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Diego Lozano is an award winning Mexican/American filmmaker from Monterrey, MX.

 In 2014 he moved to Austin, Texas where he got his start in the Local filmmaking scene through Live Music Videography. Subsequently, he directed his first music video “Mechanical Hounds” which went on to win Best Music Video at DOSFF Film Festival, and was selected by several other festivals including the Austin Music Video Festival and Los Angeles International Film Festival. His second music video,   “Get Up Get Down”  was selected by the TOFF Film Festival, Film Festival 52, LA CINEfest, and The National Film Festival for Talented Youth. His third, and most ambitious music video  “American Dreams”  is currently in its festival run, and as of now, has also been selected by The National Film Festival for Talented Youth and The Cine Las Americas Film Festival in Austin, TX.

To see more of Diego’s work, visit: https://www.diegolozano.net

or follow him on Instagram at @_diegolozanofilms

 

1. What sparked your interest in film? How long ago was it?

I was interested in film since a very young age, probably 10 years old. I didn’t even know why at the time, but every now and then when I would watch a film with my family, once it was over, I would take the dvd and watch the “special features” and learn all about the process. This is something that hid in the back of my mind for a few years until youtube became a platform! I had a book on the behind the scenes process of the movie “The Nightmare before Christmas”, which led me to stop motion and animation! I still have a youtube channel with 90+videos and 70k views and some TERRIBLE animations in it, but I loved making them. RONAZIDANE on youtube, LOL.

2. Do you prefer to shoot in film or digital?

I have yet to shoot on film, however, I emulate film grain and film looks on digital footage all the time. FIlm’s grainy and raw aesthetic allows for a timeless, unconscious, organic connection to the footage. It also crunches down on the look brought by the newest 6k+ resolutions and allows for a more dreamlike and cinematic experience. I would LOVE to shoot on film, when my soul calls for it.

3. Favorite film? Favorite director? Favorite genre?

The Last Emperor, Alejandro G Iñárritu, Drama.

4. Describe your aesthetic in two words: potpourri epiphany

5. I noticed you’ve been receiving quite a few awards at film festivals lately – what festivals do you plan to show your films at in the near future? What’s your dream festival to showcase your work at?

Yeah! I’ve been very lucky to get into some cool festivals and experience the feeling of having your film screened in a movie theatre, it’s easy to tear up. I love it when pro curators and judges take a look at your work and judge it or even award it. Constructive criticism is key. Two of my music videos are showcasing this month on The National Film Festival for Talented Youth, which I’m super excited to attend because it showcases the work of filmmakers 24 and under. It means the world to me to win in ANY category because the best young film makers in the world are in attendance. My dream festival at the moment is to win a student oscar , Long-er term, (before 30) win a grammy for best music video.

6. How do you continue to test yourself and Push your boundaries?

Through my films! Each one of them is an extension of myself. If every ounce of my soul is not invested in them, in my eyes, it would be a disservice and a failure to the audience, my clients, and myself. How lucky am I? who am I to be lazy? I always push for bigger ideas that are out of my professional reach, trial by fire. I take each project as an opportunity to be bolder, find more resources and set my working standards as an artist. I be- Interview lieve that the more energy you put into something the more you receive in return, sometimes I’ll go on editing frenzies that last two full days! Whatever it takes to quickly grow the mind or achieve something close to perfect. I like to become one with the art and the madness, by allowing the art to come from within, the videos absorb a certain uniqueness and rattling energy.

7. Do you ever find it hard being so talented at such a young age? Are there times when people won’t take you seriously because of your age?

