Joshua Ortiz: Dream of a filmmaker
Meeting the Rising Writer No. 22
We have a future filmmaker in our midst. Joshua Ortiz, although he continues to write, would love to be a filmmaker. He loves visual storytelling and believes in reaching broader audiences with it. Concepts and ideas that develop into vivid representations of emotion appeal to him.
Obviously, he’s also a lot of fun, and he’s not afraid to show it. Today, he has agreed to a virtual interview with me, and we’ll get into his head a little about how he sees things, both in writing and in filmmaking!
Thank you, Joshua, for agreeing to an interview.
What is your name? Do you go by that name as a writer?
My name is Joshua Ortiz. I don’t really have a pen name but have been thinking of using Infinium’s Pen to be on a Meta level with a story I’ve been brewing on.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Working mainly … I don’t watch television, so I usually watch movies or hang out with friends online or off.
When did you start writing?
I started writing in high school. I was given writing short stories or monologues as an alternative to doing class work. That later grew into script writing when I was in school and later would write short stories with friends and come up with film ideas and scripts, but ye olde’ procrastination.
What are you currently working on? How did you begin working on it?
I’m currently working on Malicious. It is a short that was based off a really weird dream I had about the sun burning out and a mother and son going to the beach to watch the last sunset. I began working on it by just getting it on paper first—no outline or anything. Since it was based on a dream, the details of the dream were dwindling rather quickly, so I would probably place that on “let the idea run its course.”
Give us insight to your main character. Who is she? What is her purpose?
My main character is a mother and she has gone through some tough times in life. At the beginning of the story, everyone knows that today is the last day the sun will burn and she just wants to be with her son, so they decide to go to the beach to watch the last sunset.
What would you say is the major attribute to your story?
The sun’s announced destruction is representation of the final moment of the reality of death. Last precious moments together.
What inspires your writing?
Well this may not be popular, but a lot of my inspiration came from my younger days when I was really into psychedelic drugs—DMT mainly—I’ve had some interesting trips. As well as dreams; a lot of my dreams play out like movies so when I wake, I just write them down on paper and when the time comes when I want to write something with a specific emotion, I usually have something in the think tank for it.
What/who are your favorite or most reliable support group?
Well that would have to be alcohol (High five primed and ready) … right? … Guys, am I right … guys … Sleep and my Dogs.
What is your favorite genre to write? What do you think is the most important thing to consider while writing it?
Concepts. The most important factor, I believe, is “has it been done before or how is it, philosophically?” The trick to concepts are there are things you’ve heard before but it is what you would do with them that makes it yours.
I have a short film script that I wrote called 15 minutes, and it’s about a drug that can revive a person for 15 minutes so that they can have one last resolution before death. One is a father with a family. Two is a brother who OD’d and revealed it was a suicide. Three is a young couple who used the drug to spend time with their baby who died at birth. I’m currently building funds to film it.
What is the biggest mistake you make while writing? How do you overcome it?
I think the biggest mistake I make is wanting to get to the point, so I end up writing and finding myself wanting to come to the end. I overcome it by putting it down and doing something else.
Life advice I’ve always received was: “When you don’t know what to do, do something else and it will all work itself out.”
Which author inspires you?
H.P. Lovecraft is the grandfather of horror. One of his works that has inspired me greatly is Herbert West the Reanimator. It was a serial that ran in the newspaper way back when, but every week there would be a recap of the last chapter; it was awesome to me.
Do you have any favorite quotes?
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” – H.P. Lovecraft “Call of Cthulhu”
BONUS: What would you do if you only had one more day, and would you tell others if you were the only one who knew?
I would tell everyone I could about my story of Iota Infinium.