«Waiting for the storm» — Best screenplay, Best director, Best feature film.
Interview with director Rogelio Salinas (USA)


    Tell us few words about yourself. How did you become a filmmaker?
I first got into acting, but then started filming fun little short films and music videos with my cousins
in the late 1990s with an old VHS-C camcorder and fell in love with being behind the camera, editing,    and all of the other elements that go into putting a production together.

Did you study in film school? 
No. I have attended workshops over the years, but mostly taught myself the different areas of

Who of famous directors have inspired you? 
David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Jackson, and Bryan Singer

Who are your favorite directors? 
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Farrelly Brothers, and Coen Brothers

Let’s talk about your film. This is your first feature film? 

Tell us a few words about your previous works.
I have worked on numerous short films of different genres, music videos for numerous musical artists from around the world, ads and other promotional videos.

You position this film as a film without a budget. Did you try to find financing? 
It had a very very small budget. Some was self-financed and we also raised a little money through crowdfunding.

Tell us more about the filming process. How did you select the actors and other team members? 
Some of them I have worked with previously, but most of the cast and crew were friends who I knew were very talented and capable of putting out quality work. One of the cast members, I happen to be married to. Rachel, who played the role of Connie, is my wife, and I could not be happier and more proud of her powerful performance and she also cooked incredible gourmet meals for the cast and crew every night that we filmed.

Did all of them work for free? 
Most of them did, but I have in return done some work for some of them for free as well.

How many days you have shoot the film?
We filmed over 21 nights.

How you have solved the problem with light and sound?
We filmed in my own house and I used a small light kit for some scenes or existing lighting in certain rooms. As far as sound, our sound man did an excellent job capturing the dialogue and much of the sound we used in the final film.

Now a few words about the script. How you find this idea? 
There was a horrifying story I read about years ago of a family who were taken hostage by a few home invaders that ended very tragically. This crime truly stuck with me and made me wonder what I would do in this situation and how terrifying it would be. The original story for the film came from an idea I had several years ago to shoot a film in one take continuously for a little over an hour on a webcam about a family whose house is broken into by some home invaders and everything is seen in real-time through the webcam, but it eventually evolved into a more traditional and cinematic feature with some additional twists and turns. The title and full idea of Waiting for the Storm came into fruition when I was planning on filming a music video for one of my favorite musical acts named Decoded Feedback who were releasing a single titled Waiting for the Storm for their upcoming album. The home invasion footage was going to be part of the music video along with the footage of the band, but I thought, “Why not make this into an entire feature like I had planned years ago, but drop the webcam idea.” One of the great thinsg about directing the music video was Yone Dudas from Decoded Feedback actually composed the entire original score in return for producing the music video for them.

How long time did you write the script? 
Two weeks for the first draft, and adjustments were made after that even into production.

Your screenplay is a dream for independent filmmakers. One location, several actors and at the same time suspense, thriller elements, a deep meaning. By the way, this action could happen in any country. How do you react if any independent filmmaker as you, decide to make a remake of your film? 
That is very kind of you and I would be honored if another filmmaker wanted to make a remake of this film. I would hope that they would wait at least a few years, but I am pretty laid back about people using my ideas and content as long as they do it justice and ask me if they can. I typically do not take issue with it as long as they reach out to me.

Your film has a lot of dialogue. Have you had any ideas to rework the script into a play for theater? 
I have not, but due to most of it taking place in one location, a theatrical play version would be pretty cool.

What are your expectations from this film? 
We just started submitting the film to different film festivals a few months ago and have had some success in getting into some and winning awards at others like your wonderful festival. My ultimate goal would be to see it attain worldwide distribution, watch it become an indie hit, then hit the blu-ray/DVD market along with VOD (Video on Demand) and eventually streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, ect.

Would you like to show it to Hollywood producers? Do you plan to release the film in the cinemas? How difficult for an independent filmmaker to find a distributor in the US?
I am hoping to find a distributor either through a film festival with a film market like the Toronto Film Festival or Sundance and possibly attend the AFM (American Film Market) in November if we have not found distribution by then. It is difficult to find a distributor for indie films sometimes because the market is oversaturated with indie films and right now very few films are actually finding great success in movie theaters. It seems like Superhero movies, low budget horror films, and select others are the ones that are finding the easiest time attaining worldwide mass distribution, but we are hoping to find our way into that market, but I would be perfectly happy with limited theatrical distribution and/or even Netflix distribution.

Do you have ideas for the next movies? What are your creative plans? 
I have a long list of films I have wanted to produce. Right now my focus is finding distribution for Waiting for the Storm and working on some current music video projects, but I have a dramatic martial-arts thriller titled, Solitaire, which I wrote almost 10 years ago that I would love to see produced and another untitled dramatic thriller that I may start writing soon.
Thank you very much once again for honoring Waiting for the Storm and I wish you nothing but success with this festival and any future projects.