Interview by Andreea Boyer // Edited by Chris Charles of Idol Features
Although Tim Muñoz considers filmmaking just his hobby, it’s a successful hobby. His latest feature film, Don Filipo, an LGBT-themed horror film set in a rural town in the Philippines, he considers his first major work.
Andreea Boyer: Where are you from and what can you tell us about yourself?
Tim Muñoz: I was born and raised in the Philippines. I worked as a creative professional for a major television network for many years. I later migrated to the USA. Although I’m no longer working for the media industry, I still carry on with my creative pursuits as a hobby. I’m a fine arts enthusiast. I often travel to Europe to see famous works of art. I’m also a film buff. I love classic films especially those made by Kurosawa, Bergman, and Fellini.
Andreea Boyer: Have you been working in the film industry mainly in your country or also somewhere else around the globe?
Tim Muñoz: I actually haven’t, although I worked for television broadcasting for quite some time. Filmmaking has just been a hobby for me.
Andreea Boyer: How did you start your career as a filmmaker and what has motivated and inspired you?
Tim Muñoz: I have loved watching movies since I was a child. But I never really thought of making movies myself. It was only in recent years that I started learning about the filmmaking process. I read some books and I took some courses at the New York Film Academy to expand on my knowledge. So to apply everything that I have learned, I decided to make a movie.
Andreea Boyer: When did you start with your career as a filmmaker and has filmmaking always been your main focus?
Tim Muñoz: I started making films probably just five years ago. I bought a camera and a few equipment and shot some films by myself. My earlier movies were not really meant for release because they were just for practice. Filmmaking has never been my main focus. It’s something that I do in between my regular job. I work for the transportation company, Amtrak, as a train conductor. Filmmaking breaks the monotony of my work-home cycle.
Andreea Boyer: What can you tell us about the cast and story from your movie, Don Filipo?
Tim Muñoz: I love horror films. I’m also part of the LGBTQ community. So, I thought of fusing these two things that I’m passionate about. What it was when I initially wrote it is very different from what came out. Throughout the writing process, ideas pop up. I added some stuff, and removed some stuff. It’s a constant creative process. In order to avoid the expensive fees of professional actors, I auditioned for newcomers. Luis Padilla, who plays the lead character Dino, is a theater actor and occasional advertising model. Adrian Arias, who plays Obet, is a male pageant winner who does bit parts in independent movie projects.
Andreea Boyer: Where did you film your movie?
Tim Muñoz: It was filmed in picturesque Baliuag, Bulacan. It’s a nearby province, just two hours drive from Manila.
Andreea Boyer: What can you tell us about your other films and work?
Tim Muñoz: Don Filipo is my first major film project. My previous movies were just to hone my skills in filmmaking. They were mostly homoerotic dramas set in urban centers. I’d like to call them my practice films.
Andreea Boyer: What can you tell us about your best experiences and which moments in your career have been the most influential ones for you?
Tim Muñoz: This is difficult to narrow down. I love the shooting process. I enjoy seeing the script that I wrote finally being acted out in front of a camera.
Andreea Boyer: Which moments on the film-set have been the most difficult ones for you?
Tim Muñoz: The hardest part always deals with finances. Since I am self-financing my projects, I always try to be frugal about everything. I have to make compromises along the way. But that’s part of the challenge. The late nights are another thing. Since more shooting days mean more expenses, we have to cram everything in just a few days shoot. That means fully maximizing each day.
Andreea Boyer: What is your advice for all young independent filmmakers on how they should work on their goals and reach the best audience for their individual work?
Tim Muñoz: Don’t wait for a miracle to happen to make your first movie. Find ways to make it happen. Save up or look for means to raise the money. Just do it. Learn how to be adjust your vision to what you can afford. You can’t make Star Wars on an indie film’s budget, so start out small. Think of a simple story with few characters and few location requirements. Then keep making films. Practice makes perfect they say. The more you make movies, the more you get better as a filmmaker.
Thank you, Mr. Muñoz. We wish you continues success.
See more of Tim Muñoz’s works at his IMDb page.