Filmmaker didn't let COVID stop him from creating movies - Albuquerque Journal

Filmmaker didn’t let COVID stop him from creating movies

A behind-the-scenes look at the short film, “The Wrong Guy.” (Courtesy of Alejandro Montoya MarÍn)

For many filmmakers the pandemic led them to find new ways to create movie magic.

In Alejandro Montoya Marín’s case, he never stopped working – not even when he tested positive for COVID.

This forced the New Mexico-based filmmaker to make some changes.

Knowing he couldn’t be on set, he directed his short film, “The Wrong Guy,” via Zoom.

“It was a very tough shoot,” says Marín. “Not only wasn’t I on set, but I had to be precise about what I wanted from the actors. It was certainly a situation I don’t ever want to do again, but it worked out.”

“The Wrong Guy” will screen as part of “Local Shorts 3” at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Cineport 10 in Las Cruces.

“The Wrong Guy” tells the story of Daniel who is a contentedly married, father of two, and assistant bank manager in a small Texas town.

Behind literal closed doors, however, he deals with the stresses and boredom of his average life by indulging in delusions of vigilante justice.

Employing mediocre workouts and harmful diets, he believes he’s a hero as he enacts revenge on those who have crossed him, by way of petty vandalism.

But his actions have new consequences when he is caught “dealing out justice” to the property of a desperate and corrupt government agent who will extort Daniel for all he’s worth.

Daniel is played by John Kaler, who is also the co-writer and a co-producer on the film.

“I started to write it during quarantine and we were stir crazy with not having a lot of work,” Kaler says. “Alejandro was working on doing other stuff. He’s a mentor to me and I went to him with the script. He did a nice rewrite and a month later we were casting.

Kaler says because Marín has such a great relationship with filmmakers in New Mexico, they were able to put together a top-notch crew.

Kaler also wrote the script from some real life experiences, as well as a lot of fantasy.

“Daniel is what all of us want to be,” Marín says. “He wants to be cooler and not messed with. That is until he messes with the wrong person.”

John Kaler, left and Alejandro Montoya Marín working on the short film, “The Wrong Guy.” (Courtesy of Alejandro Montoya MarÍn)

Kaler says Marín not being on set to direct was definitely an obstacle, but they worked through it.

“When you do a film, nothing ever goes as planned,” he says. “We had to bend and we did rehearsals for Alejandro on Zoom so he could see it. As for my role, I focused on that completely and found a piece of myself to where I could relate to Daniel. I wanted to understand why he did what he was doing.”

In addition to screening, “The Wrong Guy,” Marín will also screen his other short film, “Blood Positive,” which was also filmed during the pandemic.

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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