You can call bullshit on this, but to me, Robert Rodriguez feels like one of the last self-made filmmakers working today. Rodriguez become interested in film at a young age when his dad bought one of the first VCRs, which came with a camera, and Rodriguez began shooting his own short movies. In 1990, he won a local film contest with his 16mm short Bedhead, which earned him a spot in a university film program. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez began working on his first feature film, made on the ultra-cheap with a budget of only $7000, most of which was raised by his friends and by Rodriguez participating in medical research studies. El Mariachi premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1993 and was picked up by Columbia Pictures, launching Rodriguez into the professional strata of Hollywood. Since then, he’s completed his Mariachi trilogy with Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, worked with Quentin Tarantino on From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City an Grindhouse, and even made several forays into family entertainment with four Spy Kids movies, as well as Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D. In recent years, Rodriguez has made Machete, based on a phony trailer from Grindhouse, and has a second film called Machete Kills coming out this fall. Robert Rodriguez turns 45 today.