Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist and designer. He is mostly known as a film director of what could be called strange science fiction, fantasy, and war films, having begun is career in his native Mexico as a visual effects and makeup artist.
After he was given a $30 million budget for the film Mimic, he gained a lot of notoriety in the crime-ridden country and his father was kidnapped and held for ransom. Since then, del Toro has exiled himself from Mexico. He has continued his career in the United States.
Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was raised in a strict Catholic household. He first got involved in filmmaking when he was eight years old and studied special effects and make-up with special effects artist Dick Smith. He also wrote four and directed five episodes of the cult series La Hora Marcada, along with other Mexican filmmakers such as Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón.
He spent ten years as a special effects make-up designer and formed his own company, Necropia. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival. Later on in his directing career, he formed his own production company, the Tequila Gang.
In 1997, at the age of 34, Guillermo was given a $30 million budget from Miramax Films to shoot his second film, Mimic. During this time, his father, automotive entrepreneur Federico del Toro, was kidnapped in Guadalajara. Although Federico was eventually released safely, there was intense economic pressure from his captors, to the point that del Toro's family had to pay twice the amount originally asked. The event prompted del Toro, his parents and his siblings to move abroad. In an interview with Time magazine, he said this about the kidnapping of his father: "Every day, every week, something happens that reminds me that I am in involuntary exile from my country.”
Guillermo del Toro is both the director and producer of the 2013 film Pacific Rim. The script was written by Travis Beacham. He had this to say about the Japanese-inspired film about humans piloting giant robots to defend Earth from huge alien creatures,.
- ""It’s a great, great kaiju-vs.-mankind extravaganza. I saw all those movies as a kid; I grew up watching Gojira, War of the Gargantuas, Frankenstien Conquers the World, you name it. We saw them every Sunday in Mexico; there was a matinee with either British horror or Japanese horror, so I grew up on a steady diet of Japanese horror and science fiction. And we used to get a lot of Japanese TV—Ultraman, Space Giant… Mexico, for whatever reason, unexplainable to me, had a huge market for Japanese fiction.”"
- —Guillermo del Toro
About Pacific Rim
- “A movie like this, it’s easy to forget how unique you can make it. I wanted to make the movie not a war movie but an adventure movie — a movie that has a huge, romantic sense of adventure, grandeur, operatic battles that were not only respectable but have a huge emotional content. Because in a movie like this when you have 25-story monsters and you don’t have a sense of awe and scale, everything is lost.”
- “I wanted to recreate the sensation you have in an adventure movie of what it was to be there battling with a thing that is the size of a skyscraper – a thing that can actually face a tornado and win. When you get a budget you can do two things: you can get crazy or lazy. And I chose to be as crazy as I could. We used creativity and passion and madness as a fuel to make this movie.”
- “When we built the streets, we rigged the streets with hydraulic systems, so when a monster’s walking, the pavement is rigged to bounce. And blocks of pavement bounce and cars bounce and buildings bounce. You may think, ‘Oh – that’s CG!’ It wasn’t. We were shaking the entire set!”
- On CGI - "We approached it like Harryhausen approached stop motion. One of the things we were very clear about is no fucking motion capture. It was because I don’t want the robots moving just like human beings. I needed the robots to really move with a sense of shock absorber, a joint, a gear moving.”
- “I wouldn’t compare it to a Godzilla film. I told my crew we should not reference other movies. We should not go and re-watch Gamera or re-watch Gojira or War of the Gargantuans because we love them, right? So we said, let’s create the world that we’re doing. We should not be doing a referential film.”
- "My life is a suitcase. I am the traveling Mexican."
- "If you're not operating on an instinctive level, you're not an artist.... Reason over emotion is bullshit, absolute bullshit... We suffocate ourselves in rules. I find fantasy liberating."
- "When you have the intuition that there is something which is there, but out of the reach of your physical world, art and religion are the only means to get to it."
- "I'm an asshole", with a chuckle when asked about being a nice down to earth person after a sneak peek of Pacific Rim during the San Diego Comic-con in 2012.
|1985||Doña Lupe (short)|
|1986||Dona Herlinda and Her Son|
|1998||Under a Spell|
|2001||The Devil's Backbone|
|2002||I Murder Seriously|
|2006||Hellboy: Sword of Storms (animated)|
|2007||Hellboy: Blood and Iron|
|2008||While She Was Out|
|2008||Rudo y Cursi|
|2008||Hellboy II: The Golden Army|
|2011||Kung Fu Panda 2|
|2011||Don't Be Afraid of the Dark|
|2011||Puss in Boots|
|2012||Rise of the Guardians|
|2012||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey|
|2012||The Captured Bird (short)|
|2013||The Hobbit: There And Back Again|