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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 11/16/2012 : 11:02:37 AM
David Antonio Garcia Burgos
Producer/Writer/Director/Actor/Editor/Independent Film Maker
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: How long have you been in the film industry, and how did you make your start?
David: I’ve been working on videos for about 10 years now. Prior to doing videos, I was doing my first love, theatre in New York City. I worked various venues Off -Off Broadway and Off Broadway. I even had a theatre company I founded and ran for 7 years.
As a theatre producer I saw the rise in theatre space prices, and how this was going to be the death to small theatres in New York. That’s when I began to veer more to video. Doubling our theatre space as a video studio, I shot most of “Tales From The Lab", and "Plays From The Lab", in that space. Eventually I left the theatre company to focus more on videos.
Rich: Why do you like your chosen profession?
David: I enjoy the process and the challenge of taking something that was in my mind, a teleplay, or a play, and bringing it to life in the form of theatre or video. The process of working with actors and writers can be very stimulating, and a pain in the rear. Sometimes both at the same time. Dealing with actors, and writers, requires patience, and understanding. The bottom line is that when everyone is working for best of the piece, wonderful things can happen. Things that maybe you never thought of may occur. But always as the director, you’re in charge, so you better do the best you can.
Rich: Can you tell us a story about a great experience you’ve had.
David: One of my videos," View From My Window", is all about making something out of nothing. It had been a while since I shot anything and I was feeling restless. That’s when I came up with the idea for the video. I had a camera, videos and an idea. The premise was, is what a man sees out of his window real or a figment of his imagination.
I love the view from the window in my room. It’s a wind shaft , with the back of apartments in the building. So I made the shaft the set. The objective became to make this innocent view menacing and threatening. I also had a lot of footage from, finished videos and unfinished videos, to use for the delusional scenes. The next thing to do was find an actor. Though I don’t like working with myself, as an actor it became more expedient to use me. So there was my alter ego Walter Plinge. ( In the theatre if an actor does more than one part in a play he credits it to George Splevin, in America and Walter Plinge in England.) It’s an inside joke I that I use in my videos, so when you see those names it’s usually me.
The real challenge and the fun was editing the video, taking all the different pieces and pasting them together for my storyline. It was a laborious project. First I put together a version and then waited, a day to look at it, then working on it some more, and then putting it down, and then picking it up again. After a few weeks I came up with View From My Window. People who’ve seen it seem to enjoy it. It’s become the introduction piece to “Tales From The Lab”, and I’ve recruited a lot of friends with the video on Facebook.
Rich: What does it take to create a successful film?
David: A good idea, good actors, a lot of work, luck and a little bit of money wouldn’t hurt. To date I’ve produced most of my videos, for under $1000 dollars. Probably less.
Rich: Where does your inspiration come from for writing?
David: Inspiration can come from anywhere. The news can inspire me to ask, what is really going on with a story. Two of my plays,” The Interview” and “Misconduct” were inspired by the news. “The Interview”, is about a black lawyer who has to decide whether to defend an Aryan racist. The racist is accused of beating a black man to death. This was inspired by the beating death of a Black kid, by some white teenagers in Bensonhurts Brooklyn. “Misconduct,” my play about a black female internal affairs officer investigation into the shooting death of a homeless black man, by white police, was based on a few such incidents in New York. The turmoil in the Middle East inspired my video “The Tribunal”. This is a story about two races of people who have been at war for 1000’s of years. Celestial beings pick two people from both factions and put them through a test. The results will determine whether all the humans live or die on that planet.
Rich: How do you go about promoting videos?
David: Right now the way I promote myself is by developing a following on Facebook and sending individual links to friends. This is a lot of work but it seems to be the only way to get your work seen these days. In the beginning of web videos, it was easier to get seen then it is now. At one time web sites seemed to promote videos, giving your piece a broader, wider, audience. But once they started becoming an advertising platform for movies, and other products, the independent film maker was left to their own. We had to develop the n audience. Now we have to promote our work anyway that we can. I’ve also been told I should get into Twitter and Blogging. In many ways I’m a techno novice.
