JD Mata Films

J.D. Mata is an actor, independent filmmaker, musician/ Choir Director, Piano Bar player, etc... He lives in Los Angeles. This is the place where he will reveal his "rebel without a crew" Robert Rodriguez inspired style of indie filmmaking secrets! And, just "A day in the life" stuff!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


In the 70's cult film, "The Longest Yard," Burt Reynolds, a quarterback for the Prisoners' team, in which they play the against the prison Guards, has time for one more play in which to score a touchdown ONE yard away from the goal line. Scoring this touchdown leads to victory over the guards. In a classic moment in cult film cinema, he takes the snap, and in slow motion scrambles for which seems like an eternity evading tacklers, and in dramatic fashion scores! This a metaphor for my world at the moment as I struggle to finish this film. Last night, between the wee hours of midnight and this morning, I logged and captured the final pickup shots, and tonight I will edit them into the flick. I'm one yard away from scoring, as I feel like I'm in dramatic slow motion mode. Is this a good thing? I can only hope. Hey, hit "Fast-Forward," and go finish your film!......love, jd

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

E=energy D=drive I=illusionist T=tenacious....EDIT

Ya, all those things! And then multiply that by one hundred and you are in the editing world of a Fugue/Indie Filmmaker! I am in the "Weeds" in terms of trying to finish this film. You write the script, shoot it then edit. Then you realize it's just not working, and you pull out the camera and shoot scenes to "fill the holes." Don't beat yourself up, as it's part of the process. If it was easy, everybody would be making feature films. However, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal, so relax and enjoy the challenge! Don't take yourself so serious shirtless film boy, and go finish your film, DWEEB! haha..love, jd

Monday, February 26, 2007

Two by Two

Just the two of us. That's all it took to shoot the last few "Pick-up" shots this weekend and today of my latest feature "Flick" MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO! I had the honor of working with Tobi Sackheim as she operated camera, masterfully! The scenes consisted of the PSYCHO and his workout regiment. i.e. Lifting weights, and running the hills and streets of L.A.! Now put your shirt back on and get back into the EDITING ROOM and finish your film "Psycho-boy!!!!!" love, jd

Friday, February 23, 2007

Li'l Pal, the Wonder Chiguagua!

I had the pleasure of working with the Brilliant Chiguagua, Li'l Pal Worth, a couple of nights ago. Li'l Pal co-star's in my film MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO, as she plays the Psycho's "Psycho" pet. Li'l Pal hit every mark and was a total Pro on set! Li'l Pal's owner is Genius Producer, recent recipient of the prestigious Annie Award, and Director of the Animation Archive, A.S.I.F.A., Steve Worth. Thank you Steve for allowing us to cast you're brilliant wonder pet!!!! I'm so {{{{{{{Close))))))) to completely COMPLETING this film. It has been a labor of love, and it will be my best work to date! I hope, maybe, whatever, I'm just glad to be done with it, actually. Fellow filmmakers, Start and Finish your film no matter WHAT or how long it takes to finish it! And, I can't stress enough, once it is finished, stay out of the way of the RESULTS! You/I, did the best, you/I, could! love, jd
P.S. again, I've attached the temporary trailer...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

ASH' K ' why I have this mark on my forehead.....

Yes, yesterday was Ash Wednesday in the Catholic Faith, and I went and got my ashes on my forehead. I'm sure yesterday at some point, you saw someone with the "Mark!" Perhaps, Mel Gibson. Haha, just keeding! In any event, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent which is when Jesus went up to the mountain and fasted, prayed, and was tempted for 40 days and nights. This is the length of LENT then comes Holy Week which leads and culminates with Easter, the RESURRECTION! I don't mean to get all religious, pious, and self-rightous, but it's kinda cool to write about your faith. At any rate, back to the Ashes. The ashes are a symbol of letting go, buring all past spiritual transgressions and shortcomings. In other words, all the shitty stuff you've done; hence, the ashes on the forehead with the sign of the cross. These next 40 days and nights, LENT, are a time for penance, prayer, peace, and JOY/EASTER!!!! A new beginning! Now go finish your film and convert to Catholicism!! heehee...love, jd
P.S. Last night I shot more inserts for the film. YEA!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

one, two, THREE, one two,THREE, one,two, THREE...

