4 CREATIVO 7 de julio de 2010 Buddy Calvo ignites the indie film scene in SA By Angela Covo email@example.com When Buddy Calvo, 27, looks around SanAntonio, he sees fertile ground for all his movie ideas. The self-taught filmmaker has a vision – and with his new film, “The Powderkids,” he is turning his dreams and vision into a reality. The Jefferson High School graduate attended the University of Texas-SanAntonio for three years as an international business major, and then decided to attend the Radio-Television-Film school at SanAntonio College. When he learned it would take a couple of years to actually get behind a camera and film, he decided he couldn’t wait that long. He left school and started to teach himself the craft, and it’s clear he is determined to make films his way. “The Powderkids” is not Calvo’s first venture. In 2005, he created 3 Creams Productions/ Machina Cinema with fellow filmmakers Perla Rivera and Joe Gallegos. Machina Cinema already completed two short films, including award winning “Wanderlust” in 2008 and “Jacob” in 2009. “The Powderkids” is the team’s first full-length feature, and they are capitalizing on everything they learned in the first two films. “When I started, I would wear all the hats - writer, producer, director, editor and cinematographer – and that’s not the way to go,” Calvo said. “Now I turn to professionals, which is the key to making a movie that actually looks like a movie, not a video.” Calvo, prepared to give up some of that creative control, instantly faced another obstacle: a lack of money to hire the professional help he understood the project deserved. With the help of Simon Guerra, investor and executive producer for the project, the team was able to start talking to people. “I sold Darren Abate on the movie. He is one of the best photographers and cinematographers in SanAntonio, and he was kind to work for much less than he is worth, just to make this movie possible,” Calvo added. Even with Abate on board, Calvo still needed to figure out how to get his hands on affordable equipment to create a high quality film. Together, Calvo and Abate discovered something unique about an offthe- shelf professional D-SLR Canon Camera that was about to revolutionize movie making for independent filmmakers. “We not here to pretend we’re something we’re not, we just wanted to make the best looking movie, period, no excuses,” Calvo said. The breakthrough revolved around available technology that nobody seemed to realize could be harnessed for filmmaking. “One of the biggest things in Hollywood is that all the cameras have this small chip – a computer chip – that allows them to film in 35mm. It turns out that this Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a professional series camera to shoot stills, but it had that chip and a video function,” Calvo explained. He and Abate played with the camera and discovered it could shoot video in 35 mm and shoot 1080P Full HD progressive video. “This digital SLR could shoot insanely beautiful video, and when Darren added his $5000 and $10,000 lenses, the video looked like a multi-million dollar project,” Calvo said. The use of a still frame digital camera to film a movie was innovative, cost-efficient and trend setting. They started the work more than a year ago, but Calvo said it was the first time a full-length feature had ever been shot with such a camera before in Texas. “Now, everybody is using it,” he said. Breaking new ground in independent filmmaking techniques with the production of “The Powderkids” was just the beginning. The movie is also the first fulllength feature to shoot a foot chase scene set in the streets of downtown SanAntonio by a SanAntonio filmmaker. “We were able to create a great foot chase scene with the assistance of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and stuntmen from Austin – the streets were closed off so we could film, people watched, it was great,” Calvo said. The result is a film with a cinematic look and feel. Calvo won’t disclose how much it cost to make the movie, but he did tell LaPrensa it “was made for fairly cheap – thanks to friends we’ve made through the years.” “Everyone does ask me how much it cost too make - $500,000, $600,000. Ha! It was much less – I’ve never seen $500,000 in my life,” Calvo added. Still, he wishes the film scene in SanAntonio could be more supportive of its independent filmmakers. “The film scene in SanAntonio should be better – we have so many talented people here,” he said. Thanks to all that talent, Calvo has a film he is proud of. He attributes a great deal to the passionate energy of everyone who worked on the film. “It’s attention to detail and effort in the production process that makes the movie,” he said. Calvo wants everybody to understand that filmmaking is art, but it’s also accessible to those who really want to make movies, especially in SanAntonio. “I’m doing it, Mark Cantu is doing it, Dora Peña is doing it,” he said, naming just a few colleagues. “Robert Rodriguez showed it was possible – I want to show that it’s possible and you can be successful right here in SanAntonio,” he said. “This essentially is a calling card for independent filmmakers, this is what we can do and what is capable if you put your mind to it and never give up,” said Calvo. “As ‘The Powderkids’ put it, ‘don’t talk about it, be about it.’” Tickets for “The Powderkids” screening at 7 p.m., August 19th and 26th at the Santikos Palladium Theater, are on sale now and available only online at www.machinacinema.com for $10. Access to the film’s extended trailer is also available at www.machinacinema. com.
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