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Young filmmaker chooses Floresville to launch his dreams
Since he was a small child, Joey Orosco has had a desire to create films.
Story & photos by Johnny De La Zerda Jr.
Since he was a small child, Joey Orosco has had a desire to create films.
“I have known I wanted to do films ever since I was little and I would see my father and his father’s love for Westerns,” Joey, 18, said. “When I was little, all I did was watch movies. Directing always appealed to me, so I wanted to take on a challenge of actually making a movie.”
The aspiring young filmmaker will star in, direct, score, and create props and wardrobe for his first feature film, “Akecheta,” which is currently in production and filming at the Carrizo Ranch just north of Floresville. Joey has done a few short films in the past, but nothing to the scale of “Akecheta.”
“[Floresville’s] beautiful, sunny,” Orosco said. “It’s gorgeous and happened to fit my vision when I was writing [“Akecheta”]. The script was originally going to be sold so my father and I could do another project, but as we wrote, we fell in love with it and just had to film it.”
Joey said he knew he wanted to film in Floresville, so he asked Mayor Daniel Tejada to recommend a location.
“The heart of Floresville is its mayor,” Joey said. “We looked him up on Facebook and asked him to be in the film; he agreed to it. We needed some riverfront property and he recommended [local property owner] Andy [McBride].”
One of the key components of producing “Akecheta” has been the utilization of social media to communicate with the cast and crew. Orosco has used Facebook to send and receive messages about filming times and other information related to the film.
“[Facebook] has been very beneficial,” Joey said. “We cast everyone on Jan. 1 and got together on Facebook to see who was cast. I wanted to start out the New Year with a new movie. We couldn’t have done it without our talented cast, including Iana Lopez, playing Nahimana, Akecheta’s one true love.”
Feather J’s Productions, the company producing the film, is owned by Orosco and his father, Joe. Joey’s father said at first he was skeptical of his son’s ambitions, but after watching him direct and stay on budget, he is convinced.
“I don’t believe any production has been done with a budget of $2,800,” Joe said.
“Not of this caliber,” Joey emphasized. “I could not have done it without our amazing actors. All of them saw something in the script.”
Joey said production has been very smooth, nearly perfect.
“The only real challenge has been the industry,” Joey said. “You have to know people to get ahead in the film industry. My age was also a factor. People much older than me are taken more seriously in this industry, but we just keep moving forward. I know we are going to make it at Sundance.”
Tejada said he was delighted to be included in the film.
“Floresville has a long history with the movie industry,” Tejada said. “We have featured such prominent names as Goldie Hawn in the past, and now we are proud to work with Feather J’s and wish them all the best.”
“Support your kids,” Joe said. “[Joey] will be one of the youngest ever to write, produce, and star in a film taken to Sundance.”
The father and son filmmakers will be taking “Akecheta” to the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. The film will open in theaters after the festival.
About the film
“Akecheta” is the story of a young American Indian. Filmmaker Joey Orosco describes it as a Western with a twist.
“The twist is that it is a love story,” Orosco said. “It holds true to the original Western themes which have been lost in recent Westerns. It has guns ablaze, but also has a deep love story intertwined into it.”
“Akecheta” follows the son of a Native American chief who is forced by Sheriff Dan Brock, played by Floresville Mayor Daniel Tejada, into assuming the role of chief. Akecheta must save his true love, Nahimana, played by Iana Lopez, from the clutches of Brock and his gang.
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