Please tell us what inspired you to enter into the world of films?
Watching the "behind the scenes" of some of my favorite movies is what made me fall in love with the process and made me realize that I wanted to be a part of it. Not only that, but the moment I knew that you, as a filmmaker, could create emotions through visuals is what made me want to try it in the first place.
Filmmaking is a laborious job, so what keeps you motivated?
Even though the editing process is the one I enjoy the most, being on set is what keeps me motivated. The joy and memories of working with lots of talented people in the crew and seeing that all of us have an impact on the outcome of the film is what keeps me going.
Once you look back, you realize the memories you made are gonna stick with you forever.
How do you choose your star cast?
We did auditions for GrennValley for a week and a half, and I remember Kari, who plays Sussy, being the first one to be cast. Nayshka and Taylor both blew me away in their auditions. And I liked how they both fit with their characters, respectively, and once they were together, I loved the chemistry they had on and off-screen.
Do you think taking an audition is the best way to cast for a movie or documentary?
Yes, auditions are vital. As you interact with your potential actor, you see how they react to situations, how they feel about it, and, most importantly, what values they can add to the character.
Do you agree many filmmakers fail to understand the importance of editing?
I consider editing the most crucial aspect of a film. It is not just about cutting and pasting the movie; it's about adding elements that bring life to it: Color, music, sound design, VFX, etc.
Who are your filmmaking influences?
Many filmmakers have influenced me in the last couple of years, but if I had to pick, I'd have to be Alejandro G. Iñarritu. The way he uses storytelling is unique, especially in his early movies. Wong Kar-wai is also one of my favorites; he is the master of using emotions over dialogue, and I hope to create a piece of art similar to his one day.
How do you choose a script that you are going to direct?
As I read the script, I picture all the elements in my head, and I see what I can bring to the table if I get to be the director. The story needs to resonate with me, but I also need to feel confident about being something I can handle.
Where do you see the film industry going in the next 2 years?
Even though streaming services are growing up fast, the experience of going to the movie theater is what I believe people will choose as their #1 option for watching a movie.
Technology is evolving on the production side of things, and I can see film shoots being less challenging with modern types of equipment and brand-new tools.
Do you make films to entertain the audience?
From my point of view, movies exist to transmit an idea or message to their specific audience—even blockbusters. We usually watch a movie or TV Show to be entertained or pass the time, but the deeper you look, you’ll come to realize that the filmmakers intended to convey a message about an idea that could reach any place.
Which actor, according to you, is the all-time best actor?
This is a hard question to answer, but the first ones that come to mind are Daniel Day-Lewis, Viola Davis, Gary Oldman, Joaquin Phoenix, Margot Robbie, and Christian Bale.
What are your goals when you make a film?
Sharing an idea with others is my main goal. The director's communication with all the departments is vital for the vision to reach and remain in the minds of the intended audience. For GreenValley, the cast and crew were terrific, and the idea behind it wouldn't have been possible without them.
What role does music play in a movie?
Music is what sets the tone and pacing of your film. It guides the audience to what the characters are going through on-screen, and it helps the story move forward.
How do you ensure that production is on schedule?
There are a lot of factors that play out about production being on schedule; even though it's great when everything is going smooth, there are always going to be certain things that will make production go behind schedule. As a director, rehearsing with my actors and constantly communicating with the different departments during pre-production is vital for the shooting dates to be on schedule.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I have a few concepts I am trying to develop down the line, but I am expanding my editing knowledge as of right now. There have been some great new people that I’ve met who have shared their expertise in the post-production world that I know will help me to improve my editing skills.