With unlimited skill in film making, Geo Santini has taken the film industry by storm. Shooting his latest film Hotel California in just 19 days, Geo Santini shows dedication and focus in all that he does. Soon to be shooting a Halloween thriller which will be his first written script, Geo Santini is definitely the film maker to look out for. In an exclusive interview, Geo spills the beans on his career, crazy stories and funny experiences.
How does it feel to have your work critically acclaimed by all who see it?
As a film maker and artist, I create my work to be seen and always express my ideas and visions. When people appreciate what I create it’s an amazing feeling and lets me know that I am doing the right thing. It feels good to know that all the long hours and hard work I put in was worth it.
What would you say is your best or favorite music video?
My favorite video was a project I did for an independent artist named Black Orchid, the track was called “Me and Ilene.” The video dealt with a couple who just moved to LA, who had got caught up in the party scene, eventually getting hooked up on Crystal Meth. They tried to rob a Hollywood mansion, and then the story just went tragic from there. I like it cause the story was real, the video was risky and the whole time we used a sexy model to represent the drug Crystal Meth. It was cool, but of course MTV said it was too hardcore – they gave us so many notes and edits, the label just decided to release it on DVD and over the internet.
What made you decide to leave MTV and become a film maker?
I was still young when I worked for MTV, I was still in school and I knew that my passion was always to make films. I had two great years at MTV, where I had learned a lot and met great people but in the end I had to follow my passion.
Were you trying to achieve something in particular when you started to make films?
I just wanted to make good movies. Before I shot my first feature, I shot two short films that helped me get to the road of shooting Hotel California.
How did ‘Hotel California’ show all your talent?
I really think my visual style came through and I thought it created a huge canvas in which I was able to paint a series of images that supported what was taking place with the characters in the movie. Overall I think it helped me take a simple revenge story and show it in a different light.
What was it like working with the cast?
All the cast were great, they were so passionate and came to work hard. You hear all these horror stories of actors coming to set and being nightmares to work with, or just not really caring and it’s sad. I was lucky that I had a cast that truly cared and worked hard, and I think that it showed.
What was the most difficult thing about shooting the film?
Definitely the time, I shot the entire film in 19 days. There wasn’t enough time to really play around with the things for the film and it was a challenge. The best had to be done in the short amount of time.
Have you made any documentaries?
No, but I want to! I’m exploring a few topics! If I do one it will have to be shot more like a film in moments and be very cinematic of course. I want it to strike real awareness and not just entertain, but one is definitely in my sights for the future.
What is your most memorable moment since being in the industry?
Wow! There are so many funny stories and great experiences! The best has to be when I screened my short for a producer and told him that I was going to turn it into a feature. He looked at me and told me, “Dude that will never be a feature.” Then, two years after shooting the film I ran into him at a coffee shop in Hollywood and he asked me for a job!
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?
I won’t say who, but I was shooting a video in New York and a rival group came to the set and started messing with the group in our video. Everyone pulled out guns and I got so stressed cause I needed to get three more shots, so I asked them to take it outside so I can finish shooting! I didn’t realize how stupid that was until the end of the day! But, it turned out okay!
What advice would you give to up and coming film makers?
My advice is that there is no right path to get where you want to go, every one’s story is unique, so just know where you want to be and your journey will take you there. I would also add that the most important thing is to believe in yourself because no one will until you prove it to them. The industry don’t care about you, you have to make them care.
What was the toughest thing you went through to get where you are today?
Moving to LA and being away from my family, I miss them a lot. I go back East as much as I can to visit and spend time with them…love you Mom…
What topic would you most like to make a film on?
Honestly, it would have to be the Homeless. I would love to do a great story that touches this subject matter.
What can we expect from you in the future?
In June I will begin shooting a film entitled “October 31st.” It’s a film about five high school misfits that decide to rob a bank on Halloween, but it all goes wrong. It’s a thriller but deals with a lot of serious issues concerning teens today. Plus, I’m excited because it will be the first script I wrote entirely and am able to shoot, I’m in process of casting now. I’m also Slated to do a film entitled “MADRE DE DIOS”, which will star Julie Ormond, Barbara Mori, the latin superstar crossing over, Eric Roberts, and a male lead that I’m not allowed to mention yet. I’m also in development of two Television episodes.
Words by Melissa Lewars