There were only three of us last night as I did pickup shots for my film MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO! We consisted of Fernando Luis camera operator and 1st A.D., Chuck Cason, playing Detective jarvis, and myself, the "Mexican American Psycho," in the flesh! Major Kudos to Fernando for successfully shooting around my "Black eye!" Again, I can't stress enough, don't do anything avoidable that can cause you any injury until after you have COMPLETED your film! In any event, the evening started a bit shaky as I chose WAMU Bank on Lankershim to shoot part of a chase scene running up 20 flights of stairs. When we got there to shoot, the buiding was closed! Remember, I'm a Fugue Filmmaker! Fugue Filmaking has been defined in previous posts, but in short, there are no funds for locations. So, we were gonna shoot on the "Fly!" My survival skills kicked in, and I came up with the idea of shooting at the Subway Station nearby at Universal City. The shots, CHASE SCENE, looked great and had many extras, the people that were there exiting and waiting for the subway, which added production value. I was careful not to shoot any people from angles that would make them recognizable which would then require release forms. Then it was off to ERNIE's Taco house where I had permission to shoot outside their building. We shot a fight scene where I got my assed kicked by Detective Jarvis! You would think my black eye would have been perfect for this scene;however, remember, these were Pickup/reshoots, so I've already shot the movie, and you don't see me with a Black eye in the following scene. In short it woulldn't work. It was all punches to the stomach and kicks to the torso. Chuck gave me a good old fashioned cinematic ass whipping! Then we went to an auditorium in North Hollywood where the chase climaxes and I kill Jarvis. I know this sounds convoluted, but in editing it all works! A few more pickup shots today and tomorrow and it's OVER! It has been a brutal five months!!! love, jd

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


The "SHINER" on my eye I must say makes me look like a rough and tough Hockey/Rugby player, or an "Xtreme Cage fighter" or,...NOT! Obviously the blow to my face from my snow tubing fiasco has scrambled my brain a bit. In reality, it Iooks like I just got smacked for being a "Smart ass," or something to that effect! heehee. The video below has an intro that features my EYE! I entered it in this contest Steven Spielberg is having called THE LOT, a Fox T.V. show this Spring; alhough, I don't know if I met the deadline. In any event, sixteen Directors are selected throughout the world based on an application, and Short film submission. The sixteen chosen ones take turns making films and are eliminated along the way based on their performance. The object is to make the "FINAL CUT," and the winner wins a million dollar budget to make a movie! Whew! In terms of my current flick, I shot some "Pickup" shots last night and will shoot more tonight. The Film, MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO, is finished, but I'm adding some scenes to "STRENGTHEN" the story! So I hope...love you, jd

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Time to FACE the music!

Well hello kiddies. If you're wondering where I have been the last week, I decided to take a much needed "R&R" to Lake Tahoe. The first few days were fab as the mountains, snow, air, and starlit skies were amazing. However, on Thursday the itinerary led me to Squaw Valley for a fun filled Snow TireTubing event. It was great fun as you go barreling down a hill on an inner tube FACE first! This is where I FACE the MUSIC! On the last run, I fell off my tube and smashed the right side of my FACE into the snow. OUCH! It felt like I had been smacked by sledge hammer! The right side of my cheekbone was swollen and snow burned. I went to the medic, and his assessment was that my burns were superficial and would not leave any damage, and the swelling would subside with time. Lots of ice and Neosporine! Needless to say, I was still pretty freaked out by the whole event. And here is the Kicker, there is still a few more scenes I have to re-shoot for the film. THAT HURTS!!!! The major lesson learned besides the fact that I'm a total klutz, ("who get's hurt snow-tubing?)," Don't ever go on a holiday until your film is completely COMPLETE!!!! I will still shoot the scenes using WIDE shots and Medium shots from the side of my face that has no injuries. I took a photo on my phone a few hours after my debacle in the snow. I will post that soon! haha.. love, jd
P.S. I'm so grateful to be back, as It could have been so much worse...And, I kinda made a short film out of scenes from my last feature film THE 11th STATION which I entered into a contest, THE LOT. More on that later. Enjoy the short, J.J.'s FIELD TRIP!

