Kevin Costner

This month of October I did an interview with Kevin Costner. It was amazing!

I was having breakfast with my wife and we were talking about destiny and positive thinking. My phone rang and it was a production coordinator from Globo (a major TV network in Brazil). She asked me if I could do an interview in 2 days from that time with Kevin Costner. WOW! Totally random. I agreed with the terms and prepared for the big event.

Kevin is going to Brazil with his band to do a concert in Bauru, a city in Sao Paulo. This TV network is promoting the show and they sent a reporter to ask some questions. Her name is Luciana Martins and she is very talented and special professional.

Kevin received us in his new house in Santa Barbara. He is a very humble and nice person. He got very excited about us and he even showed us his property. I really enjoyed the time we spent there.

The interview was amazing! I used the sun as my back light and to get more exposure in their faces I used a 750W ctb balanced hard light pointing to them. It gave me at least 2 stops more in their faces, enough to balance the back sunlight.

My wife went there with me and she helped me with the set up. Kevin also liked her. Well who doesn’t???


Taty and Kevin


The interview with Luciana Martins


Me Working

 

Comic Con with HBO

This Summer I did amazing projects and one of them was working with HBO at the Comic Con. I graduated with Fernanda Leite and since the school time she was working for HBO. Today she is a big time producer that call the shots and (knowing that I was living in LA) she invited me to work for them at the Comic Con in San Diego.

The convention is the city biggest event. People from all over the world go there and the small city of San Diego gets very crowded. Comic Con is not about comic books only. It’s a convention that now incorporates movie releases, video games, fashion, rpg games, celebrities, panels about all kinds of different subjects, costume competition, and much more.

My work there was to register everything possible and show the essence of the convention to the Latin American market. I was working with Albert Vinicius who was the directors of photography. He was guiding me through what we needed as far as visuals and feeling. There was Fernanda Leite e Eduardo Zaca who were the producers and reporters of HBO. I did an exclusive with Wesley Snipes and I had the pleasure to meet the artist who draws Spy vs Spy and the artist who draws Conan. I even bought from him a specific picture of Conan as a gift to my brother.

To make the 5 days of work even better, my wife came to San Diego and we spent 3 days together. We had dinner at very good restaurants and she went one day to the Convention with a badge that I got from a guy who worked with me on another gig.

BRANDO UNAUTHORIZED – San Clemente

I am here at the backyard of a beautiful house in San Clemente, Orange County. Tonight is the last day shooting at this location. This place has breath taking views. The people are warm and everybody seems to like us.

I will give a back story to this production. It was a low budget film, shot with no permits and literally on spot decisions every single day. I had to manage a crew of 35 people average and come up with decisions that would keep us motivated, on schedule, and under budget.

We faced all sort of troubles during this second week of production. Starting with the sudden change of location on Tuesday. We were shooting in Burbank and the idea was to shoot there for at least 3 days with the possibility of shooting 5 days total. Well, the very first day we had the cops getting there all the time. Instead of telling the truth and get over with it, some production people lied to the cops saying that we were doing a party and not a film. Cops by nature are dogs searching for lies. They knew that something was up. We had no permits and on top of that, the neighbors were calling the police all the time.

We ended up shooting one day and a half. The cops, neighbors, vibe, nothing was working. The solution was to move some where else. That’s when we decided to go to San Clemente at Rusty’s House. His wife Debbie opened the house for us and let us use the place for 5 days. We not only used her house but we shot at her neighbor’s house. Her name is Alice.  We were also fortunate to shoot in a multi million mansion overlooking the ocean, which in my opinion was one of the best locations we got.

I had the pleasure to work with a guy that randomly appeared one day on set as an extra and I hired him to be my personal helper. His name was Steve and he had no experience whatsoever in the film business. The very first day of work he managed to help me find the multi million dollar location. He got a hold of a guy called Berry who is one of the most generous person that I had the pleasure to meet lately. He is a very known person by everyone in San Clemente and also a real gentleman and a good friend of Rusty. By the fact that he is so well connected, he managed to get us the place in less than one day. I believe that God provides if one keeps a strong heart on everything that one does. Berry told me so many good things that I will keep for the rest of my life. That day was magical.

Right now we are wrapping the last scene of the day. Today I had to do the 1st AD job because the 1st AD had personal problems. Well, I am here typing on the computer because my actors for the last scene are doing the make up. I felt like writing this post because I think this moment is a very special moment in my life. I will get married in a couple of weeks from now, I am finishing my 2nd feature in less than one year, and I will graduate on my 2nd university this semester. The most important is that I feel God closer to me everyday. He is my best friend, and everything is possible because of Him. Thank You.

