Robert Rodriguez’s The Director’s Chair is like the Super Smash Brothers of contemporary filmmakers—seeing people from all across the film industry come together with Rodriguez for an intimate chat has an oddly similar appeal to the all-star fighting game. We wanted to shine a light on some of the amazing creators featured on the show, so we decided to profile the careers of some of the talented film greats featured on the show!


Guillermo del Toro

del toro

Born: 1964 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Selected Filmography

  • Cronos (1993)
  • The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Pan’s Labirynth
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
  • Pacific Rim (2013)
  • The Shape of Water (2017)

Guillermo del Toro’s love for film started early; he began making films on his father’s Super 8 camera at eight years old, and described the initial viewing of his childhood films through a projector as a life defining moment. Del Toro went on to direct a wide variety of films ranging from intimate dramas to Hollywood action blockbusters, all of which benefit from his impressive capacity for visual design and ability to weave in fantasy and magical realism elements with hardline realism.

Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola on the set of The Godfather Part III, 1991

Born: 1939 in Detroit, Michigan

Select Filmography

  • Tonight for Sure (1962)
  • The Godfather (1972)
  • The Conversation (1974)
  • The Godfather Part II (1974)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • The Outsiders (1983)

A key figure in the New Hollywood cinematic movement, Francis Ford Coppola had a hand in some of the most influential films of the 1970s and 80s. Getting his start in cinema after attending a graduate program for film studies at Hofstra University, Coppola found the studio system creatively stifling, and made a conscious effort to subvert the system after his first few films. This dedication to artistic integrity cemented his status as an auteur, his Godfather films and Apocalypse Now achieving astronomical critical and financial success.

Quentin Tarantino

tarantino

Born: 1963 in Knoxville, Tennessee

Select Filmography

  • Reservoir Dogs (1992)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2001)
  • Inglorious Basterds (2009)
  • Django Unchained (2012)
  • The Hateful Eight (2015)

From high school dropout to porn theater usher to acclaimed director: Quentin Tarantino’s life has had a unique trajectory. Tarantino cites his work as a clerk at a video store as the opportunity he needed to build a visual vocabulary for film. After meeting Lawrence Bender at a Hollywood party, the producer encouraged him to write a screenplay. From that point on, Tarantino took the film industry by storm with his brutally violent, intelligently written, often nonlinear movies.

John Carpenter

carpenter

Born: 1948 in Carthage, New York

Select Filmography

  • Dark Star (1974)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • The Fog (1980)
  • Escape from New York (1981)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
  • They Live (1988)

John Carpenter’s films may not have been hugely successful upon their release (with the obvious exception of horror touchstone Halloween), but they have slowly found their way into the canon through the years. Carpenter’s penchant for visceral, realistic practical effects and building effective tension and suspense elevate his movies far beyond typical horror and action shlock.

Sylvester Stallone

stallone

Born: 1946 in New York City, New York

Select Filmography

  • Death Race 2000 (1975)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • First Blood (1982)
  • Tango & Cash (1989)
  • Demolition Man (1993)
  • Judge Dredd (1995)
  • The Expendables (2010

Sylvester Stallone is synonymous with badassery. The only actor to make this list, Stallone’s electric mix of tough guy swagger and debonair class always make for a fantastic viewing experience, no matter what role he’s put in. From his breakout performance as the boxer with a heart of gold in Rocky to his recent appearances in the Expendables movies, Stallone’s star power is well-earned.

Robert Rodriguez

rodriguez

Born: 1968 in San Antonio, Texas

Select Filmography

  • El Mariachi (1992)
  • Desperado (1995)
  • From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
  • Spy Kids (2001)
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
  • Sin City (2005)
  • Machete (2010)

Of course we can’t neglect to mention the host of The Director’s Chair and his invaluable contributions to film! Much like his friend del Toro, Robert Rodriguez has headed a wide variety of movies ranging from hyperviolent thrillers to colorful children’s movies. Most directors wouldn’t be able to handle such a breadth of genre, but Rodriguez’s films are grounded by the consistent through line of his talent for visual storytelling and his often whimsical humor that juxtaposes darker elements.

George Miller

miller

Born: 1945 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Select Filmography

  • Mad Max (1979)
  • The Road Warrior (1981)
  • The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
  • Babe (1995)
  • Happy Feet (2006)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Last but certainly not least on our list is the Aussie director George Miller. Recently rocketed back into the public eye with the hugely successful Mad Max: Fury Road, Miller still may not have reached his creative peak, even at 72! After training and working as a doctor for some time, Miller developed a love for filmmaking in his off time. Before too long, this hobby blossomed into a career as explosive and filled with variety as any of his excellent films!