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!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

4 shooting days left in The Teacher's Lounge

Why do I do this? I write then I take a blogging hiatus, and leave my one loyal blogger, ME :), hanging! Just to recap, I've shot a total of nine days. Six days were shot at an actual faculty lounge in San Gabriel then we cheated the Principal's office at an office building in Van Nuys, MOVIE MAGIC! Four more days next week back at San Gabriel. I got sick with flu, so shooting was temporarily suspended. Just a note in terms of our locations. These locations were on loan to us, for free, by Angels here in this city who were in a position to do so. The lesson for me is that anytime I'm in a position to reciprocate, in any form, I must do so. For example, If someone flips me off, I smile: If there is someone at the coffee shop that looks lonely, say hello: Pay my taxes, make my bed, call my parents and tell them I love them. Roll the grocery cart to it's designated area; and, roll another one that is blocking a parking space. Lastly, DON'T TELL ANYONE about your good deeds. This is how a filmmaker, whose true calling is to be a filmmaker, is able to finish his films. It's a long process with many hurdles, but the key is to be comfortable in one own's skin:) You maybe asking, "WHAT?" Exactly, making movies is about STARTING and FINISHING, and everything in between just does not make sense! I LOVE MY LIFE!!!! love, jd

Pics from the set.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nine days of Nirvana filming....not quite, or maybe:)

This film has the following Interior locations: Teacher's Lounge, School Hallway, Principal's Office, Classroom - Exterior Locations: Flagpole, parking lot

I have so far completed filming in terms of locations, the Teacher's Lounge, and Principal's Office. In terms of the Lounge, we used an actual faculty lounge at a school which required us to shoot late into the night. That was also the case, in terms of the Principal's office, in which we used a business office to cheat as the office.

The Pro's to shooting these locations were that people out of the kindness of their heart and love film allowed us to shoot for free. The Con's were that it was a challenge for the actors because of the late nights.

Personally, as an actor, if I have the lead in a film, or even if it's a small part, I will shoot till the cows come home. Or, if you call me and ask me, "Can you shoot in an hour," I will BE THERE, with BELLS ON!

On the fifth day of shooting, there was a last minute cancellation by an actor, and I went on the LA Casting network and scanned the photos and saw JEFFREY LIPPOLD! He accepted the gig and that night he was on SET and stold the SHOW!!! He was an amazing actor and very professional. So much so, I wrote another scene for him! He came on set for that scene, and also hit a homerun!

I also want to acknowledge JAYNE CLEMENT, The Principal, and MARIO-VALDEZ JUAREZ, the Janitor, who have done an oustanding job on this shoot as well!!!! I love my life!!! Love, jd

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Last night on the set of the "LOUNGE" scenes. I'm currently shooting the "Principal's office" scenes. I'm shooting day 10 tonight! I LOVE my LIFE, love, jd

Saturday, February 09, 2008

7 days filmed in THE TEACHER'S LOUNGE!!!!

It's been a journey that has me convinced, more than ever, that my job as a filmmaker is to START and FINISH my film no matter what! I define the type of filmmaking I'm embarking in at the present time as FUGUE FILMMAKING. As I've written in past blogs, one must be in a Fugue state of mind in order to make films with a very limited budget. In other words, I must be oblivious to all the rescources that are available to big budget films and not to my project. For example, script supervisor, location scout, wardrobe, etc. I wear all these hats and do the best I can. In the end, it's all relative if you believe and have passion in your project!

This is not an indie project, as indie projects are actually MILLION dollar films these days. Hence, the FUGUE FILM label.

So far, in this film, I have worked seven days with over fifteen actors, and it's been fugue heaven. With the exception of a few rough spots in terms of scheduling, it has been anything short of a miracle. I cast a group of absolute professionals, as they waited patiently for their scenes to be filmed and worked from the hours of 7:00p.m. - 2:00a.m. We have shot over 48 pages of dialouge in 7 days which is really fast. That is a little less than 8 pages a day. In a studio film, the average is about 3. Lean and mean is the way to go. I love my Life,and much more to come with pics from the set. love, jd

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Day 3 & REAL LIFE off camera drama in THE TEACHER'S LOUNGE!

If you weren't a night owl, and you were cast in one of my films, you will become one. "Whoo, Whoo,....., YOU!" :) My shoots have been starting at 6:30 and ending around 2:30 a.m. WE can only shoot nights, because we are using an actual faculty lounge, and for obvious reasons, we can only shoot at night.
The third night of shooting started off splendidly then an off the set mini drama unfolded. We have fallen behind schedule, thus forcing us to shoot another day. As I was making this announcement, two of the cast members objected to the extra days. One guy had another movie to shoot, and another guy said he had to work. Because, I really like theses actors, personally and professionally, I tried to make it work! After much debate, in VAIN, I tried to create a shooting date that would work for everybody! Instead, CHAOS instead of CREATIVITY reared it's ugly head! I made a tough choice, and I wrapped the two actors, and told them I would play one of the parts, and the other I would cast the next day. One guy made a mad dash to his cell phone to speak with the director from the other film, as he was given grace and able to shoot the extra day in my film. The other actor and I finally worked it out in a heart to heart private conversation! I love my life! Love, jd