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Meet Angelica Perez-Castro of APC Films in Chamblee-Tucker area

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angelica Perez-Castro.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Angelica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Every since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with filmmaking. I loved how the camera could be used to bring stories from a written work to a living piece. Determined to create, I would take every opportunity I could to film whether camcorder or polaroid. The moment that directed me down the cinematography path was taking photography classes in college. After that class, I knew I wanted to be a cinematographer. There was something about creating an image with lighting, composition, and emotion that spoke to me. I feeling I got from watching my photos develop in the darkroom was unparalleled. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to create images for life. After watching the original Star Wars trilogy, I became curious, about working on large film productions. I finished my Graphic Design bachelor’s degree in Puerto Rico and decided to apply for graduate school for film, and it took me to Atlanta, Georgia. Moving away with no film connections, and being the only one in my family pursuing this career made it more challenging but exciting at the same time. Completely unknown territory for me, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I knew that with my cultural background, I could bring a fresh and new perspective to the film industry. I’ve made great friendships and connections at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta campus. Making a move to Georgia just made my love for cinematography grow even more and brought me to do the art of Steadicam.

Currently, I’m a member of the IATSE Local 600 Cinematographers Guild, The Society of Camera Operators (SOC) and Steadicam Operators Association (SOA). It’s been a fantastic journey. As I continue to grow, I know I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support and help of my friends that I have been lucky enough to crossed paths with. I had the opportunity to work on many narrative scripted works as well as commercials, music videos, documentaries and events within the camera department including Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (Warner Bros.), Almost Christmas (Universal Pictures), the 2019 Cinequest Film Festival and more. I was second unit Cinematographer on an episode for Sesame Street (S49) televised on HBO. I’ve operated the camera on several episodes of TLC’s reality show, Family by the Ton (S2). A short titled, Stop Asking for Permission, was shot only using 100ft of Kodak 16mm film and is currently running the festival circuit. I’ve done many projects as Steadicam operator such as OWN’s Ready to Love, on music videos, independent feature films, and commercials. In 2018 and 2019, I had the opportunity to work on a documentary titled, Invented Before You Were Born, and the premiere is expected in 2020. The premise of this film is about the honest dialog between black and white descendants of the institution of slavery. During the summer and fall of 2018, I shot my first independent feature film titled: Through Her Eyes, a drama piece about civil rights and segregation. The film is currently in post-production and scheduled to be released late 2019.

Has it been a smooth road?
Definitely not. Struggles and challenges are present daily as a freelancer. From funding to producing, the process of making a film to completion, even if it just a short, it’s a challenge on its own. Not to mention the struggle after film school, getting ready for the non-stop job-seeking process. I’ve been a freelancer pretty much my whole life, it started with my graphic design work, so that helped enormously transition to film life. However, this industry relies heavily on connections. Networking is key. Landing jobs is basically from the results of networking and volunteering on sets to build relationships. For me, one of the biggest struggles was networking. Being a shy person makes it harder, but through the process, I’ve become more confident in myself and more outgoing. I’ve also met a lot of amazing people who became mentors, friends, and professional connections.

A big challenge has been climbing the ladder in the camera department. Unfortunately, it has been a boy’s club for a while. Nevertheless, working hard, shooting as many projects as possible, going to the gym, keeping a great attitude on set, and not giving up has paid off. Slowly but surely, that perspective is changing. There’s a rise of female cinematographers, operators and camera assistants on this industry. Another struggle has been dealing with the business side of the film. As a filmmaker, I am always looking forward to the fun side of the film, which is the creative aspect of it. However, dealing with logistics and finances can be a stressful part in this industry. Coming from two art schools, I had to learn on the go about entrepreneurship. By the end of film school, I decided to create an LLC of my own. That’s when APC Films was born.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
APC Films specializes in camera, lighting and Steadicam work. The company offers knowledge and expertise for a wide range of projects, including feature films, shorts, commercials, documentaries, music videos, and more. What sets APC Films part from the rest is the attention to detail, the creative eye, and the positive energy on set. I’m proud of the connections I’ve made throughout the years and grateful to hear positive feedback from the cast and crew after collaborating. The motto for this company is to visually create what’s best for the story or idea while making the production process a great and fun experience for the entire team.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes. Due to the amount of talent and abundance of ideas, concepts, and stories. I feel the film community is going to keep growing. Development and post-production services will expand and grow, as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Katherine Brennan, Marco Gutierrez, Sig, Levi Mlinar

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