My name is Derek Garcia an I'm a filmmaker living in Brooklyn, NY. In my sophomore year of High School I wrote an essay and went through an interview process to join eleven other students at Reel Works Teen Filmmaking/The Lab. Before we made our film, we pitched the idea to Time Warner executives since they were sponsors of Reel Works. I got the okay, My film Negative to Positive (International Latino Film Festival 2008, Seoul International Film Festival 2009) is about my cousins’ childhood, growing up with drugs in their family and how they took these negative experiences and turned them into positive ones for the future. After my work on that film, Reel Works picked me to join a Channel Thirteen/PBS Ken Burns project. Working with five other students we shared the responsibilities in making Over Here. This film is about WWII and ordinary New Yorkers perspectives of the war, overseas and at home. It was an amazing experience to find these people and then record their memories from the past to make a film relevant to today. This was aired in september 2008 on PBS.
My next challenge came when I entered a contest held by our local cable station. The film could not be any longer than three minutes. My film Brooklyn Is Everything (Coney Island Film Festival 2008, Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival 2008) doesn’t have any dialogue, but it shows who I am, and where I come from. This won first prize at the contest. Then I got into the Tribeca Summer Institute for Film. Working with another student, I was able to direct, write and shoot a narrative film. The film was called Melt (Derritimiento) (Tribeca Film Festival 2009/Our city my story screening, Westport Youth Film Festival 2009) and it was in Spanish with subtitles. This was my first narrative film and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it in a unique way. I came up with an idea that would move the story along and also give the film an edge. With careful thought I found poetry that connected to the story and what the main character was going through. Using voiceovers of the poetry along with dialogue, the audience is able to experience the journey of a recent immigrant as she finds her place in her new home. I also worked on shortly after this another project for Channel Thirteen/PBS called City of Parks that was aired right before the Ken Burns’ documentary series on National Parks. There were five segments my film was called Floyd Bennett Field.
In 2009 I made a short three minute film for CBS about the recession and was on national television on a piece called Children of the Recession. Also around that time I did the Tribeca Film Fellows where you meet people in the business of filmmaking and get a free pass to unlimited movies at the festival. I met people like Natile Portman and Eric Bana, it was great. In the summer of 2009 I interned at the Tribeca Film Institute. In summer 2010 I produced a TV show called Reel Works with Byron Hurt on NYCLife and making several independent projects. Starting in 2011 I worked for Hal Hartley where I would archive materials and shoot various events for him including edit a Q and A session. Around the same time I interned at Manifesto NYC for a documentary about Heineken beer. After that internship I worked as a Post-Production Office Assistant/Set Intern on "El Cielo es Azul" director Andrew Fierberg. I am currently traveling shooting Video and Photography across Europe, have two short films in Post currently with friend and collaborator Barrett Rouen (actor/writer/producer and soon director) also working on a feature with him. This summer we made a short film called "Swell Gents" that we made in 2 days and got 3 awards including Best ensamble cast, Art Direction and Costumes at the 48 Hour Film Festival. I am Currently in my Senior year at SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory.