Friday, July 29, 2011

Filmmaker Andretti Dante

Andretti Dante was born in San Antonio, TX he first found his love for films when he saw the film Back To The Future at the early age of 7 years old. Andretti would go on to play sports as a child but was always fascinated with films. Once in high school Dante would find his true calling when he joined his high schools television program ECTV. That is when Andretti would start to gather his skills as a filmmaker. He would write, shoot and edit all his short films, television shows and music videos himself. Editing with a 3 VCR set-up Dante says "With all this new technology it makes it so easy now to edit. I love editing I personally don't see how any director doesn't edit their own films."

After graduating high school Andretti would later attend film school at Full Sail University in Orlando, FL. After graduation Andretti went on to work for Fox News in San Antonio, TX where he became a key member in the San Antonio Spurs pre-game and post game shows, as well as directed numerous local commercials. Andretti left Fox News to focus more on film making, where he then moved to Southern California, and within a years time of been there he directed over a dozen music videos, wrote, directed, and produced multiple webisodes (Muzik Nation and Urban Legendz).

Andretti also wrote, produced, and directed his first straight to DVD feature film called “Streetz Keep Callin Me”. Andretti currently has in development and production "Exit 13", "Zombies vs. Scarecrows", "The Religion(film trilogy)", "When The Smoke Clears" and the highly anticipated "Book Of 1,000 Deaths".

What is the current project you are working on?

Currently I'm working on a few projects, I have EXIT 13, THE RELIGION, DECEPTION and LIES, SENDING OUT THE CLOWNS and I just wrapped up WHAT IF. But the main thing on the board is EXIT13.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

Since the second grade I wanted to make movies, I use to think I would have to be an actor to break in to hollywood. So that why I have a huge background in acting because I took it very serious from second grade all the way up to college.

What inspired you to become filmmaker?

Once I saw Back to the Future I knew I wanted to make movies for the rest of my life.

 What is the best thing about being one?

The ability to create, tell stories and do what you love.

What is the worst thing about being one?

The worst thing would have to be being judged, but at the sometime you want that satisfaction of someone else approval of what you created so its a give and take situation.

 What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Hahaha I lost count a long time ago, I been doing this for 17yrs. I make it easy in 2009 I shot over 100 music videos that's just music videos not all the other stuff I done in 2009. So I couldn't even begin to say a number but its easily in the thousand range plus.

 Who is is your favorite filmmaker?

I'm gonna get bashed for this but Michael Bay, Tony Scott, John Singleton, Kevin Smith and Joseph Kahn. Michael Bay and Tony Scott for their color correction and lighting styles plus camera angles and movements. John Singleton for his ability to make black films crossover to all walks a life. Kevin Smith for his great way of capturing great dialogue and keeping things simple but big at the same time. Last Joseph Kahn he is the MASTER of music videos no one does music videos better than him. I hope one day I can make a music video half as good as his worst video.

 How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

My life has changed drastically, I meet so many people from all walks of life its a beautiful thing. I'm just a kid from the ghetto of San Antonio who had a dream of making films and I worked hard to get out of there and make something of myself. I mean even doing this interview is huge too me. I would never guess someone would be interested in what I had to say. I just feel blessed and enjoy these moments because I know how hard I worked and its cool too see people like or have interest in what I say and do.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to 
make it in the movie business?

I actually get asked this a lot and I tell everyone the something. Its the NIKE slogan "JUST DO IT". I mean literally grab a camera grab some friends write a short film and shoot it with your friends. You don't even need a fancy camera or lights just make it work with what you got and keep doing it every month do a new one. Before you know it people will be watching and you will build your fan base while perfecting your craft.

 What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I LOVE sports as I played them my whole life since I was 5 years old. I'm a die hard NBA fan love it too death. I like to play video games hang with friends. I keep it really low key because if I get time too myself I usually take advantage of the down time and just chill.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

Oh yeah I probably had over a 100 different jobs lol, working other jobs reminded me that I was born too do filmmaking because I cant keep a regular job to save my life. Haha I've worked everywhere from McDonald's to Target, warehouse jobs, movie theatre, to being a soap inspector, I was a DJ. I've had some crazy jobs in the past. But a little of all of them help inspire characters and different elements in my movies. It makes writing characters so easy when you know so many different people.

