Part of my learning curve as a novice screenwriter was peeling back the layers and getting to the core of the story. I was really blessed to have two amazing writing mentors who helped me along the way. They always encouraged me to be okay with a simple story.
For me becoming a filmmaker was about taking back my voice - crafting stories that would move away from the problematic narratives that the studio system would put out about Latinos. I think this is why people like my films. They're refreshing. They feel more real.
One hopes for that type of result but you just never know what factors will work in your favor. I think I just was concentrating on making the best film I could under the circumstances I was given. That's all I could really do.
I think making shorts is really about giving yourself the opportunity to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. That's really important to know before getting to your first feature. In many ways you can't afford to make too many mistakes while on that feature.
Going from a short to a feature is like going from crawling to flying. It's a big jump, really. Everything triples - size of crew, budget, shooting days, the cast. Not to mention the stakes - as a first time feature filmmaker so much rides on this film.
I believe in Mexico there's a big culture of moviegoing, both studio and indie. I think here in the US that's not the case because Latino communities don't have access to indie films. If you go into communities of color you will only find the big theater chains which only play the blockbuster genre films.