Monday, February 12, 2007

The GIG!

This is "Mua" at my big "Rock-n-Roll" gig every Saturday night at ERNIES in North Hollywood!
If you're in the area, come check out my act. Beatles, Billy Joel, to Dean Martin!!! love, jd
P.S. Post a comment for the SECRET directions to the GIG!!

Annie get your gun.....

The Annies is an awards show for animation. It's llike the Oscar's, but for people who create cartoons. I had the pleasure of being the guest of STEVE WORTH, Director of A.S.I.F.A., an animation archive, and who received an Annie last night. He delivered his acceptance speech eloquently to a full house at the beautiful ALEX theatre in Glendale Ca. Congrats, STEVIE! The rest of my weeked consisted of taking care of my "God-Dogs," Billy and Vivian. I house-sit and take care of them when their owners go out of town. Below is a short film I made of the Wonder-dogs! I also was able to upload into my computer, for editing, footage that I shot for finishing up MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO. I will edit that into the film tonight. love, jd

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sleepless in Los Angeles....

Last night, I was out in full 'Vampire" force from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. doing pickup shots for the film. I drew blood right away as a fire truck, ambulance, and police officer, were doing their "Thing," lights flashing and all, at a street corner. It was perfect for the end of one of my "Kill" scenes. Then I shot some cool night exteriors of apartment buildings in Hollywood. The highlight of the night came early when I met these two "Punker" dudes that were giving each other rides on a grocery cart. This is conjecture on my part, but I think they were under the influence of some mind altering treat! I shot footage of them, and when I get a chance to upload the scenes I will post this hilarious adventure! Then the road less traveled led me to downtown L.A. as I drove by "Skid-row." Words cannot describe this reality in L.A. and actually a situation that afflicts the entire nation. In any event, I shot some, up-close and personal, night shots of the skyscrapers. I needed some shots of a bus arriving and leaving when to my pleasant surprise the bus drivers, as I was rolling, let me get in and out of the bus! This will be a "Point of View" shot of my character. In the movie you will see her getting in the bus, and now you know it was actually me! I shot her at the bus stop months ago, MOVIE MAGIC! Then I drove to the outskirts of the city and filmed a SKYLINE shot. As dawn was quickly approaching, and I started to feel the "Vamp" burn, haha, I drove to Burbank and shot an exterior of a Coffee house. I got home around 7:30 a.m., looked at the footage, and promptly retired to my coffin! heehee love, jd

Thursday, February 08, 2007

J.D. on T.V.

Tonight I'll be co-hosting and singing on this Cable Access Live T.V. "Call in" show. It's always fun and you never know what to expect from the calls! Then after the show I'll be doing "Pick-up" shots for the PSYCHO film. "Pick-up" shots are scenes that need to filmed again or something you may have missed during filming. I will be doing both! I was up all night looking at the "Rough-Cut" of the film, and I am pleased. Below is a clip from a music video I made last year:) love,jd

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Here at "The Office," JENIFFER'S COFFEE CONNECTION, I just had coffee with Nobumasa Sakagami, who is one of the lead's in Clint Eastwood's Oscar nominated film, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. He was on his way to an audition to play a Korean "Drug Lord," and he wanted some tips on how to play the character. I was quite flattered!
Back to writing and working on my new script, LOSE the DOG!
By the way, last night I was suppose to view the "Rough-cut," of my film MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO with fresh eyes, but instead, I "dilly-dallied" around and didn't do it. I will look at it tonight with "Fresher" eyes. love, jd
P.S. I had this amazing dream this morning that I met JOHN LENNON. He was like in his fifties, though and very tall! He said he wasn't feeling very good, but he was very nice to me. He said he was getting fat. Imagine that;)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Late last night, or early this morning, I edited the last scene to my film, MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO! The "Rough cut" is 71 minutes long. Now, tonight, with fresh eyes, I will look at the entire film twice w/out stops, and make notes. Inevitably, there will be more "Cuts" or "Add" on's. I am scheduling a re-shoot day for a chase scene w/ the DETECTIVE on Thursday, then Friday I will shoot all "Establishing" shots. I will edit those scenes into the film over the weekend then hand the finished product to my "Sound" supervisor, Tracy Bartelle, where she will probably spend a week adding FOLEY, which is any sound associated with the movie, that is not dialogue. The Pics are STILLS from day 2 of shooting this past September. The Killer dude DANTE is "Mua," and Mica Ray plays CHLOE the Psycho's obsessed love interest!...love, jd

