We had the good fortune of connecting with Walt Hermosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Walt, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
It’s interesting that I decided to answer this one as I am actually currently in the period where “someone would give up”. I just recently graduated film school which gave the official status of “unemployed writer/director”. Graduating in the middle of a pandemic was hard for all graduates, but graduating in the middle of a pandemic as an artist? It’s almost a joke. I slowly began to find out how the industry isn’t remotely interested in hiring anyone. As an international student, leaving California and heading back to Paraguay is perhaps the best option, but my dream is to not only work here, but live here. I made the decision to wake up every day early, apply for as many jobs as I can and work on my screenwriting as I prepare a possible independent feature film. To finally answer the question, if you can’t live without your vocation, your dream, your passion. If in your heart you are willing to go through the uncertainty and all the confusion that may very well last months, maybe even years, that is when you know to keep going. If someday you feel like all it is not worth it- then your dream isn’t right for you and you should give up. Right now, I can’t sleep without thinking about how to improve as an artist and I am hungry to keep going.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love to talk about the mundane, or at least what people think the mundane is. I love to think about how anyone’s life is interesting enough to make a film about. I personally am no superhero, nor do I have the mission to save the world or something, but like many other people, I have to deal with moments and things that get in the middle of my journey, things that really challenge my way. I like to make films about those moments because I love when people feel represented on screen. When they watch a film and can feel completely connected to it because of their personal experiences. Films are supposed to speak to us on personal levels and maybe impact us so much they can help or change us and I like to achieve such things by writing and shooting films that will speak to those very personal moments that reminds us we’re human beings, we’re not perfect. I don’t know if that sets me apart from people or other artists, I just know I fall in love with those stories people don’t think can make a movie. Today, I believe I am where I am thanks to the support from my friends and family, but also for how strongly I believe in becoming a professional filmmaker. It was definitely not easy, specially as a latino, having to grow up somewhere with no filmmaking industry to work on. I decided to teach myself at a very early age by making short films and even a feature film at the age of 18. It was important to me to know as much as I could, so I moved to LA to further my education in filmmaking. I think a lesson I’ve learned is to respect the process and be as patient as you can. I haven’t had my big break or anything, but I’ve had some great moments in the last 4 years. Now, I am just working hard everyday to improve my work and myself, hoping soon enough I can get my shot. I would love people to remember my commitment to the craft and how much I would give for filmmaking. It is very important to be as dedicated as you can be to what you want to do, otherwise, what’s the point?
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spot in the city has always been Amoeba, the record store on sunset boulevard right next to Arclight Hollywood. The best hangout would be going to Amoeba for about an hour before a movie, then go to Arclight and finally end it with some food while walking around Sunset blvd. LA has so many interesting little shops and hang out places hidden in areas like Silver Lake, discovering those places are quite the adventure. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I believe that like filmmaking, life is about the connections and collaborations that make your everyday life. I couldn’t have been where I am right now without the help of my really close friends. Specially Mia Redwine and Lucas Monteiro, the two people that make LA feel like home and my two collaborators on every project from the moment I came here. Of course, my family who supports me every single day and accept my crazy ideas, I couldn’t have ever been where I am without them, both my parents are incredibly hardworking people who give me all the love and support I need and my two sisters who never fail to remind me how strong I can be. There are so many instructors that really paved the way for me like Zareh Arevshatian, Ryan Pomeranz and Sanora Bartels. Julian Montogomery, who was sweet enough to shout me out, is by far one of the kindest and greatest persons i’ve met here. He composes my films and always does an incredible job. I have so many people to thank, but I hope everyone knows who you are, I think about you every day.
Mia Redwine Jackie Garza