I am about to embark on another possibly foolhardy filmmaking project, in Ireland this time. I have a bit of experience making films abroad, in England and Spain. I directed a short film and a television pilot in England and I directed and produced two shows for the Spanish market. One being a cooking show based on Andalusian cuisine and a travel show. Both presented their challenges and many pleasant surprises. All of these experiences lead to a realization that making films abroad was significantly different than shooting a film in Los Angeles. On any given day, in the greater Los Angels area, there must be at the very least a dozen or two projects shooting. These projects are as varied as big studio pictures, network shows, student films, or independently financed features and shorts. I have been involved in everything on that list over the past 30 years and have directly experienced the evolution in filmmaking during that time. This is the movie capitol of the world, so if you need actors and crews, you have come to the right place.
In my experience, casting, finding locations, and hiring crew in the UK and the European Union seems to me to be much easier to manage than here in many ways. There has never been a shortage of access to amazing locations that have been available to the projects I have shot. Casting in these countries has the distinction of seeing fresh faces with sincerity and authenticity that is hard to describe, just watch any show from the UK or British film if you need convincing. As far as crew is concerned, there were no shortages of sound people, camera operators, editors, and even producers that were willing to have a go and take a chance to work with me. And all of this has been managed with little to no budget. I am seen as someone bringing a Hollywood experience to the small towns and villages. Matching my experience with local enthusiasm, as it runs out this is a magical combination. I am a bit of an anomaly abroad, whereas in Los Angeles, I am just another of the thousands of actors that dream of directing.
I guess what I am trying to say is that a Peruvian born, American citizen that lives and works in Hollywood wanting to make movies in other countries has the advantage of the unusual. It just doesn’t happen every day. So, for the rest of this year, I will be chronicling my progress as I shoot a film in Ireland with very little financing, a lot of local help, and a little bit of luck….of which the Irish have in bucket loads…so I’m told. I will detail every step along the way from the development stage to postproduction. Combining the two things I love the most – traveling and filmmaking – is a privilege I don’t underestimate. This is my chance to do both and be better for the experience. I hope that you check in with us and see how this crazy, illogical, and exhausting project turns out.