Robert Rodriguez Talks Shorts' Inspiration
08.18.09 by Ryan
Director Robert Rodriguez is well-known for making genre movies like Sin City and the upcoming Machete, but he's also the creator of popular kid movies like the Spy Kids series. His latest venture, Shorts, follows the adventures of a young boy who finds a rock that can grant wishes. Rodriguez explained the genesis of the movie to Moviesonline:
We have a castle turret [in my house]. Part of the house that I'd built thinking, 10 years ago when I built it, some day I was going to use it as a set for a movie with my kids when I had kids and then it ended up happening with this. I was going to shoot it like El Mariachi in my backyard and come up with a storyline later. When my son came up with the idea of doing a Little Rascals type movie, of course, that was something I had thought of doing years ago and I had totally forgot about it. He would talk about the canyon and a rock. He loves rocks, he collects rocks. He kept saying a rainbow rock. So I thought, what if it’s a wishing rock, and I asked him what he would wish for if he wished for anything because I was going to test the idea on him.
He said, "I wish for a butt for a head." I said, "Are you sure?" and he said, "Yeah." So, I asked my other son who is older and wiser what he'd wish for and he said, "I wish to be a potato." So I said, "Hmmmmm. Okay. I'd wish for a million more wishes." And then, their faces kind of dropped. You could tell they were thinking, "Oh, I just wasted my wish." ...
... I realized this is a great idea for a movie. If you got a rock and could have anything, you really wouldn't know what to wish for at first. Of course, if you're a kid, it's "a never ending supply of chocolate" and now he's got stuff shooting out of his pockets. "Let's wish for telephonesis" and, of course, he says the word wrong. Everything is taken literally and you can just have a lot of fun.
When it comes to making kids' movies, Rodriguez's plan is simple: just make a good movie that everyone can enjoy:
... they weren't expecting something like Spy Kids, where it's like – "Wow, somebody actually looked like they wanted to make a family film, and set something in this age, where it's about what you can get away with, instead of what you can aspire to." You know, "This movie's a gem," or something like that.... We just want people laughing in the theater, and we don't have anything else to do, so let's just entertain. Anything we can do to just get a laugh, just make the kids laugh, and the parents will feel like they took their kids out to have a good time.