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Q&A with a local filmmaker: From Student to Miss Independent

By Admin User on April 29, 2020

Chloe Cruz is a 20-year-old independent photographer and videographer currently based in Vancouver, British Colombia. But how did Chloe get to where she is now? Born in the Philippines, Chloe relocated to Canada along with her Mom at the young age of five. She lived in Edmonton for the rest of her school life until she relocated at the age of 19 to Vancouver to follow her dreams. Film, photography, editing and everything else in between.

How did you discover your love and passion for the art of filmmaking?

I fully discovered and officially decided that filmmaking and photography was something that I truly wanted to do in the future back in high school when I still lived in Edmonton. I remember when it came to picking those extra-curricular courses, my head went straight to photography! And then I discovered that Ross Sheppard, the highschool I went to, offered this course called “com-tech” which was like a graphic like editing and that sort of stuff kinda class so I took that as well. And then I also took the film course they offered as well.

Wow! So you were really into film! Did it start at a young age?

Well yeah, I was always kind of a nerd when it came to film ever since I was young. I remember back in junior-high when we would have those classes, like the “english” classes, where our class would watch movies after reading those lengthy books. I remember being so much more invested on how they got a certain type of shot that I thought looked cool, or the colour pallet they used, or how they edited it and made it look so realistic. For me it was all just very fascinating.

How did you take the initiative to start following your dreams?

Well during high school, I fully immersed myself into the craft. During school hours I would work on my film assignments, com-tech, and other stuff like that and then only after would I do my other homework from other classes. I also worked on some projects that were for me. I would shoot things outside class with my own equipment and during school hours then, if I had extra time, I would edit them using the equipment provided to me by the school. Outside of classes, I put myself out there which was a scary dive.

What do you mean exactly by putting yourself out there?

Well I’ve personally have never really been the centre of attention kind of person. As much as I liked things looking a certain way, I always preferred myself behind the screen. So when I was in high school I started using social media to my advantage. And when I say social media, I mean Facebook. I researched a bunch of acting, directing and editing groups on facebook and requested to join all of them. And a few days later most of my requests were accepted.

What happened after those requests were accepted?

After those requests were accepted, I started to dive even deeper. The groups I joined posted local castings of films being shot in Edmonton. I remember there was a page called “D&L Originals” on Facebook and at the time it posted a lot of castings and they still do to this day. I saw this casting about extras being needed for a short film called Indra’s Awakening and I decided to apply. I sent in a headshot to the casting director along with a little blurb about me and a few days later I got a response! Ever since then I learned more and more about the film industry and what they do behind the screen. Plus being extra was fun.

So after high school, did you go to college to study more about film?

No, I did not. My Mom was pretty mad about that. During my time in high school and my gap year, I felt that I had built a resume strong enough for people in the industry to give me a chance and to take me seriously. I felt confident in my myself and my craft.

How did you end up relocating to Vancouver?

I actually got super lucky with that. I applied to be an editor for a series called “LifeXP” and they took a chance on me. When I say they took a chance on me, they flew me to Vancouver. And as much as my mom hated the idea of me going to a different city, she wished me the best and paid for the first few months of my rent. LifeXP helped me get settled in Vancouver and I worked for them and only them until the series ended. After that, I started to get other opportunities to work for other projects including short films, Netflix films, weddings. And top of that, my friend and I won 3rd place at the International Youth Silent Film Festival held in Portland.

So what’re your plans now?

Well I feel like I’ve worked on so much different positions for so many different films last year. So, this year I thought why not make my own. So I’m currently producing a film of mine, which will shortly resume after this pandemic is over. And then, I don’t really know. Maybe this film will take up the rest of my 2020. Everything is unsure. I’m just awed and I feel super lucky to be able to support myself in such an expensive city and I kinda just go with the flow. I released a keychain called “Crafty“, so that’s pretty cool if anyone wants a new keychain for their collection.

Chloe is still at Vancouver right now working on her film. And for anyone who’s scared to follow their dreams, Chloe has one thing to say, “It’s hard, it’s scary, but you’ll never know until you try.”



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