Film Courage: Can you give us five filmmaking tips for anyone who wants to make a movie?
Alex Munoz, Filmmaker and Founder of FYI Films: First of all have a good screenplay. That’s the most important thing. Have a good screenplay.
Number 2 — make sure you have the resources to make the film. Don’t rush into making the film unless you have the resources to pay for the camera equipment, the locations, and personnel.
The third one is have a really good producer who knows that they are doing and be very, very selective in who you hire.
*Have a good script
*Have the resources to make the film
*Hire a really good producer
*Be polite and respectful and grateful to every crew and cast member. (Very, very, very important).
*Be open to suggestions
One way you can show gratitude is by feeding people well, keep the morale up.
And number five — be open to suggestions. I did a film with Rena Owen, a really great actress from ONCE WERE WARRIORS. She is on another plane…her acting…it’s not mental…it is the character! It’s amazing. And so I would block things out and she would say I was thinking Oma would do it this way. And I said Yes, you’re right. Let’s do it.
You have to be open. Don’t let your ego get in the way of the process because that will really mess you up. If you’re working with an actress who has been acting for 30, 40 years and you’ve been directing for five years, listen to that actress. Be open to taking guidance or suggestions because it will make you feel better.
Film Courage: What was the biggest mistake you made in the beginning on a film set?
Alex: So I directed a a music video for a company and was assigned a cinematographer. I did not get to pick him. I would ask him to do something and he would not do it. I would say Film it this way. And he would film it another…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
FYI Films Mission:
FYI Films empowers youth affected by the juvenile justice system to improve their lives and become self-reliant. Through media literacy and the creative story-telling process, youth find their voice and gain valuable skills that are transferable to all areas of their life.
About FYI Films:
Founded in 2004, FYI FILMS has produced over thirty-five film workshops with youth in LA County, Guam and Hawaii. In these workshops, youth write, direct and perform their own short narrative films based on their past. By making films informed by their own immediate history, the process of filmmaking helps them to gain perspective on their lives. FYI FILMS regularly screens these films to policy makers, giving them insight into the lives of young people from economically disadvantaged communities, and thus helps inform them as they craft policy regarding juvenile offenders. FYI FILMS is a high impact program, and through a three year study, has proven to put a serious dent into recidivism rates in LA County.
FYI FILMS continues to change the lives of incarcerated youth. To date, the organization has helped to make over fifty-five films by offering high impact film workshops to a population that is both underserved and marginalized. FYI FILMS believes that every young person deserves a second chance to turn their lives around. Telling stories helps incarcerated youth gain invaluable perspective on their lives. By giving them the tools to make short, dramatic films based on their own personal and immediate history, it renders their past unrepeatable.
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