10. When you saw your final cut for the first time did it meet your expectations? Tell us about the first time you saw your final cut.
Watching the final cut for the first time is amazing. There it is all your hard work up on the big screen. You’re proud and you think of all the obstacles you have to jump over to get the film done. What gets me is when you watch the final cut for the second and third time and so on. There were scenes that we had to loose because of time and budget constraints. There were about three scenes missing from the beginning of the film that we just could shoot and every time I watch the film I wish we had had the time and money to go after those scenes! But that’s a major pitfall of making Indie Films and you make your peace with it and the decisions you had to make along the way.
11. Tell us about your inspiration for being a filmmaker.
There’s nothing like telling a story. It’s one of the best feelings in the world is to sit in a movie theatre with an audience that’s watching your film and watching them react in all the places that you crafted the film to get reactions.
12. How long did it take you to write the script?
I spent the whole first season on “Malcolm” to write an outline of sorts to the story. Then LaBelle, Graciano, and myself, actually spent 2 weeks location scouting off of the outline. That way LaBelle and I knew what locations could be at our disposal. Graciano, the only one who really spoke any kind of Spanish, then would figure all the costs of shooting in the locations we loved and wanted to go after. Then when we returned back to Los Angeles we managed to write the entire script in about three months. Then three months later we were shooting!
13. How were you feeling during the shoot? Were you nervous? Excited? Doubtful?
I felt great during the shoot. Being able to combine two loves of mine, travel and filmmaking, I would wake up in the morning with a spring in my step and I felt like I could have shot 20 hours a day if I had the chance. Normally I don’t like to shoot over 14 hours in a day, but I loved every second of each day and couldn’t wait to wake up the next morning to do it all over again.
14. Did you ever feel like this project was too big or bigger than you?
There was a point during production where we had the entire crew in Cusco, Peru and we ran out of money. We were visiting Western unions daily ass out family and investors were getting us money so we could continue to shoot. Then one day we had to make a decision to whether or not to try and continued to Bolivia to try and shoot in the Salt Flats. From Cusco we’d have to take a 10 hour bus ride to Puno and then an additional 6 hour bus ride to La Paz (and while at the border, try and sneak in all the camera equipment). Then from La Paz take another 12 hour bus ride on dirt roads to the Salar de Unyni, our final shooting location. I remember the night we made the decision to go for it. LaBelle, Graciano, and myself sat at a bar scared shitless (none of us ever said it but you could tell in our eyes we were nervous). One of the investors can through and got us $8,000. We were gonna cut it close if we went to Bolivia. We had six days to get to Bolivia and then back to Lima, Peru. The bus ride from La Paz back to Lima, Peru was about 30 hours in its self and it would take over a day to get to La Paz. If something happened during that time and we missed our flights out of Lima, we were going to be in big trouble. Even worse, Chris Masterson had to be back In Los Angeles to start another movie and if we went for Bolivia and got Chris out of La Paz, he would make it back to Los Angeles 18 hours before he had to step on the set of his next film. If he didn’t report to set when he had to, we were going to be in big trouble. I remember all of us trying to figure out how do we stay in Peru and finish the movie but after about two hours of solid drinking we all decided to go for the Salt Flats. It was that moment leaving the bar where we knew it do or die and going for it meant the project was bigger than all of us.
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