Monday, February 05, 2007

My half-time SUPER BOWL Connection to PRINCE!

Okay, Check this out. PRINCE performed "Purple Rain" during the "Super Bowl" half-time show yesterday. APOLLONIA KOTERO, who is the LEAD in my film, THE DIVORCE CEREMONY, was the lead in PURPLE RAIN the MOVIE! "COOL, huh!" Check out two clips of the gorgeous Apollonia in my film below!

STRONG end to WEEKend...

Last night I performed at a surprise 70th birthday "Bash!" here in L.A.. The gig was so much fun as I played mainly "Standards." i.e. STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, NEW YORK,NEW YORK, MY WAY, ALL THE WAY, etc. I got offers to play at other events, so that's always a good sign. The night before I played at Ernie's Taco House. There my music ranged from I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND to SABOR A MI! Lot's of fun as well!

In terms of film, I'm so close to completing MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO.
The process started with WRITING the screenplay then FILMING, and now I'm in the final stages of editing. Scroll down to see a clip.

That's all 4 now in a "Day in the Life," of an Indie/fugue filmmaker.

P.S. The pic I think is funny cause of my "freaky hair!"

Friday, February 02, 2007

Meet and Greet in L.A.

One of the dynamite things about living in L.A. is you never know who you're gonna meet, and not just major celebrities but respected people in the "Biz." For example, here at my office, "Jeniffer's Coffee House," I met this writer that wrote for the "David Letterman Show." At the "Coral" diner, I hang out with Steve Worth, the voice of Yogi Bear, and who is receiving an ANNIE award this month. The Annie award is the equivelent to an OSCAR in Animation! I love L.A.....love, jd

P.S. Pic is me in a FUGUE state of mind. Haha :) Go finish your film!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

And, in the end...

We Fugue filmmakers ultimately do want to make BIG budget films; but, we facilitate our destiny by embarking on the FUGUE approach and make films with the resources available.

Fugue families and loved ones are highly creative, open-minded, and artistic fun people. They are understanding, supportive, and are willing to make the sacrifices associated w/ the Fugue concept of filmmaking. Most Fugue family members and friends are very successful in their own fields!

I hope today is "Just Right!" love, jd

"FUGUE" ative....on the RUN!

A Fugue filmmaker must Write, Direct, Shoot, Light, and Edit his own film. ACTING in your own film is encouraged but not required. We must do it ALL not because we are control freaks, but because we don't have the budget to have a crew, PERIOD! However, It's been my experience that LESS is MORE in Fugue set! Case and Point: A pioneer and HERO of this craft ROBERT RODRIGUEZ! The book A REBEL WITHOUT a CREW validates this concept.

Today, I awoke to the RING of the "teli" at 9:00 a.m.as my Mom phoned from Texas just to see how I was doing. I had gone to bed at 6:00 a.m. I love my momma, and I was pleased to hear her voice. We chatted for a bit then I hit the sack and didn't get up till 2:00 p.m. Then it was off to the coffee house,"THE OFFICE," for work on my latest script LOSE THE DOG! Then back to the STUDIO, my studio apartment, to edit!

As Mentioned before, I'm editing my fifth film, MEXICAN AMERICAN PSYCHO, and i'm so close to the end. I'm content with the results.

That's all 4 now.....love, jd