 What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

AMERICAN FILMS: Lost Boys, Back to the Future, Requiem For A Dream, Above The Rim, Poetic Justice, Domino, Bad Boys 1-2, Transformers 1 and 3, Transformers(animated movie), GrindHouse, Dusk Till Dawn,Pulp Fiction, Scream of Fear, Death Wish, Sin City, Running Scared, Fight Club, Friday the 13th 1-3, Nightmare on Elm St., Predator, etc.

FOREIGN FILMS: Martyrs, Fish Tank, Kidulthood, Adulthood, 4321, City of God, City of Men, Gomarrah, Shottas,

TELEVISION SHOWS: The Wayans Bros., SKINS(UK version), Sugar Rush, Entourage, Weeds, Dexter, The First 48, Sportscenter, Martin, I think that's enough I will name movies for days.

 How would you describe your film education?

I would think I'm highly educated in filmmaking from how long I been doing it. But its always room to grow and learn new things because technology grows and changes so fast.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

Hahaha well I live in Hollywood so you can ONLY imagine what its like, you have your fakes and snakes, your never gonna make it, the ones that are past their prime but still think they got it and your humble hard working people who just love the art form. I just hope I never fall into that way past my prime field and if I do I hope someone pulls me back to reality.

 How has social media changed the independent film industry?

It has changed the game TREMENDOUSLY because now you can get your film out too so many different people. By just sitting at your computer and with the click of a button. It's a huge plus for indie film and just a beautiful thing to witness.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think crowdfunding is a great thing when not abused. I also think its starting to become more and more misused. I remember a year ago doing a campaign and it was so different then it is now. Just a year ago people were embarrassed to do a crowd funding campaign now I see those same people always doing them. Its more accepted now. But I think some people misuse it by only going to these resources and not outsourcing to other places to try to get money. But I think it's a great thing I will continue to use it but only when it's really need it.

What is the casting process like?

The casting process is fun and draining, it just depends on if you have great actors coming in or if you get 4 or 5 hours of duds. But its always cool to find that new actor/actress that just blows you away and its perfect for the part your casting. That's the most beautiful part of casting.

 How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

First and the biggest thing is the budget your average mainstream film is about 15 million dollars while your average indie flick is about 15 thousand dollars. HUGE gap difference but I think the most important part is the freedom to tell the stories we want to tell. it more on what they think you want to see instead of trying something new and innovate.

 You could go back in time and see any classic film being made. Which film would it be and why?

I would have to go with Star Wars, because I would want to just soak up that whole vibe on the set and see in person if everyone there realize how big what they were creating was gonna become. I'm a average Star Wars fan not crazy about like other people but I like it and too see how  so many people lives it touched and how many generations it has lasted and still will last. That's something I would love to be apart of that process.

 What's your favorite movie quote and why?

"I'm here trying to squeeze a dollar out of a dime and I ain't even got a cent" - DJay from "Hustle and Flow"

 What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

I hate remakes for the most part some is okay, but some of the classics like Karate Kid and Red Dawn don't touch them just leave them alone. Sequels I think most films should be a trilogy just so you can really showcase these characters you develop a lot more. Yes you can develop them in an hour and a half. But sometimes they're developed so well you want to see them more so why not have a part two and three.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I think its cool but you know majority of the time they're not gonna get it right. But hey the Harry Potter and Twilight films seem to do alright so I can't be mad at them.

  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes I would like to Thank you for having me on your blog, also would like to thank everyone who took the time to read this interview and I would like for everyone to say a pray for my close friend Andrew Dean's sister who is in the hospital. We all hope you get well Candace and sending prays out world-wide too you and your family. Thank you - Andretti Dante

Thanks for  doing the interview Andretti. Good luck with "Exit 13" and your other projects. I send out prayers and positive vibes to Candace and hope she gets well soon. Please help out Candace by going to