house. Down the street. And so the house is pretty funny, you know, that people you just let them be. And so it's been fun, you know, because we could deal with things, you know, from here from this side of the town. No more cars, you know, and his kids are doing amazing, like, Travis and you know, cuz they have programs that they don't have in Los Angeles. So

Alex Ferrari 1:51:25
I know, I know. I know, I know, the so I'm gonna ask you a few questions, because I know we can keep talking and I please, I want to invite you back in a future time to keep talking to I absolutely adore talking to you. I'm gonna ask you a few questions, I ask all of my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:51:45
Start with a great story script, don't tell me you have a half written script. And I have an idea,

Alex Ferrari 1:51:53
I have an idea, an idea

Elizabeth Avellán 1:51:56
Everybody has, we all have stories, we all have ideas, we're storytellers by nature. And so put it down on paper, even if the then you write write a memoir, write something, put it together have an IP that you can leverage as a filmmaker, because that's the best way, you know, or, you know, that story has to be something that you can make for very little money. You know, if possible, and let's say 7000, but something that you understand and can carry out to get that first movie out there, you're going to learn a lot, in the process, make a lot of short films, maybe even make a short film about that particular subject matter. That's what Carlson Young was able to show me that she was a filmmaker, you know, she had his short, based on the movie, a little piece of it, that then when I read the script, it made sense. And it had gone to Sundance, so she already had made some. And that's how you start. And that's, I really believe that if you don't really learn those lessons, by making shorts, getting in there, knowing how to tell stories, in in moving pictures, no matter what format it is, it's animation, if it's whatever, then you're going in a little green, you have to have that as a filmmaker, if you want to be a filmmaker, and director, you know, even a producer, you have to understand how to do that. So that's my biggest advice.

Alex Ferrari 1:53:32
Great advice. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Elizabeth Avellán 1:53:43
To trust that something above you will guide you and really truly be able to give that over. And in Spanish we say something, don't put a coupon you know, I'm preoccupied. I'm used to always say not apropos pay the pay the preoccupied, don't do that. That let let go let thing let the universe move it let let have the the knowledge and confidence that if your heart you're in your passion you're in you're in you're you're you're developing those talents that are only you were like snowflakes when it comes to the combination of talents and what we love we that's how we are snowflakes. So if you are a person that is following that with their heart, I really believe that the universe God whatever you want to call it won't say no. It'll either happen or it will be not yet. Or it will be I have a better plan. Oh so Be open to that.

Alex Ferrari 1:55:02
Amen

Elizabeth Avellán 1:55:05
That's a hard lesson, man.

Alex Ferrari 1:55:06
Oh, tell me about it. You know how many of us listening? How many of us listening are always thinking like, I want this to happen this to happen to this to happen. And from from my experience, and I'm sure yours as well, first of all never happens how you want it to happen. Most of the times it happens in a different way that's better. And it might not be it might not be apparent when it happens. But in hindsight, you're like, Oh, I didn't get that job. I'm just I'm devastated. Like I got I was in. I was in Project Greenlight. In season two, I made it to the top 25. But I didn't get onto the show. And I was devastated that I got to very like right there. And I didn't get in I was devastated. And then after I saw what happened on the show was like, Man, I dodged the bullet. I'm so glad I didn't become that director because I didn't want I didn't want to be that person. So there's things that happen at a moment in time that you think that oh, God, it's the end of the world. But really, it you know, it happens. So plan, there's always a but there's a better plan. And that's what you have to kind of trust

