Jacinto Romero is a Writer/Director and Producer, from Queens. At an early age he realized that he wanted to be a storyteller. He would later study the cinematic arts at the Academy for Careers in Television and Film. He graduated in Summer 2012 majoring in Directing and Writing. While at school in 2010 through 2011 he took documentary, creative writing and screenwriting classes at Reel Works Teen Filmmaking.
In 2011 he won second place at a filmmaking competition for the G2G campaign with collaborator Frisly Soberanis. In 2013 he was the Associate Producer & Key PA of Jennifer Phang’s “Advantageous”. He also studied under the close mentorship of the immensely talented Director Moon Molson and worked on his two lauded most recent short films. Jacinto has worked for 8 years in the indie film scene and is eagerly preparing for his next projects.
Exclusive London Prestige Interview with Writer & Director Jacinto Romero
London Prestige: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
Jacinto Romero: My name is Jacinto Romero, I am a filmmaker based in Queens NY. The arts have always been apart of my life in one way or another since I was young. It was film however that grabbed me in a more profound way. Around 11 I started tinkering with screenwriting and I just kept with it ever since.
London Prestige: Did you have any specific influences growing up that lead you towards the film industry?
Jacinto Romero: The films of Fincher, Spielberg and Kurosawa got their hooks into me quite early and they just made sense to me. For some reason they connected with me on a very cerebral level. In addition to Live Action film, Anime such as Outlaw Star or Rahxephon opened me up to the wider range of visual storytelling. These films and shows led me to want to learn the craft of story.
London Prestige: What are you currently working on?
Jacinto Romero: Currently I am writing a feature and starting the leg work of directing my next short film. Hopefully that short film project will be up & running this summer and then edited down for the 2019-20 festival circuit.
London Prestige: What were your main responsibilities on this film?
Jacinto Romero: On “My Name is Somebody” directed by my frequent collaborator Orges Bakalli, I was the Assistant Director and Associate Producer.
London Prestige: Can you tell us about your experience in working with the director and actors in this film?
Jacinto Romero: As with any project, there are hardships however we applied our best skills and made a great short film that people seem to enjoy. The actors were great partners and I made it my duty to see that they had everything they needed to get through each day.
London Prestige: What was the most important thing for this movie to achieve from a narrative and character standpoint?
Jacinto Romero: The thing the team and I hope to have achieved with this short is that the immigrant experience isn’t always easy. We wanted to craft a story of two estranged brothers who come back into contact with each other. As we see with Bruno’s character, he’d rather move on and forget his true nature but when Samir finds him after so long. It pulls him back to who he really is.
London Prestige: What other films have you produced?
Jacinto Romero: I’ve produced my little thesis film “Fallout” back in the stone age and I was Associate Producer & Key PA on Jennifer Phang’s sophomore film “Advantageous” now streaming on Netflix.
London Prestige: What makes a film interesting for you? What are three qualities that you look for in a movie?
Jacinto Romero: What makes a film jump out for me is a clear voice and visual style. Three of the many things I look for in a film are pathos, authenticity and a respect to the medium.
London Prestige: What project helped you launch your career?
Jacinto Romero: The project that started my career was that of my mentor & dear friend Professor Moon Molson’s much lauded second short film “Crazy Beats Strong Every Time”. That film holds a special place in my heart as it was not just my first professional job, it was my first job ever. It’s also one of the best uses of the short film form.
London Prestige: What criteria do you use to select a script, screenwriter, director, etc.?
Jacinto Romero: When selecting a project I try to find a through line that shows me that the team members are dedicated and respect the craft. I try to work with people that want to hone their skills and people who are kind. In the film industry there is a tendency to be very self serious. I try to find myself working with people who can take themselves down a peg or for example could nerd out about the finer details of why Mass Effect 2’s narrative while great doesn’t add enough to the franchise.
London Prestige: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
Jacinto Romero: I guess I could say my largest accomplishment to date was the festival run of “Advantageous” as it gave our Director Jennifer Phang numerous opportunities.
London Prestige: Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re super excited about?
Jacinto Romero: Well, there is the production of my next short film. I haven’t directed in awhile but I have been honing my skills through my AD work. So that is exciting, yes.
London Prestige: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to enter the film industry, especially as a producer?
Jacinto Romero: As someone who kind of fell into producing after many hardships of trying to get my own projects going. I would say stamina and pacing yourself is highly important. If you truly love the narrative and visual arts, do it. You don’t go into filmmaking for the money, you do it because you’re insane and because you love it. So when you decide to enter this industry, I would say to find your people and hone your craft. If you stay realistically optimistic you will have great time and you will learn the ebb and flow of it all. If you run into this thinking you’re making Space Odyssey out the gate, you’ll have a hard time.
London Prestige: Can you discuss any future projects or direction you are taking in regard to film making?
Jacinto Romero: I soon will be finishing a rough draft of this very ambitious feature that I’ve been writing. I am currently looking for projects that are SciFi based or tightly well written comedies. To this date much of my work is in Drama and I would like to stretch different creative muscles.
Social Media: @orangejacinto