Meet Mikel Ledesma; based out of Fort Worth, this up and coming director is one you’ll want to keep on your radar. Recently finishing his directorial shorts Shattered and Losing Your Flames earlier this year, both films step into unbound territory and tackle controversial subjects to help spread Ledesma’s message and broaden viewer’s opinions and perspectives. Ledesma took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions on what he hopes to accomplish with his films, his advice for young filmmakers out there, and what he has next in store for us.

 

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What inspired each of your movies?

 

I wanted to make a strong come back after a two year break. So instead of doing my typical comfort zone of the horror genre, I wanted to something that was more pushing my comfort zone. I wanted to do movies that pushed boundaries, but also spread a message. There is too much hate in this world. So, my goal was to see how I could bring my message to life.

 

Now that you’ve created Losing Your Flames, have you seen it make an impact on society as intended? What is your ultimate goal?

 

Since it is really new and hasn’t done its festival run, I haven’t seen it do an impact. My goal is for it to. My ultimate goal is for the film to make it to every film festival and for everyone to watch it with an open mind and see how words truly hurt and just show how cruel and mean the world is today. And hopefully anyone who watches the film, understands my message and want to help change the world.

 

Being that Shattered revolves around the touchy subject of a child being raped and murdered, how did you manage to keep the film from becoming offensive or hurtful?

 

I wanted the film to be from a parent’s point of view – how far would you go as a parent to get answers? In the film you get a montage of what happened, but it never gets fully detailed or shows exactly what happens to the little girl. I just wanted the audience to get a feel of what happened and be able to feed off of that. I never wanted to go into full detail or actually show the a play by play of what happened.. I think that would be distasteful. I think I pulled the scene off brilliantly and visually.

 

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What were some of the challenges you faced in bringing each short film to life?

 

I really didn’t have a hard time with Shattered. That one was the easiest one. Everything stayed on track with that one. Losing Your Flames was just the casting process, We had to cast the lead role four times, Jane’s part three times, and the role of Greg twice. The challenge for Losing Your Flames was the subject matter of the film, and being from Texas. It is hard to make a film in that matter, with everyone being one minded. I just wanted to show that I was growing as an artist and I was ready to push comfort zones and show that I wasn’t scared to not play it safe.

 

Where did you receive funding for your projects? And how long has it taken to put these films together?

 

We crowd funded for Losing Your Flames. Losing Your Flames took about three months to put together. From filming to release date, it took eight months. Shattered took a year to bring to life. Since the budget for Shattered was way cheaper than Losing Your Flames, Sana Gill paid for all the expenses.

 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of these films?

 

Just seeing how far I have come as an artist. And showing everyone what I am capable of.

 

What will your next project be?

 

Bedevil was just recently released. It follows a young college student who has been receiving texts and calls by an unknown caller, and feels like he is being watched.

 

What other films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and your work, and why?

 

Any David Fincher film, I look up to him. He is a God. He has a style, and you know a Fincher film when you watch it. I want to be as creative and amazing as Fincher. He knows exactly what he is doing.

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to become filmmakers?

 

Be ready to be shot down, be ready for people to say you have an ego. Everyone will eventually be against you. But stay true to yourself and at the end of the day go after it, and just do this for you. It is not going to be easy, have thick skin, and be ready to just show the world what you are capable of. You don’t want to be a director, you are a director!