Interview with Filmmakers Mario Alberto Zamarripa, Jose Guadalupe Zamarripa (A LONG WAY TO GO)

A LONG WAY TO GO, 20min., USA, Thriller
Directed by Mario Alberto Zamarripa, Jose Guadalupe Zamarripa
A former cop goes on a rampage to hunt down three suspects who may have committed the crime of kidnapping her sister. But, as the night progresses, things spiral out of control about who the culprit is.

Get to know the filmmakers:

What motivated you to make this film?

The idea of the whole project comes from the femicides that have destroyed many lives of families in Mexico. Since we didn’t want to make a realistic film about this topic, we wanted to make a stylized neo-noir action thriller. We love movies or shows with that style, especially when the main character is a Western character with no name. That sparked the motivation for creating this project.

Then we started writing, and eight drafts later, it became a pilot episode. Funny enough, we took ten pages of the pilot and made it into this micro-budget short film. Our plan and motivation is to make that project come to fruition soon.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

We started the idea in the summer of last year. First, we began doing storyboards and talking with our cinematographer Andrew Perez about the style of the film. Then we started shooting in November in five days with minimal hours due to locations. In total, it took six months to complete the project.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?


4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle we faced when making this film was getting the equipment ready on time, for example, charging the batteries for the camera and the mics. On some days, we wasted time charging them. That was a real pain in the ass, but thankfully it all came through.

Another obstacle is scheduling. We made this film while we were still at the university, and our actors had homework and jobs that took much of our time when making this film. But, ultimately, we love our actors, and the result was worth it.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Grateful and shocked. After watching the film more than a million times, it can get tiring sometimes, but having an audience with fresh eyes seeing our film and saying great things about it makes us feel that we did a great job as writers and filmmakers. All the sleepless nights making this movie were worth it.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

The funny thing is my brother (Jose) recorded street fights back at middle and high school. So then, my brother had the bright idea and said,” Ey, I want to make films.” Also, we love watching films, since we were kids we remember the first film we saw was Scarface. Believe it or not, we were five years old when we watched it. It was great!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

They’re so many. One is Scarface, but since we’re talking about the thriller genre, we would say “I Saw The Devil,” a South Korean action thriller. We love the film’s style and director, Kim Jee-Woon, is a master of telling incredible, poetic, and violent films. Everything about the film, the cinematography, the directing, the editing, and the acting makes this movie such an influence when making “A Long Way to Go.” We highly recommend that everyone who’s a thriller fan watch this. It’s amazing!

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

To help us advertise our film so we can get into many festivals and meet with investors, producers, filmmakers, and audiences so my brother and I can have an opportunity to make some good ass shit. As you say, networking.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It’s been good. We’ve been selected for other festivals and hopefully many more. We submitted many early birds, and waiting for the notifications is a drag, but it’s been good so far.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Since we live next to Mexico, tacos are our favorite meal.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

My brother and I are in the works of developing a short film with more production value. Hopefully, this short film will introduce us to the top dogs in the industry. Although we made this movie with a micro-budget, it’s very well-made. Now imagine if we had a bigger budget. There’s no denying we can make a great film. We have the actors and crew for our sample video, and by then get some funds and grants and hopefully find some investors. We might need some help with that, if you know what I mean. *Wink*

Of course, as the great Akira Kurosawa said, “Patience is the key to filmmaking.” The only reason we are creating another short is to develop our style and be ready when we do a bigger project.

We are 22 years old, young, hungry, and always ready to make the best films possible. After this is all set and done. When this film gets a lot of recognition, we will soon turn “A Long Way to Go” into a big-budget television series. There’s a saying, “Find an excuse to win, and keep going!”


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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