Avenida 35: Questions and Answers on Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela is a young businessman who started filmmaking. After producing his first independent film, El inestable afán del éxito (The Insatiable Ambition to Succeed), he is now working on his second film, Lo que intentamos ser (What We Try To Be).

Speaking to Avenida 35, Vela spoke in his interview about his background, what it has meant for him to produce independent films and his desire to keep going until he finds success.

MC: Who is Carlos Vela?

RESUME: I like to mention my heritage because that’s where my success story comes from, it reminds me of who I am, how far I’ve come and where I’m going. This is my philosophy “You can fly as high as you want, but your heritage will always keep your feet on the ground.”

I am a young man of 30, happily married to the woman I have been praying for. We don’t have any children yet, but we are waiting for God to give us many children, we want at least four. I want to have a big family.

I have my mother and two siblings: a 27 year old sister and a 22 year old brother. They live in a town called Atongo de Abajo in the city of Allende, Nuevo León, Mexico, near Monterrey. Another person I cannot ignore is my beloved grandmother, because of her I am what I am today.

I lived all my childhood, youth and part of my youth in Atongo de Abajo. At the age of 20 I moved to Monterrey in search of new opportunities. I was passionate about cinema from a young age, loved to critique when I saw a film and loved watching behind the scenes on YouTube. It took a long time to become a film producer and waiting for the right time to start this film career.

My wife is the engine of this project. I remember we used to practice interviews, she pretended to be a reporter interviewing me as a producer. And while we were going to work she interviewed me about my productions and what was once a game is now a reality.

I have a diploma in film arts and I hope that after finishing the current film I can further prepare and take a film course in Europe, especially in Spain.

MC: We know you are a businessman trying to break into the world of cinema. How did this tendency towards the seventh art come about?

RESUME: I have always had a passion for cinema, but for economic reasons I was unable to study fine arts and cinema. So I had to save for many years and had the cinema come to me. This is how I opened Studios Carvel and started receiving many scripts from Spain, United States, Mexico and Indonesia to produce a film and today we are in pre-production of our second film.

MC: How was it for you to produce the first film directed by Sebastián Guarneros?

RESUME: Working with Sebastian in my first film “El inestable afán del éxito” is an experience full of creativity, we also wanted to bring high quality stories to the audience but show the great mexican entertainment qualities. We aim to be the midpoint between the raw drama of Mexican cinema and romantic comedy. So working with him means having that experience 1,000%.

Guarneros became my favorite film director even though he is very young. At only 23 years old, he has a lot of experience and studies in the art of film. I learned a lot from him, so I can say that producing with Sebastián Guarneros is “lights, camera and action”.

MC: What challenges did you face in the production of your first film?

RESUME: With our first film, there was complete ignorance from the audience because during the shooting we didn’t know where our film would end. We didn’t want it to just end up on a YouTube channel without Mexico realizing the hard work that went into this project. Also, the biggest challenge we had to face was the budget since we didn’t have any sponsors for our first film. Producing that first film at $0.00 and having it on Amazon Prime Video was a great team effort.

MC: What were your feelings when you knew people could see your film on Amazon Prime Video?

RESUME: This question is very interesting because it gives a follow up to the previous answer. Amazon Prime Video opened the doors for us as independent filmmakers. And now it has given us confidence as filmmakers and today there are many people, business people, companies that want to work with us and that makes it easier for us in terms of logistics and creativity. We really appreciate this achievement, but now we have to put more effort into our new productions because the audience wants to see something of quality.

MC: Tell us about your new project?

RESUME: The new project will be filmed in Mexico, in the state of Hidalgo. This second film is titled Lo que Intentamos Ser (What We Try To Be), a drama/romance film.

In this new project we have the support of Amazon Prime Video, but we do not join the fact that our film may be available on some other streaming platforms.

MC: When do you plan to finish this project and what are your plans for distributing your new film?

RESUME: Filming on this film will begin in February 2023. We are ready to go, although I would like to mention that we are continuing with casting calls. In January we will have open auditions. We expect the project to be completed by the end of 2023. Regarding the distribution method in the cinemas, we will be touring the 10 most important states of the Mexican Republic to promote our film. We expect to also distribute this film in the United States and Venezuela.

MC: What would you like to say to the Laredo community about your films?

RESUME: For the Laredo community, I would first like to mention that we will be holding auditions and we ask that you not be afraid and attend because when someone is chosen for a starring role, it will be seen by millions of people. And I would be very proud to show the talent that exists here in Laredo.

Also, we hope to be able to shoot here in Laredo in the future. It is worth mentioning that the people of Laredo have my respect, they are beautiful people and above all they support new projects. I know the Laredo Film Society is here and I encourage the community to use this resource. In any case, I think Laredo can go a long way if a filmmaker dares to dream big.

I also invite you to watch our films to support independent filmmakers and new talent.