Q. Mr. Ramirez, please tell me a little about Lobo Video Productions and when you started this company.
A. I started in 2000 in San Antonio, Texas. I came out to Los Angeles in 2007. The company includes me, my son who is a writer, editor and director. My wife is the casting director for our first three films, "Tortillas Again?" "For Amor" and "Coca". And my other son is an actor.
Q. Your website states that you are trying to change Latin stereotypes in films and television programming by casting Latinos in other roles besides the housekeeper, pool boy, gardener, etc. Do you believe that this type of stereotyping would be acceptable in any other race group?
A. Absolutely not. Hollywood has always stereotyped different groups and I'm trying to change that. We don't have a voice like Cesar Chavez who stood up for the migrant workers. I don't know why we don't have someone who wants to take the lead, it seems like individuals are afraid to speak out.
Q. It is up to casting, producers and directors working together to remove stereotypes. However, isn't it up to writers to write these roles and then bring them to casting?
A. Yes, writers must write scripts for Latinos where we are cast as everyday working people. Not all Latinos are maids. My wife is a legal professional and she works in Beverly Hills.
Q. Can you tell me about any upcoming projects that you are excited about?
A. Yes, we have an amazing project called, "The Adventures of Paleta Man", a bilingual trilogy catered to Latino kids worldwide. It is a trilogy and the three films will be produced over the next three years. He is the first Latino superhero. He has powers to help save the world from destruction. We are seeking financing for the film for we feel that Latino children deserve a Superhero of their own. If we can find the investors we are planning principal photography this summer. Production budgets are only $20M each.
Q. Are you involved in the casting process?
A. Yes, I am involved in every aspect from the music to editing to casting and directing. I've had to wear many different hats in the three films that I've done.
Q. How did you get involved in the entertainment industry?
A. I started out as a musician when I was 14. I'm from a small town, San Diego, Texas. I was playing in cantinas. I played music for years, moved to Austin for awhile. I then moved to San Antonio. I started making music videos and in 2000 graduated to small independent films.
Q. What brought you out to Los Angeles?
A. I felt that I had gotten as far as I could go in San Antonio. I wanted to do more and I wanted to go to the next level of producing quality feature films.
Q. Did anyone particular person help you along the way?
A. No, not really. It was difficult. But I learned so much along the way. And now that I am a producer, I want to reach out to others who also have a dream to work in this industry. It is up to us to help others and the way I can do this is to hire other Latinos and to remove the negative stereotypes.
Q. What advice can you give to other Latinos who wish to work in the entertainment industry?
A. The advice I can give is to just do it. If you want to make a film, just do it from beginning to end. If you wait around for someone to come along and help you, it may never happen. There is a lot of information on the internet that you can get. There are organizations that you can join like NALIP.
Q. How do you put out the word that you are casting?
A. When we get to the point where we need to start casting, we will hire a Casting Director or even put out the word on different sites like Craig's List. If you want to send me your photo and resume, you can send it to me at PO Box 341913, Los Angeles, CA 90034.
Q. I noticed that you have the story of the cangrejos (crabs) on your website. Don't you believe that as Latinos we should actively become involved in helping others along their paths, if possible?
A. Yes, my grandmother told me this story and there are many variations of this story. If you don't know the story, go to our website: http://lobovideoprod.tripod.com
Latinos owe it to each other to help each other because if we don't help each other, no one else will do it for us.