This week we interview Omar Lopex, who is at the helm of Standard Fantastic Pictures. His films have screened at the San Diego Underground Film Fest, Les Femmes International Film Fest, Le Petit Cannes Film Fest, the San Diego Art Institute, La Jolla Athenaeum, San Diego Museum of Art, Moxie Theatre, & A Ship in the Woods. A truly glamorous list!
Omar is currently in post-production for his debut feature Ana, Who They Pulled Out of the River. We can’t wait for this one, because Ana is set in a mythical, all-female Tijuana! Born into a world of characters who are obsessed and driven by stories, Ana navigates a whirlwind of murder and comedy on an unavoidable collision-course to confront her mother.
“Ana is my love letter to Tijuana, the city where I’ve grown up and spent half my life. It is my vision of a marriage between Telenovelas (Mexican Soap Operas) & Arthouse films.”Omar Lopex
- How did you get into filmmaking?
I wish I could say I was one of those kids who was always making movies & that I always knew what I wanted to do. But the truth is I began as a writer, then became a severely undisciplined artist flip-flopping between mediums… before ending up in film. & now I’m here to stay.
- Who are you inspired by?
I read as much as I can (though I’m a terribly slow reader). I keep my eyes & ears open as much as I can, no matter where I am — in the checkout line at the grocery store, at any restaurant, just walking down the street. I steal from pretty much everywhere. But I’d say I steal the most from my sons.
- Tell us about Standard Fantastic Pictures?
Standard Fantastic Pictures is the “it-rolls-off-the-tongue & it’s-got-a-good-ring-to-it” banner under which I produce my films. We started off making weird art films, segued into slightly less weird art films, currently produce art films where people actually talk to one another, & will be selling out & joining the Fast & the Furious franchise in the near immediate future.
- You have a very unique style of capturing a story, tell us about that?
Thanks. I guess going back to inspiration, I steal from things I like & then try to process it through my own filter or whatever you want to call it. With some luck, things work out (a lot of times they don’t). To quote Marge Simpson, “The secret ingredient… is Salt.”
- What are you currently working on or do you have any projects you’d like to see happen in the near future?
At the moment I’m wrapping up post-production for my debut feature “Ana, Who They Pulled Out of the River”. But the biggest new thing is: I’ve just secured the film rights to the short masterpiece “A Distant Episode” by my favorite writer Paul Bowles. We’re in development to shoot on location in Morocco in 2021.
- If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would it be?
On the record: I’m the last person to be giving out advice. Off the record: I’m comfortable spouting unsolicited advice to anybody, about anything, to my inevitable detriment. In this case I’m going to rip off Bette Davis & say “Take Fountain.”
- How are you coping with the pandemic? And has it affected your work?
I was pretty much a hermit pre-pandemic, & throughout this mess I’ve been very, very lucky to have everything I need, so I’ve just continued to work on my projects non-stop day & night.
- Who are some of your favorite contemporary filmmakers?
Nothing original but it’s the truth, Paul Thomas Anderson & Quentin Tarantino are big favorites. The Safdie Brothers really crank things up in a way that sticks with you. Adam Mackay, Robert Eggers & Ari Aster are again, names everyone (with good taste) loves, but with good reason.
- Please share where we can find more of your work and news from you.
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