Juan Reinoso is a writer/producer/director, dedicated to creating projects that deal with the human condition. He has worked on commercials for brands like Heinekin, Project Runway, and Target, and has a number of short films of his own. When he’s not filming he’s either in pre-production or researching/writing one of his various scripts. He also makes time in every day to read the trades and keep up to date.
Like many indie filmmakers Juan started out as a PA. Including those 2 years he’s been in the business about 15 years. “The tricky thing is always being able to support yourself. Having creative freedom to make your own projects isn’t easy — you have to work hard to make a good name for yourself in order to get continual work, even when starting out as a PA.”
While Juan has won awards at some festivals, he has mixed feelings about submitting his films. “Film festivals can be an important key to further exposure. The catch, however, is that while you’re always trying not break the bank, the costs of film festivals become somewhat prohibitive.” Even if you get in or win an award, it doesn’t necessarily translate to more or better work.
I asked Juan about how he “made it” as a full-time filmmaker, and he said, “I hear the phrase ‘made it’ every so often and that sort of makes me laugh. While I can pay my bills, in part with the help of my work as AD on commercials, it certainly doesn’t feel like I’ve made it. When the time comes that I am able to make projects without having to sink my own money into them that is when I will truly feel like I’ve made it.”
Juan’s recommendations for new filmmakers: “Always have faith. Not everyone will believe in you, and that can be the toughest part. Learn to adapt to what the market needs. The game is very difficult to play sometimes, but if, as I said, you put your heart and soul into it, eventually the end will be worth it. And, finally, don’t take people for granted. I believe in making sure everyone involved loves being a part of what I am doing.”