How One Filmmaker Used Social Media and Smartphones to Make a Movie

Latino filmmakers are increasingly making their marks in Hollywood, and today’s independent Latino filmmakers are adapting mobile technology and social media tools right alongside their cameras to make their visions a reality.

Independent filmmakers have found social media and other digital platforms to be useful to share their work and talents, but to also build on their projects,” said Teresa Garza, blogger for Checa LA Movie. “I’ve had the privilege to speak with many talented Latinos that have turned to online fundraising to finance their films.”

Cruz Castillo, a senior at California State University, Los Angeles, is in post-production for his short film “The Will,” a story about human connections during a zombie apocalypse. Castillo raised $7,000 to fully fund the film using crowd funding site Indiegogo. During production, Castillo’s smartphone became the best resource for keeping costs down. He used the doddle app instead of printed paper to keep talent and crew up to date on call sheets and sent Google Maps text links to extras for the exact filming locations. In addition, the production team viewed recorded scenes by wirelessly linking their smartphones and laptops to the TV.

Throughout the filmmaking process, Castillo encouraged cast and crew to use the hashtag #TheWillShortFilm to attract more followers and began interacting with them. He also used social media to keep supporters and donors up to date on the progress of the production.

“We would have not been able to make this movie without social media or our smartphones,” said Castillo.

Castillo is not alone in embracing tech and social media on set.

“Integrating the audience was a big success for ‘200 Cartas’ and Facebook helped us do that,” said executive producer Roberto Alcazar. In “200 Cartas” the main character is in search for “Maria Sanchez,” and Alcazar used Facebook to award free movie screenings to those people who shared the same name. Alcazar also used the platform to conduct casting calls and petition for screenings. The film has been number one at the box office in Puerto Rico for five weeks.