Budding Filmmaker Uses Hometown as Locale


(Monday, January 22, 2007 5:48 PM EST)

Independent film festivals should look out: Arlingtonian Louis Campos is ready to burst onto the scene with his debut film, “My Life In Dreams.”

Campos, who has lived in Arlington his entire life, premiered the film at American University just after the new year began, and is vying for a spot in festivals such as the D.C. Independent Film Festival and the New York Underground Film Festival.

The film includes a cameo appearance by Harold Hunter, a superstar in the skateboarding world, and is being considered for screening at Harold Hunter Day in New York City in February.

Campos' film tells a number of stories that become intertwined, exploring ideas such as dreams, and love, all with a local twist - much of the filming took place in Arlington and the District of Columbia. Those “in the know” will recognize a Clarendon coffee shop in one of the scenes, said Campos.

“It's an accumulation of personal stories that snowballed,” he said. “It came out of a small idea about a kid walking home - now it's the biggest short film I can think of!”

Campos hired local actors from the Craigslist Web site, and convinced a cinematographer and two editors to work free of charge for the $7,000 production, but the young filmmaker took a very active role in the making the movie. Not only did he write the script and direct the film, but he produced it and wrote the score.

Over the course of the film's year of production, Campos realized that the life of a filmmaker is a hard, but satisfying, one.

“It was fun, but it was stressful,” he said. “It was to the point where I was either overweight or underweight. But I didn't want to be anywhere else.”

The 26-year-old Campos began his journey as a filmmaker at the Arlington Career Center. After seeing Quentin Tarantino's “Reservoir Dogs,” Campos realized that independent films could be made on a small budget, and took a video production course. He continued his studies at the Art Institute of Philadelphia.

While he has finished “My Life In Dreams,” Campos isn't taking a break. When he isn't working at American University filming classes and school events, he is writing the script for a new full-length film.

Moving forward in his filmmaking ventures hasn't made Campos forget just how grateful he is to have completed his first film. He is very thankful to those who helped him make it happen.

“Without my family and friends, I wouldn't have gotten the movie made,” Campos said. “I'm very lucky, and very fortunate.”

To see a trailer of “My Life In Dreams,” visit the Web site at www.louiscampos.com.

Arlingtonian Louis Campos is the creative force behind “My Life In Dreams.”
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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