Skip to main content

Filmmaker Spotlight: Director Alex Calleros of "Stealing Time"

This week's filmmaker spotlight is on Director Alex Calleros of Stealing Time. Calleros' film was selected to be part of the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles screenings at Sunset Gower Studios this month. Learn about the film, his inspirations, goals and current projects.

Name/Position: Alex Calleros / Director
Film: Stealing Time



Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you’ve been working on it. 

The idea for “Stealing Time” came in February 2010, when I challenged my long-time collaborator, Michael Tucker, to write a short script based on several constraints. One of them was “Someone must say the words time travel.” He took that constraint and ran with it, writing a neat little time travel movie.  The idea sat around for over a year before we actually produced it in spring 2011, as part of a film series for our website www.finite-films.com.  We released the film online in July 2011, and got a great response from fellow time travel nerds that appreciate the genre as much as we do.

Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?

I’d really like to thank every single person listed in the credits. Making this film was so much fun, thanks to the incredibly dedicated and talented people who volunteered their time to make it happen. This film was shot for under $1000, so essentially it was a no-budget production. Nobody got paid, but everybody poured their all into it. I’m so grateful to everyone who made it happen.

How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?

I’m really excited to watch the film with an audience for the first time. It’s such a gratifying and valuable experience to get to actually see how an audience reacts to your work. All the movies Finite Films has produced for www.finite-film.com have been distributed on the web, so us filmmakers who co-founded the production company haven’t had a chance to screen many of our movies in a theater. I’m so grateful that NewFilmmakers LA is giving us a chance to do that.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired whenever I see a film for the first time, and it makes me feel and experience very real, powerful emotions in a way that no other art form can really accomplish. It really is pure magic when a film sweeps you up and takes you on a journey. That’s I think what I’m always striving to accomplish, it’s sort of the ultimate goal for me as a filmmaker: can I create something that the viewer can get swept up in, that can give them that sense of movie magic that drew me to cinema from a very early age?

Who are your influences and who do you admire?

One of my favorite films of all time is a movie from 2006 called “Children of Men” which was directed by Alfonso Cuaron. It’s an incredibly intelligent, emotional, and powerful dystopian sci-fi movie that is as close to “flawless” as I can imagine. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

I also have a huge amount of admiration for really bold directors like Paul Thomas Anderson; I’d say his movies “Magnolia” and “Punch Drunk Love” have been huge influences on me.

“Stealing Time” sort of fulfills my childhood wish to make fun adventure films, in the style of all those classic Steven Spielberg films that made me want to be a director in the first place.



What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since moving to L.A. is that if you want to be a director, one of the best ways is just to start making movies, any way you can. There is no clear “path” to becoming a working film director; you have to take the initiative and just do it, to prove that you are one.  The lessons I’ve learned while creating self-financed, ultra-low-budget short films have been more valuable to my growth as a writer and director than any actual film industry jobs I’ve worked in Hollywood.

If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?

I would love to collaborate with Joseph Gordon Levitt on a project. He’s a great actor, always chooses interesting projects, and just seems like an all-around good person. I think it would be a blast to collaborate with him.

What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?

This is sort of a big question; I’ve had to overcome a lot of different things in my life, but I would say that in the realm of filmmaking, one of the biggest, toughest lessons I’ve learned is that getting feedback is so incredibly important. Getting negative feedback can be very difficult. As a writer/director, it’s so easy to get excited about an initial idea, to have a vision for a whole movie in your head, and forget that it’s not just for you—it’s for other people. It’s for an audience, and just because you have a vision that excites you, that doesn’t mean that vision will translate for anyone else. You need to get feedback every step of the way, be able to filter and think about that feedback, and constantly re-write and revise. It’s a learned skill to be able to separate yourself from your work and not take criticism personally; it’s a skill I’m constantly working on.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?

I don’t know if this is good advice, but it’s definitely inspired me to do crazy things; take on challenges I maybe wouldn’t have otherwise faced. It’s a quote from my good friend and collaborator Michael Tucker: “If it’s not impossible, why do it?”

What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?

