Lights, Camera, Opportunities!
By: Lorenzo Almanza
Those are the magic words that align with Latino film maker Jorge Garcia Castro. Without the number of experiences in his life, Garcia wouldn’t have the career he has successful built upon himself.
“I started my career more on the strategy side doing business strategies for entertainment companies, specifically Sony and Disney were my main clients,” Castro said.
Cracking into top notch companies like Sony and Disney were not easy for the Latino film producer. His personal career first began when he worked as a consultant for entertainment businesses. It wasn’t until soon after Sony that would bring him to his big break in the media industry.
“I came to the US to study a masters in finance,” Castro said. Soon he, “started doing business strategies to understand the business.”
His passion for the film industry did not blossom until his big break with Disney. From there he began working on numerous film projects that opened endless opportunities. He began contributing to big films like Alice in Wonderland and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Castro said some of his work at Disney included, “leading Spanish productions for countries like Mexico and Argentina.”
He also played a huge role in the visual and special effects department. The Latino film producer used a lot of what he learned through his work with Disney to form his own segment titled Altered.la.
“Altered.la is a content company,” Castro said. “We are trying to do all type of content we think there is an opportunity for.”
One of the biggest hurdles the top film producer struggled with was getting name recognition after his leave from Disney. Forming Altered.la was easy in terms of idea development, but getting property for the company proved to be a challenge.
Castro describes how his buildup of the commercial production company took some time because he had to “find the money and didn’t have the Disney name behind him anymore.”
The film producer also describes how his “biggest challenge was not having relationships.” Since the start of his career, the building of a network was always a hassle Castro fought to overcome.
At the age of eight, Castro and his family moved from Mexico City to Guadalajara. Years later, the production manager took his talents to the United States where he had to develop his own networking community.
“The doors were a lot harder to open,” Castro said.
It was because of Sony and Disney, the Latino film maker was able to demonstrate his true talents and reach his full potential by making his own company.
Castro and his colleague Marcos Cline teamed up to form Altered.la. The company is a network of directors that promotes commercials for the general U.S. and Hispanic Markets.
A key goal of the commercial production is to “promote Latino talent if it makes sense.”
“Talent is starting to come up,” Castro said. “We want to do incredible things for those who need a platform.”
Part of Castro’s initiatives at the company include, running the feature films and TV department. He helps organize and initiate films presented by directors that the group represents.
“We have great talent,” Castro said. “We don’t try to force any Hispanic properties unless it organically makes sense.”
Altered.la hopes to gain recognitions in the near future. The company has plans to enhance their TV network and double their number of movies produced.
“Our goal is to get four movies per year,” Castro said.
The overall plan for the group itself is to broaden the Hispanic network and promote Latino activity through the entertainment industry. Castro understands the need to publish more Hispanic content and the idea to give a platform to those who have do not have one.
“It is still a challenge to get Latino content especially in commercials,” Castro said. “There are still not a lot of Latino writers and directors and talent out there.”
Along with helping produce Latino content of underdeveloped writers, the aspiring director has big plans of his own.
“My plans for the future are to start filming and to start developing bigger productions especially on the film and TV side,” Castro said.
One of the biggest projects Castro has in the works is a movie title The Haunting of Sharon Tate. The film details the realistic events of Sharon Tate and the terrifying events that the actress endured.
“We got actress Hillary Duff on board to play Sharon Tate,” Castro said.
With new films and productions in the works, Castro and his Altered crew are ready to face any challenge head on.
The film maker believes, “there will be more opportunities to do more content” in the nearby future. Castro believes that companies like Netflix and Hulu will provide huge benefits to entertainment companies in the upcoming years.
“I feel like it is another way to buy content or sell something to those buyers,” Castro said. “It provides more and more opportunities.”
Whatever the case may be, Castro is ready to take on the ever-transforming entertainment industry and believes there is plenty more content he has to produce in the foreseen future.