NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: My project is called “Oscar’s Group home” and the logline is: When an orphan boy dies after turning 18, a Group home director turns to the rest of the Orphans and goes on a mission to prepare them for the real world after they turn 18 while also helping them turn their lives around. The script uses a lot of film references to some of the most iconic films, quotes, as well as the characters’ names are based on famous directors. So far is my second most successful screenplay with over 20 entries in festivals. It’s a personal story for me because the idea came to me after a friend posted a picture of him and his friend for when he was studying abroad. It just snapped in my mind and made sense.
NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: My name is Isaac Ballesteros Barba, I am from Mérida, Yucatán, México. I moved to Arizona in 2013 after my dad bought a small company. I’m the youngest out of four and I have a twin brother, Daniel. I’m an award-winning screenwriter with over 100 official selections, finalist, semi-finalist status for my scripts, in several different film festivals across the world. I write books, (I have four written already and they are on their way to be published on Amazon Kindle). I have experience as a film critic and columnist, as well as 3D design. I love drawing and thinking of new characters.
NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: I have written over 20 feature scripts as well as 10 short shirts, one limited series, and a video game script. As far as features go, I have written almost every genre but I find it easier for me to writer thrillers and comedy, yet that hasn’t stop me to write about everything.
I have written psychological thrillers, dramas, western, sci-fi, dark comedy, comedy, children’s animation, romance, fantasy, space drama, Superhero, and coming of age. I don’t want to be in one box, I want to be able to let my mind go crazy and enjoy the process.
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: Tough one. I haven’t produced anything, but I have been Assistant director in plenty music videos and short films so I’d have to say Treestyle – Slowpoke (Hip Hop Music Video), a comedy called “Tucker the Tailor”, and “Shtiga” with VindicationFilms. I’m focusing on my writing and finding a literary agent to start bringing my stories to the big screen.
NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: Like I mentioned earlier, I have written psychological thrillers, dramas, western, sci-fi, dark comedy, comedy, children’s animation, romance, fantasy, space drama, and coming of age. I don’t want to be in one box, so I am open to write about everything that my mind allows me to. I love writing my own stories. I don’t believe there are bad ideas, I just think that sometimes they are just poorly executed. But I’m not sure if I am the type of writer that a studio would hire to write a specific story.
NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: I think it gives your character enough backstory. I am the type of writer that likes to think of some little ways to show my character’s backstory, kind of like having an eye in the past and other in the present.
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: Right now, I am working on a coming to age limited series about three siblings moving out of their house and experiencing adulting. Most of the episodes are based on things that have happened to me. I have schedule to write other five scripts after, one will be about a conman, a sci-fi fantasy film about a group of kids that enter a magic world that’s on their neighborhood, two Christmas movies (A kid’s animation and a thriller), and a Halloween film.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: Yes! I’m digging my feet on the world of 3D modeling. I learned some basic modeling back in 2015 but I am working with my twin brother on his indie video game. I have done most of the sketches for weapons, characters, as well as building some arenas, and pitching my ideas for the storyline. I also, enjoy writing poetry. I had some of my work published by two independent books in Latin America.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?
Isaac Ballesteros Barba: Watch as many films as possible. Write all your ideas down. Watch films that reminisce what you are trying to embody. Even when you think you have done your best work, keep writing, and don’t be afraid of submitting to film festivals. I didn’t let anyone talk me down, I just submitted. I have friends who unfortunately have told me they don’t think they are “ready” but when will you? Writing and film festivals go hand in hand, and you will become better will time, repetition, and feedback. I started writing way before my first screenwriting class and it was the best decision I have ever made. Never stop writing.