Guillermo del Toro, renowned for creating terrifying yet aesthetically stunning creatures with supernatural features, has amassed an impressive collection of feature films whose unique style and feel have drawn high praise from film critics and audiences alike. worldwide.
Guillermo Del Toro (October 9, 1964, Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico) is one of the best directors, film producers, screenwriters and special effects specialists in Mexico and Hollywood.
The aces up Toro’s sleeve were the movies Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), production awarded with 3 Oscars (for Best Picture, Best Production Design and Best Makeup) and The Shape of Water for which, in 2018, he won a Golden Globe and two Oscars – best film of the year and best director.
Toro also came to the attention of moviegoers with other cinematic productions such as chronically, The Devil’s Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy and pacific rimall based on horror and dark fantasy themes.
Along with Chuck Hogan, Guillermo del Toro is the co-author of the trilogy The Strain and of the TV series of the same name.
Expert in special effects
Before becoming a director, Guillermo del Toro learned about the art of film makeup and special effects from Dick Smith, who created the makeup for the famous The Exorcist (1973), becoming a professional in this field where he worked for 10 years.
Del Toro’s interest in film and horror stories developed during his childhood. Around the age of eight, del Toro began playing experimentally with his father’s video camera, creating short films whose characters were his own toys.
Director at 8 years old
One of these early films was about a “serial killer potato”, a potato who had set out to take over the world and killed Del Toro’s family before he (the potato) escaped from the house to go out into the world and dominate it. The potato ended up on the street, being hit by a car.
Proving a distinctly creative side, Del Toro continued to make films during high school, and later chose to develop and complete his knowledge in the field by studying at the University of Guadalajara’s film faculty. During his university studies, Guillermo Del Toro published his first book, a biography of Alfred Hitchcock, the director he had praised and admired since childhood.
In the 80s, he started his own film special effects company called Necropia, during that time producing and directing Mexican television programs. Before his debut feature, Del Toro created about ten short films, among them Matilda, Mrs. Lupe and geometrically and worked with renowned Mexican directors including Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón, co-writing and directing five episodes of the series At Hora Marcaida.
His father was kidnapped
In 1997, Guillermo Del Toro’s father was taken hostage in Guadalajara. As soon as he learned of this situation, director James Cameron jumped in to help by paying $1 million to ransom Toro’s father who was released after 72 days.
The kidnappers were never caught and the money was never recovered. After this traumatic episode, Toro’s family moved to the United States of America. The only one who refused to leave Mexico was even Papa Federico, Toro’s father, too attached to his native places to leave them.
Punished for liking horror stories
Toro’s passion and penchant for monster cartoons and tales of all sorts of strange creatures, some of which he himself invented, were not looked upon with too lenient eyes by Del Toro’s grandmother, a practicing and serious Catholic who did not think her grandson would- and occupied the mind with such monstrosities, that she twice attempted to exorcise the demon which had taken possession of the brain and soul of the nephew, in the hope of bringing him, as she thought, to the ground. But the practices had no results.
Toro was not possessed by anything, he was only fond of literature and horror movies. Moreover, he also had an innate talent which, by the way, he would materialize later and which would become his successful profession. As punishment for his mistakes, Toro’s grandmother would punish him by putting metal bottle caps in his shoes.
The first special effects done on your own face
Even as a child, Del Toro used his own face to perform all kinds of make-up techniques transformed into special effects, disguising himself as increasingly grotesque characters, so that the desperate reactions of his panicked grandmother could be viewed with permission The child was terrible. And he had struck terror into his grandmother. But Toro was actually showing and honing his talent. The dozens, hundreds of monsters he drew would later appear in his blockbuster films.
Del Toro had a very clearly defined goal and plan. His main concern during his time specializing in this field was to create flawless characters. Because of this, many times his financial compensations from the films went directly to the costs of the special effects. He invested in this area because he wanted top quality. In 2004, with the making of his film hell boy gave the film studios half of his income in exchange for producing better special effects, refusing any remuneration received for this film, instead demanding that the money be used to make the creatures of Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), ensuring that the lavish and wonderful world he had built there would be flawless.