No matter what it is you decide to do with your life, be it filmmaking, sports, espionage, the greats all started somewhere. Even the greatest of greats start as wide-eyed novices, learning first hand the basic rules of their trade. As an artist, no one starts out as a master. The beginning of a career can be difficult, with a steep learning curve, but constant practice will no doubt shake off the novice charm and eventually leave the artist something truly beautiful. After all, getting better at something really just means learning what’s going wrong and stopping it from happening again, right?
This week’s Featured FearMaker, Shaun J Guzman is an aspiring actor currently in that beginner stage, learning the do’s and don’ts of filmmaking with his friends. While their work might be a bit choppy, with practice and determination, they can become greats.
Shaun’s love for horror came at a young age. He became entranced by every aspect of horror, which all surmounted in an adrenaline-fueled horror high. FearMakers like Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter, Vincent Price, Wes Craven, Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth and Stephen King‘s abilities to create intense moments of sheer terror leap out of the pages and screens and into Guzman’s imagination were unique and influential. Feeling his own fear take over and seeing what it did to the audiences around him made him want to be a part of it all. That’s when Shaun knew he wanted to be a writer and actor.
Already living in Los Angeles, Shaun J Guzman had a head start. He began as most actors do in LA, signing up for Central Casting, a company that sends extra and featured actors on auditions. These jobs are great to get real-life set experiences, often working on major hit TV shows and feature films.
While getting paid jobs through Central Casting is great, it’s not what the horror-centric Guzman really wanted to do. He began making his own films along with Natalie Rodriguez, who graduated with a B.A. in TV-Film from California State University Fullerton.
Together Guzman and Rodriguez began making trailers for future short films. These trailers, while rough around the edges, have the rumbling of a foundation on which to learn and grow as filmmakers and FearMakers. Watching new filmmakers find their voice is always exciting, especially when they finally figure it all out. While still new at the game, these FearMakers have the stamina and creativity to make something standout and great.
It is hard to be a new artist. Things don’t often work out, and it never looks as good as it does in their heads. Over time the rough edges will smooth out and they will find their place in the film world. As long as an artist never loses their inspiration and drive, the sky is the limit.