By Monica Morones
Carlos Ortega AKA, “Chuck Films” has been dominating the music video scene in the Coachella Valley for the last few years and it is clear why when you see his work. Cinematic quality, state of the art equipment, and remarkable creativity distinguish his videos from the rest. With such a high demand for his work, this entrepreneur’s future looks very promising.
Carlos, 33, was born in Mexicali, Baja California, but has been a resident of the Coachella Valley for the last nine years. At the age of 15, he picked up his first camcorder because he wanted to look like a “cool videographer.” He started recording family events and noticed that everyone would laugh at his videos. After realizing they were not laughing at him, but at themselves, a filmmaker was born. Chuck knew then that he wanted to entertain people.
When Chuck was 24 he made the move to the states where he was introduced to skateboarding. He started to blend the two things that he loved: filmmaking and skateboarding. Learning to ride a skateboard while filming is something he mastered and is one of the things that makes him so unique.
It was when filming a commercial for a local skate shop, that Chuck realized his passion for filmmaking was going to be more than just a hobby. “All my videos have a story about me, but there is one actual commercial that I made for a local skate shop (Eye Skate Shop in Coachella) that broke the ice into becoming what Chuck Films is today. That’s how I decided I wanted to make this my profession. The fact that every kid who rode a skate board wanted to be part of my videos made me want to do more and more videos,” Chuck says.
Carlos started his company Chuck Films LLC in 2008 and has a wonderful team that he works with. “I am blessed to have the best production crew,” he says. His assistant Eddie Dismaya helps with behind the scenes, editing, and lots of production work. Manny Torres and Santos Reyes whom he calls “Los Pilotos” (the pilots) are his eyes in the sky, and hands down the best helicopter video crew around.
His first professional video was a commercial for local car dealership I-10 Toyota. Since then he has made commercials for Honda, General Motors, and many promotional videos for businesses around the valley. Chuck Films has also worked with Telemundo, Univision, and Televisa along with some famous Mexican recording artists such as Banda Los Recorditos, Banda El Recodo, Los Tucanes de Tijuana and many more.
In 2010, Chuck went to the Los Angeles Film School and added more technical knowledge to his already extensive resume and graduated in 2013. Having hands on experience was great but learning about high quality video format and the production of high end film editing really gave his company the edge that took it to another level.
Chuck loves to produce and direct music videos because it allows him to express his creativity and talent and lets the artistic side of his craft come out. “Making music videos is like making a movie. I apply my feelings when I create and at the same time when I edit music videos I put myself in the artist’s shoes and look at it from their perspective not just from a directors stand point,” he said. Ask any musician in the valley who they would want to produce and direct their video and “Chuck Films” is always the first choice. I asked Chuck how it feels to be so sought after for his work, “I feel blessed. And at the same time its unexplainable, I must be doing something good,” he said.
One of Chuck’s greatest inspirations is filmmaker/producer Guillermo Del Toro whom he says is a “genius”. Del Toro has directed films such as “Pacific Rim”, “Pans Labyrinth” and “The Hobbit”. Movies could be in the future for Chuck, if it is the right time “yes, why not?” He is currently in the process of working on four music videos and has six more lined up for the rest of the year, and many more things to come in 2015. Carlos Ortega’s goal for “Chuck Films” in the next few years is to continue working hard and become noticed around the world. When Chuck isn’t working he likes to spend time with his beautiful wife and son. They are his main support system and are the reason why he is where he is today.