Elizabeth Avellán 1:56:11
To trust that, you know, to trust that I think, you know, I always say I both my parents went away and each one taught me a huge lesson on their way. My mom, just she was 58 years old. 96. And she it was the process of the last seven weeks of her life. Were so hard and so beautiful. That she gave me the gift of not being afraid to die. Like be able to just go, Oh, it's just okay. And then that year, a movie, again, a movie, called Antonia's line gave me the language of what I had been at won the Academy Award that year for best foreign films and Dutch film. And this woman called it the miracle of death. And that's what I had seen a month before. Wow. So you know, so to to experience that and know that it's just a change of status. Because my mom's been in my life. Unbelievable. I mean, people can tell you the stories from this past movie, my mom shows up as a skunk. In this movie, the past three or four days she transmogrified herself. I literally go around. I'll show you one second. That's amazing. I carry around every movie every time I travel. Yeah, I got in Paris a long time ago. I have two of them. One travels, one stays on my desk, just in case you're my kids. Yes. And I'll tell you, it was insane. The last the last year, so the last two days, it was insane. And then my father passed away in 2018. And I took care of him the last seven months. Very interesting. My mom was seven weeks. And so now seven months were seven kids. And the last seven months, my father had a very, you know, difficult time it was it wasn't it was a heart failure, but just odd and all that stuff. But I was a person that handled in meditation, you know, yoga meditation as I do it, you know, but because of my dad, and I was the only person at that point, taking care of him a lot of the time by myself. I woke up early every morning to be able to be present for him. Whatever was going on with him, I had to be ready. And so amazing training for seven months, anything you do for seven months and consistently is going to, you're going to see a difference and feel the difference within you when you don't have that when you haven't done that. So I do that no matter what's going on, no matter what's happening. I wake up a couple of when it's called time, I wake up a couple hours before, so that I can do that and then be present, you know, and that's a huge gift. So those are the lessons that I learned lessons there. But it's, um, from that place, you know, you have to be present for a whole crew, no matter what happens because some stuff goes south man sometimes. And that's producer if you don't have the wherewithal to, to to be center right there. You know, like just and be able to handle in the comment. It's it can be hectic

Alex Ferrari 1:59:18
I've been I've been I've been telling my audience for years that I've been meditating heavily to two hours a day, at least every day, and it changed my life. It changed my life when I start meditating. It's

Elizabeth Avellán 1:59:30
I recommended everyone

Alex Ferrari 1:59:31
If you have if you have a problem, if you have a question, meditate and a lot of times the answer comes to you in the meditation. It's pretty remarkable. It's really, really remarkable. And last and last question, three of your favorite films of all time.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:59:47
Oh, gosh. He loves so many of them gosh.

Alex Ferrari 1:59:50
Three that come to mind right now.

Elizabeth Avellán 1:59:52
Three that come to mind immediately, you know Lawrence of Arabia Definitely because I got to see a couple of years ago presented to my kids. And it was a brand new 70 millimeter

Alex Ferrari 2:00:07
I saw it. I saw it in LA. I saw it in LA I saw that print the 70 millimeter print in LA at the end. Oh my god was gorgeous

Elizabeth Avellán 2:00:14
Here at the Paramount on believable marches. It was him again, transporting yourself back to the child in and then another seminal seminal moment was a movie that could kept me standing as a little girl. This is when I really fell in love with movies. Oliver. Oh, yeah. All over you from based on the Oliver Twist. I remember. So I mean, being a little girl and seeing this kid go through this journey. And being so moving Rex Reed and it was so heavy. It was a heavy film. Yeah. If you think about it as a kid, and I hope I mean, the image is still Oh, yeah. And I think I think I'm gonna mention Well, the trilogy from Rick, those were given already mentioned those. But I think one that I just thought Chase man has something else. Waking Life.

Alex Ferrari 2:01:10
Oh, Rick. Yeah.

Elizabeth Avellán 2:01:14
That movie. It's one of those you know? Yeah. Watch it again. You're like, wow, what I thought your facts, I think different, you know, such a weird dream, like, and I just thought what the guts to do that?

Alex Ferrari 2:01:31
Oh, no, it's the guts that he has to do anything. All the films that he does like

Elizabeth Avellán 2:01:36
Boyhood, oh, my god, like have the foresight to do something like that.