Once you decide what you want to do, realize you’ll have to find the right path for that job. If you want to be a filmmaker—a writer and/or director—there’s not going to be a clear path. There’s no career ladder I’m aware of to “becoming” a feature film director. Everyone’s path is different. But I think the most important thing you can do is find a community of like-minded collaborators, and just make movies. Get feedback. Get better. Then get your stuff out there and show the industry who you are as a filmmaker. Of course, I can’t say yet how that path all pans out in the end, because I’m still working on it!

Where can we expect to see you next?

Right now the production company I co-founded, Finite Films, is developing a web series based on one of our short films “Anamnesis.”  We’re really excited about this project and are about to go into pre-production on the first four episodes.

Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects.

Check out www.finite-films.com for more on everything myself and my collaborators Ryan McDuffie and Michael Tucker have produced, written, and directed over the past year and a half.  We challenged ourselves to do something rather impossible: produce 12 short films in 12 months, based on user-submitted constraints to our website.  It was an insane year of non-stop filmmaking that pushed us to the limits of what we thought we could do, and it’s really gratifying to be at the end of it now and have 12 ambitious short films to show for it.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Keep an eye out for a web series tentatively titled “Anamnesis.” We’re really looking to push the envelope of what a web series can do.  The series will be hosted on the site www.FilmSkillet.com (it will be a joint production of Film Skillet and Finite Films).

For more information, visit: http://www.newfilmmakersla.com/


About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
Questions, comments or suggestions?
Follow Twitter.com/ChristyBuena    

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.


EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

BEAUTIFUL RIGHTS Gives Women’s Rights Some Real Lip Service

Beautiful Rights is here to give women’s rights some real lip service. This new, cause-driven makeup initiative, founded by renowned makeup artist and product developer, Kristen Therese Leonard, was created to ensure that women’s rights continue to be given their share of voice in our country’s future.

As we enter into 2017, real concerns regarding women’s rights are upon us. Beautiful Rights was created to remind every woman to speak up, and that the responsibility lies within each of us to protect the rights we’ve fought so hard to acquire.

Beautiful Rights will promote women’s rights by donating 20% of all sales (not profits) to organizations that support our causes, such as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Emily’s List, Lambda Legal and Legal Momentum. The 20% contribution is set as a reminder of the fact that women in the U.S. still get paid 20% less than men for doing the same work.

Not only will Beautiful Rights fuel great initiatives, it will also provide women with top-of-line…

Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale Releases March 9, 2017

Aniplex of America Inc. announced today that the nationwide release of the highly anticipated feature film Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- will take place on March 9, 2017. Details on theater locations and tickets for the nationwide release will be announced at a later date on the official homepage (www.sao-movie.net/us). Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- will be distributed by ELEVEN ARTS in the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.
About Sword Art Online: The animated TV series Sword Art Online is based on author Reki Kawahara’s light novel in which the protagonist Kirito fights to survive in the mysterious next-gen VRMMORPG called “Sword Art Online.”
Since the first volume of the novel was published in April 2009, the series has proved extremely popular, with cumulative sales exceeding 12.5 million units in Japan and 19 million worldwide, spawning two TV anime adaptations, video games, comic books, and merchandise.
Story of Sword Art Online the Movie -O…

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."

SUMMER FABRIC "INGREDIENTS"

DENIM
COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Book Review: "Feel Me Fall" by James Morris

Survival, suspense, fear, love, death and a major plot twist are a few key themes that describe the brand new Young Adult novel, Feel Me Fall, by James Morris. Having read two of his previous books, including Melophobiaand What Lies Within, he definitely succeeds at taking you on a crazy adventure where you can't stop reading as you'll want to find out what happens next. The first few chapters of Feel Me Fall are reminiscent of the classic book, Lord of the Flies, the TV show "LOST," and even the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away, where a plane crash in a remote area forces survivor(s) to fend for themselves away from modern day luxuries and civilization. One of the major differences is that Feel Me Fall is centered around high school students, where their teen issues collide with primal survival instincts. 
Unlike Lord of the Flies, which was written in 1957, Feel Me Fall gives a glimpse of today's world where parents and teens dabble in video games, things go viral on …