by Amy Waltner
ENMU student Benjamin Rodriguez recently held a casting call for his thesis film, In the Outfield, at the University of New Mexico (U.N.M.). In the Outfield is about homosexuality in midtown America.
Rodriguez went to Albuquerque for actors because he wanted a larger talent pool. “We have talented people here in Portales but there’s not many, plus they’re always embroiled in their own projects,” explained Rodriguez.
“It wasn’t that tough to set up, actually. I sent my casting-call article to the state office, free of charge, and I reserved the room at U.N.M.”
He has been at Eastern since 2011 and plans on graduating with a bachelor of science in digital film making.
“I would say the experiences in Portales I’ve had with meeting a lot of people was enjoyable. I worked as a resident assistant where you interact with a lot of people and it was something I really enjoyed because, you know, in your everyday life you know your coworkers, family, friends and when you’re in college you’re in a sea of people, and it makes you more aware that you’re not the center of the world.”
This 22-year-old aspiring director and writer grew up in Rio Rancho, N.M., and spent a lot of his spare time filming. “When I was younger my brothers and I made several home movies. It was really just improvised; grab the camera and go.”
Growing up in Rio Rancho he found filming to be a productive and fun outlet, “I guess one way to pass the time was just to think of what would look good in a scene and that just manifested into me thinking about what would be a good movie.
“Before I thought about doing movies, I just thought about cool action scenes and what looked entertaining in my mind,” Rodriguez said.
He finds film the most pleasing medium and art form to portray his visions in and to deliver messages. “I like cinema. I like crafting a story and as opposed to theatre, it’s just a preference as to the structure of it and the tools. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.”
He finds enjoyment in free style dancing as well when he isn’t putting together a film.
“Directing is my favorite because you get to bring your own story to it; they say that in directing the director brings his own vision into it and you can tell a lot about a director by looking at his or her film,” Rodriguez said.
You can view one of the short films Rodriguez wrote and directed called The Carving athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0ViXyyfUX0.
You can also help Rodriguez fund his thesis film through KickStarter, which closes on Feb. 14.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/294507514/in-the-outfield?ref=email.