Alex Ferrari 2:01:40
I mean, and that there was there was a

Elizabeth Avellán 2:01:43
He's one of my favorite human beings. Let's just begin. He's a sweet, you know, like, he's humans. And she's such as one of my favorite filmmakers and to for it to be in, in this person that I mean, I love Bernie. It depends on the person we recommend. Rick's over to the sheriff in the little town in Oklahoma. You gotta see Bernie man. Bernie's great, you know, so. So yeah, so you know, there are filmmakers out there that are just transcendent and I thought I think I have to say Django have to kind of go by and filmmakers Django is one of my it's my favorite. Winton's. Is it my it used to be my dogs believe it. Yeah, Django Django for me. So like, crazy. Like wow, what a yarn for me. yarn

Alex Ferrari 2:02:31
For me. For me. And for me for Quinton, I have to say it's once upon a time in Hollywood, but it's just because it's it is it's everything as a filmmaker, it's everything. It's just like he's it's his love letter to La it's his love letter to Hollywood. It's totally and it was just so great. It was just this and that and it was those two probably. Yeah, and Django is not too far behind. Yeah, and then Inglourious.

Elizabeth Avellán 2:02:55
Inglourious was great anyway, there's so many but I mean, I love so many films and so many filmmakers I just admire the form and I'm part of the academy so should have signed up and I signed up again this year to to judge the to be the one that takes on like the task of the foreign films you know, to to nominate I'm proud of the producers brands and that's just something extra you can do as and let me tell you the best thing of all was knowing that filmmaking and storytelling was alive and well. I still films and most incredible if you haven't seen this film neon bought it. It's called the night of the kings by Wow from Ivory Coast. And instead of a prison movie, like again, like border movie, so not a prison movie.

Alex Ferrari 2:03:48
Yeah, watch. Okay, watch. It's like Shawshank looks like Shawshank Prison movie.

Elizabeth Avellán 2:03:58
Exactly. So you know, I just I love I love. I'm one of those people that the thing I miss the most from COVID From the whole period of this situation has been I go to the movies, lunch in a movie by myself at least once a week if not twice. Yeah. Alamo Drafthouse violet crown, I just literally make it. I'm going to a meeting so I schedule what's what's playing, and then I kind of make afternoon I miss I miss doing that, you know, and I love that, you know, by myself by myself. Yeah. And Tuesday afternoon, one o'clock, whatever, you know, and, and that's been the thing I missed the most. And I also think, wow, but I saw those foreign films. Each one was magical My God, like your honor from Guatemala.

Alex Ferrari 2:04:47
Oh my god. I can't

Elizabeth Avellán 2:04:49
By the way from Chile. That documentary. How the hell did she do that? And oh my god, I can't wait to see these things. Trade in this manner. I mean, it's just amazing. I mean, I saw incredible movies that I was in awe. I mean, like, Oh my god. So anyway, so filmmaking is alive and well,

Alex Ferrari 2:05:13
Thank God for that because we need stories now more than ever forever. Honestly, it has been an absolute pleasure and honor talking to you today. It has been so wonderful, the energy and the words of wisdom that you've you've dropped on on the audience. And I really hope that this helps a lot of people out there listening to it and gives people hope. And everyone and of course, we set the record straight into mariachi, which was very important. But really the inspiration that that you and Robert have given generations of filmmakers over the years has been it has been remarkable. So thank you so much for everything you do. And you will have to come back because I know we could talk for another five hours. But thank you so much for being

Elizabeth Avellán 2:05:59
We'll talk some people that you should interview that I really like my one of them is Jeff Fahey he's one of us, my brother. Oh, no, he was just here in Austin doing doing hypnotic. He's the I love Jeff. Jeff. I love adore him. He's such an amazing he's his brain is just, it's so interesting. You know, we brought him out of Afghanistan when we were doing Planet Terror. Yeah. Rebel Without a crew. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 2:06:28
Thank you. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Avellán 2:06:31
Thank you so much.

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Writer/Director
(Menace II Society, Book of Eli)

Oscar® Winning Screenwriter/Producer
(Forrest Gump, Dune)

HIGHLIGHT GUESTS SML - EDWARD ZWICK
HIGHLIGHT GUESTS SML - EDGAR WRIGHT

Oscar® Winning Writer/Director
(Last Samurai, Blood Diamond)

Writer/Director
(Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver)