Today brings another in the series that has been appearing in this space on Tucson filmmakers and industry professionals on a variety of subjects. As the city of Tucson and its film industry is at a crossroads of sorts (for a variety of reasons, one of which concerns the looming end of the tax credit for filming in Arizona), the feelings of its members, from its most experienced to those just beginning their journey, are an important element to see change and growth in the future. It can be difficult to articulate those thoughts in settings like a mixer or other industry networking event as so many ideas are flying around the room, everyone is talking at the same time trying to get their view across, it can be overwhelming. So I thought it could be helpful to simplify things and give filmmakers an opportunity to answer the same questions, with the catch being I would ask people from different backgrounds and skill sets to participate, with even my own answers to these questions coming in the last piece of the series.
Next up is one of Tucson’s up and coming young actors, Michele Loera, who has appeared in several works I have covered, including Melissa Cushman Banczak and Fried Egg Films recent projects Crewing Up and Finley Wade, and she will appear in an upcoming series by RobEric Media, another of Tucson’s rising production companies. Loera brings a gentle and refined approach to the screen, shining brightly and adding a great depth to all the projects I have seen her in. Here is what she had to say in our Q & A session.
Tucson Film Industry Examiner: What is your involvement in the Tucson film industry and how long have you been involved?
Michele Loera: I’m a relative new-comer to the Tucson film scene. I have been fortunate to make some really great friends who have introduced me to their film connections. Once on set, I was introduced to new people who then turned and offered me additional projects. This past spring , I was working on 3 projects at once!
TFIE: What do you see as the major problem holding back the rapid growth of the Tucson film industry?
ML: Tucson is a great place. We’re a big city with the benefit of a “small town feel”. I really don’t think there is anything is keeping back the film industry here. We have a uniqueness that no one else can offer.
TFIE: What is the greatest strength right now that Tucson has going for it in terms of the film industry?
ML: In Hollywood, star-seeking artists converge into a sea of all things film, but in Tucson we have so much homegrown talent just waiting to be refined. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of Tucson’s finest, both on stage and on screen, and all I can say is, “Wow”.
TFIE: What do you hope to see in the future for the Tucson film industry?
ML: I wish there were more opportunities for local artists to make a career out of their craft. Obviously at the end of the day the bills need to be paid but it would be wonderful if we could build a stronger film industry to help more local dreamers achieve just that.
TFIE: What can someone do to help advance the film industry in Tucson, either as a filmmaker, fan, or both?
ML: I would suggest checking out the Tucson Weekly, The AZ Daily Star, the Daily Wildcat, and other local publications for events and festivals happening in your area. There are so many ways to get involved. Even Facebook is a great networking tool to help meet new people and break into the industry. And don’t forget to bring a friend!
Sound advice and a great attitude to have working here in Tucson as a filmmaker and industry professional. Check the links below for more on Michele Loera’s work as she looks to have a bright future ahead of her. Look for these Q & A’s over the next few weeks, bringing together a variety of ideas and opinions on the Tucson film industry. If you are interested in following along with the film happenings in Tucson and local filmmakers, you can receive these articles directly as they are published by clicking on the “Subscribe” button at the top of this piece. You can also follow me on Twitter by searching for ericshlapack or by clicking the link below.
For more info:
Watch episodes of web series Crewing Up featuring Michele Loera
Fried Egg Films