 

BRANDO UNAUTHORIZED – The month of June

This was one of the craziest yet amazing months of my life.
I started the month completely broke. Instead of freaking out, I put myself together and started working my own projects: 2 scripts and a new demo reel. I had faith that I would pay my bills.

During this time I got to know some people that worked on a new TV station called REDE ITV. This is a Brazilian network based in LA with open programming for the whole southern California and I believe with concession for other US states. I went there for an interview with the owner Josias and his wife Sandra. I was surprised when I discovered that Josias knew my father from the time they were young and used to work together in the same group of actors and directors of stage plays back in the days. The interview went great and after that I did at least 4 freelancer jobs that saved my financial situation.

But the best was about to come. I have a friend called Joe Camacho with whom I had classes together. He mention to me about a production company that needed 1st and 2nd AD for an upcoming low budget film. He thought that it could be a good idea if we worked together there. We went on a meeting and in 4 hours I left the place with a contract in hands. The money was enough to save my finances, but I really didn’t care about that. The best part of this project was the project itself. It’s a film about one of the greatest actors that ever lived: Marlon Brando. What makes this project even more special is the group of people that are involved with it.

Starting with the director Damian Chapa who is definitely a creative person. His passion for filmmaking and his love for the art is visible on every time he smiles on set. He is a grown up man with the power to keep a young soul. We had major obstacles during the process of making this film and, like a warrior, he never let the production down and he kept fighting. This project is a challenge from day one and, in order to make it, one needs a good production team. That’s where Annette Young, Pete Allman, Ryan Torres, and Manny Lopez come to make the dream alive. They are the responsible for everything. They are on top of every issue. All the time they are talking to investors, actors, publicists, and celebrities. If wasn’t for them, there will be no film.

MYC Agnew is the head of everything. He is the voice to be heard and respected. He calls to himself this responsibility and he takes every matter as part of his day by day duties. Everything goes through him. Madla Hruza is the production and costumer designer and she is the artistic eye on every set and costume. She oversees the great work that Amor Sanchez and Parlav Chaudhary do. She is a true artist. Making a film like this needs a very accurate make up department and the head of this department is Keith Beck who is not only very talented but also a very real and nice person. He works with Jason Becker who is the hair stylist, Brittany Hall who is the make up fashion, and Gage Hubbard who is the special effects make up. They are fast and they know what they are doing. They help me more than I help them.

Of course that every film needs actors and this film has an incredible cast. Windy Myers is the casting director that takes care of more than 50 principal actors and 300 extras that we need to make this film come to life. I introduced to her the wonderful and personal friend Lakrishi Kindred who is now helping her with extras.

The camera and sound departments are the best department in this film. Pierre Chemaly is the DP and one of the best that I had the pleasure to work with. Nothing would be possible if he didn’t have a marvelous crew to work with. The Gaffer is Elton James, the grip is Ray Klas, Luigi Ventura is the 1st AC, and the 2nd AC is Abu Baker Siddiq. All of them are fast and understand the nuts and bolts of their profession. Of course that nothing would be possible if the sound department wasn’t good enough to keep up with the camera department. Kirk Dwye is the sound mixer and James O Connor is the boom operator. Together they make the crew complete to deliver one of the most beautiful and controversial indie film of all times. We also have help of a number of PAs who come every other day. Those that I can remember are Joe Hang, Travis Thomas, Parris, Brittani Turner, Jermeil Squnders, and Will Hoover.

There are people who helped but off set. The writer is James Quinn and the editor is Nathaniel Nose. He participated in one scene at the Military base in San Pedro. There is also the still photographer Naoe.

Well this is what I can remember. There are so many people helping on this film that I can not even remember of every one. There are people helping with locations, with cars, with props, with wardrobe, you name it.

I wish I could have more time to talk about each one of them. But at this moment right now, I have to work on the schedule and send call sheets so everybody could be on time at the new location tomorrow. It’s a lot of work, but a great pleasure.

Yesterday we had barbecue on set. We did a late party and everybody loved. I was pleased to see everyone happy. My roommate Peter Roca who helped me to cook for everybody.

 

Fist of Gold

I put together a video for a non profit organization based in Pomona California.
They provide kids with boxing classes and support for competition. Their work is amazing and the Head Coach/Director Jorge Castaneda and his right hand man Jerry are really cool and down to earth guys.

We shot one of the scene of the film Last Act in their gym and they helped us not only with the space but also with a lot of extras. The day we shot in their facility was definitely one of the best days of the production. The person in the production who helped us to get all this done, was the fantastic Coco Cook.