I actually think it’s a perk, It allows me to make a ton of mistakes, go on adventures and make irrational decisions. By the time you’re done experimenting with your voice and who you are as an artist, you’re still in your 20’s and at your energy prime. I didn’t want to graduate and have a ton of debt and no Idea of how to work in the field, so I started to shoot stuff as soon as I moved to Austin three years ago. It’s better to go out to the war before the degree, you don’t have to scavenge to get to know the scene and/or get paid crap for professional work if you take those 4 years to work as you study, by the time you are out you’ll have experience and a dope reel. I’ve only had a few experiences with being put down and taken advantage of and I welcomed them early on because I wanted to learn, through this experiences I learned to set clear standards for myself. “ X guy promised me $100 bucks and paid me $20, this is my first time getting screwed over! Awesome, next time I know to ask for $50 in advance at least. Sure you need the paper to certify you as a pro, but there’s plenty of kids out there killing it more than the people with the degrees. It’s all about your voice, the hard work, and the understanding of film. The study of film should be a way to grow your intellect, understand your craft, and make connections, it doesn’t guarantee anything other than that.

8. What is the toughest hardship you’ve encountered being a young creative?

Having the patience to accept that to be one of the greats at something takes a lot of time, love, and effort. You can fake it ’til you make it, but you can’t cheat mastery! Work, study, and balance making videos is a full time thing and very super time consuming, so it’s really hard to take classes and also have an edit to finish or a video to direct, primarily because directing and editing is so much more fun!

9. You’re a multifaceted guy with a lot of talents and interests, but if you had to choose one, what is your favorite roll to play in the production of a film?

This is a hard one because I LOVE directing, but I would have to say that being the editor is my favorite part. I direct so I can edit, that is where I can shape my films and make them into a tangible product, where I can ponder at decisions for hours undisturbed, at least for now.

10. What is the weirdest project you’ve ever worked on?

The music video I made for SLOOOM is pretty weird. you’d have to watch it to see for yourself!!

11. Your films seem to be pretty elaborate – how do you find funding for non-commissioned projects?

I don’t. I chose to make music videos and commercials my bread and butter because they are commissioned. I can’t afford to invest my own money in my films. I have in the past and still do sometimes in the form of cheap labor or cutting corners in various aspects of production, but the project has to be worth it in many ways. I figured there will be a time that I take up short films and features, in the future, once I can A. invest in them or B. be recognized enough to get paid to make them.

12. What advice would you give to other people interested in film?

Don’t be afraid to pursue the career, if you love it. Abandon the notion that you need to have a career that’s a cushion, study something else because it’s too hard to make it, you’re gonna be a starving artist, it’s all bullshit. You’re better off doing something you love and have the creativity for than competing in something you hate. There will always be someone that loves what they do in any field, and it’s very hard to measure up to those people. You have to believe that you can, and act like it. It’s ok when you start to take up on stuff for free, to run errands, learn, do whatever it takes, but there is a point where you have to look at your work and decide you are ready to monetize and live off your art, not int the spiritual way, the literal way. And lastly, don’t forget that film is full of collaboration, respect, growth and so many talented people know more things than you and you can grow alongside them! but don’t get too cozy, there is a pyramid a lot of people are trying to climb, and it is reserved for the boldest, most creative, and hardest working! SO DO YOUR BEST or fall behind, nobody will wait for you.

13. Do you have any exciting projects coming up?

I’m developing a pitch for a very dark and funky music video, It’s still in the works. It’s going to be about how the entertainment industry, specifically the beauty industry, exploits the image of women and how that affects how women feel about themselves. It will be a story of revenge where models turn into zombies , get plastic surgeries and torment a crew that is filming a beauty commercial, just wait.

14. Films/music videos can easily cost a ton of money, but what would you say is the smallest budget you’ve worked with and still managed to make an incredible film?

I can’t say all of my films are incredible, because i’m super harsh on my work, but all of them have been made with lots of love and relatively small budgets ranging from 3-10k. I don’t think working with small budgets and making great art is something that is commendable, It is out of a necessity to create, and that’s what you have to work with and you want to make sure you push that to it’s limit, but it shouldn’t define an artist or become a constant thing. Oh look he makes great stuff for cheap, what could he do if you actually gave him money? I think that can be a trap artists fall into and then find themselves in a market that doesn’t reward their work and true value. It’s very debilitating. As a director I try to push to get the most money I can in each project, and will say no many times if the right amount of money is not there, not so much for me to capitalize on but to actually make things right and make bolder projects. There’s so many people to bring on Interview to collaborate and all of them deserve to be paid fairly. Including you, young but fierce artist!