Rich: You have two web series “Tales From The Lab” and “Plays From The Lab. Can you give a brief idea about both and where they can be found?
David: “Tales From The Lab”, is a suspense, thriller, sci-fi ,fanasty anthology series. Each video is a self containted story ranging from 2 mins to 27 minutes. It my tribute to the original “Twilight Zone”. At the moment there are 7 stories in the series. They involve Ghost, mutilple personalites, a Martial arts fantasy storyline, and Celestial beings.
“Plays From The Lab” are videos of plays that I directed and produced. As a brat I used to watch “Playhouse 90”, and “Kraft Theatre”. These were television shows that aired live plays, in the 50’s and sixties. (Am I dating myself). This show was fun to shot. Each play was shot like a movie. Doing several takes and different angles, and then editing them together. Right now there are only 4 episodes in that series. All of them were shot in a theatre to keep the theatrical feel.
These videos can be seen on dailymotion.com, search burgos387, or you can go to my website I created with wix.com. The address is burgos387.wix.com/dag-burgos. If you google me, you’ll find I’m on a few sites. Right now I prompting my work on youtube. I had been using Spike.com but there seems to be a problem with my videos, on that site at the moment.
Rich: Why should people take time to watch these?
David: If you like watching original videos with, an original story lines, check out my work. Most people find my work, thought provoking, and well done , for no money.
Rich: Can you tell us about the civil rights play and the comedy you are currently working on.
David: My civil rights play. Well at the moment it’s titled” The Road We Walked”. It follows the lives of two half brothers, one whose mother was black, the other whose mother was Puerto Rican. They were raised apart and didn’t meet each other till later in life..
The story starts with their first meeting during the Korean War and follows them up until the the election of Pres. Obama. The play follows the changes in the men and women who were the vanguard of the civil right movement. How it changed them and our society. Right now I have the third draft of the piece and am trying to arrange a stage reading of it. I want to do this before I begin cutting, which it probably needs. It’s important that a play gets a reading during it’s development. That’s how you can tell what’s working and what’s not in the play. Sometimes you can read something and think it’s brilliant, and then when you hear it, it falls flat.
“Can I Help you” is my first real comedy. It’s the story of a man who gets on an elevator with his wife, her friend, and his two mistress. The elevator crashes killing them all. They then find themselves in a waiting area with a character named the Waiter, who tries to make them comfortable before they move on to the next life. I know it may not sound funny, but I did a reading of it and people where laughing in the right places Though I don’t know if it’s because they knew me and where thinking “what a sick mind he has ”, or if it was just funny. I like to think the latter.
Rich: What else do you have planned for the future?
David: At the moment I have 7 more episodes of “Tales From The Lab” I want to shoot and about 3 more episodes of Plays From The Lab. I want to have around 3 hours of video programming. Right now I have 90 minutes. I want to enter a few festivals and get my name out there. I’m also working on a horror feature that mixes two popular horror creatures genre, that I want to sell. It something that I don’t think has been done yet so I’m very mum about it.
Rich: How do you spend your free time you happen to have?
David: I spend my free time reading Smithsonian Magazine and Archaeology. I love history and sometimes it helps generates future stories. I like writing, watching videos on the net. Old movies on TCM, or as my grandson calls it, “Your old black and whites “. I also spend time with my grandchildren, which I know is a frightening concept. Me around children, but they help to relax me and shows me that life goes on.
Rich: How can someone contact you?
David: I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact me on Facebook. That’s Dag Burgos. On Facebook they wouldn’t let me use periods, so I’m Dag, instead of D.A.G, or on my website, burgos387.wix.com/dag-burgos.
Rich: What would you like to say to the fans of your work?
David: I’d like to thank them for watching and sharing my work. Without an audience there’s no point to doing anything. It’s a lot of work to do videos, and if you not making any money you should at least have someone to watch them. So I thank them very much.
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