Please take a look at the video below.

Thank you

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND FILMMAKING


I want to wish a Merry Christmas full of joy, love, and fun.
God bless all my family and friends.
My fiance is here with me and we are enjoying the first Christmas together. We had dinner last night and I gave her and my roommates Christmas cards where I told them in a funny and caring way, how important they are in my life. My father called me later at night and I could talk to him and wish him also a Merry Christmas. This morning I called my best friend and we spoke for 20 minutes. Life is beautiful if you have friends, the most valuable thing.
As far as filmmaking, well, I can’t complain. I am directing my first feature film and the result is better than the expected.

First part of the film almost done

We are taking 5 days off and we will start production back again this Sunday, December 20. Ron Quigley (dir./e.p./lead) had to travel. His brother with cancer unfortunately past away. We were about to wrap our second week shooting, and the bad news came. Ron tried to hold on and keep going. This is a lot to handle. The best thing for him to do was visit his family, spend some time away, recharge batteries, and come back renewed.

The good part is that the production is on schedule, footage looks amazing, performances are believable, crew is getting along pretty well, workflow is  in shape. I’m pretty confident that Ron is happy with the work that everybody is doing. As for me, I am really happy with my work too. I am feeling more confident about the work that I do. I can manage the crew better now than I ever managed before. We are always getting good results. Best of all, I am making new friends.

Everybody is amazing. I don’t want to leave anyone behind, but as far as I remember there are in the

– camera/grip department John, Pat, Mark, Tra, Bobby
– make up Deonna,
– Art department with Stacy and Adam,
– production with Edward, Suzana, Rich, Felipe Costa, Coco,
– stills by Maria, and Kevin
– catering by Chris,
– audio by Kevin,
– cinematography by Peter Lugo,
– and direction by Ron.

stills in this post by Kevin.

Everybody is doing an amazing job. There is an excitement every time we call action. I hope this excitement will follow us wherever we go.
I hope that Ron’s brother is resting in peace now. I dedicate my work in his name. May God bless his soul.

Start of production and engagment

Tomorrow we will start the film. The guys had already being there today for a test shoot and pre light the set. I was not able to go because I had to get done with a bunch of school work. I had even a test of one of the best classes I ever took: grip. Good thing is that I nailed the test. I am getting my school done and I am ready for the film.

We are going to start tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm. It’s a lot of work but we are getting more people to work with us. Today I met a guy that wants to take some still photography of the film. That’s great. I hope he can join us.

There is also one more thing that I would like to mention.
I am an engaged man. I will marry my princess. She didn’t know that I planned to propose to her on thanksgiving. I prepared everything for when the moment would come. I even taped the whole thing with a hidden camera. It was awesome. I was very nervous and stressed out. My neck was killing me since I decided to take this step. It was about one month ago. I called her parents and they were happy with the news. We will figure our plans after I am done with the film and she is done with her finals at school. Now the world is opening to a new perspective. New adventures. New challenges.

I pray that God will bless the end of 2009.
Amem.

Thanksgiving nightmare

Today I was supposed to travel to Atlanta to visit my sister, my brother in law, nephew, and my lovely girl, and guess what??? I missed the flight. Now I have to be on stand by for the next one that leaves 8 hours later of my initial flight. I am so stressed with this that I decided to write about it. This vacation to me represents a lot of really important things in my life. I will have to set my mind in order to start the feature, finish my school work, and give a step forward towards my relationship with my girl.
I think that I am expecting so much from this trip that I forgot to focus on simple tasks like be on time. This morning I woke up late and instead of getting myself ready, I looked over the internet to find good deals on cameras that I wont buy for now. I mean I was checking if the HPX500, that uses interchangeable lenses with a bayonet mount, works fine with a prime cannon lenses with the same mount. I was doing all of this with no reason because I wont buy an HPX specially because they start at a list price of 10 thousand dollars. The lenses goes for at least 2 thousand dollars more. That is actually a very neat subject, but what the hell was I doing if I had to take a flight in 3 hours from that time.
I left my house one hour and a half before the flight. The train was departing when I hit the station and that made me lost 15 more minutes. I got to the station where I was supposed to get into another train and I decided to get a cab that cost me 40 bucks. I went to the Airtran counter and there was nobody there, I tried to pass the security with my bags and they did not allowed me to. I tried another way and finally I passed the security. My flight was for 12:55 and I got at the gate at 12:54. The attendant told me that the plane had already gone. I was actually not devastated because you reap what you sow.
Now I am back home and I still have a plane to catch but this time I wont be late.