As a director, my main goal is to be a storyteller by way of visuals, dialogue and cinematic form. I am a strong believer in teamwork and the art of collaboration. When a director is surrounded by strong, creative and passionate artists and crafters who bring their unique gifts and talents to a project, the director’s vision is not only accomplished, but the entire process and outcome is enhanced. Every aspect is taken to a higher level. Such was the experience with SACRED GAME. The dedication of the crew and the hard work put in by the ensemble, which truly brought their characters to life, took the written words off the page and created cinematic magic.
The magic of independent filmmaking lies on the interaction we’re allowed between crew and ensemble. This less rigid environment (as per studios standards) created a more effective collaboration between the members involved in the production. Both the actors and the crew made things work behind the scenes, and were crucial to the film's success.
This type of creative collaboration and hard work, adds to the success of an independent feature film that is produced outside of the studio system. The production value of the final product just leaps off the screen.
At the heart of SACRED GAME is an unexpected and surprising story. The core theme of the film define all the characters, and in particular the main character, Daniel. Through his dreams, inspired by his own thought life, I explored the dilemma of what could be reality and imagination, at the moment of death.
The film offers a startling scope of different possibilities. I wanted to explore the themes of love and death, and the possibilities that exist at the last moment of life. The moment when the mind releases its last thoughts, whether it is an inundation of flashbacks or one single solitary thought. It explores that moment when the mind may still be in denial of the final outcome and, instead, tries to delve into a world of fantasies.
After I wrote the story, I brought Jeanette Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican writer of short stories and, plays, onboard to work on the screenplay. My intention was to work with a writer who is Puerto Rican and who could write real three-dimensional characters without the clichés. and, Jeanette, being raised in The Bronx, fit the bill perfectly. We collaborated in the re-writes for about six months before we went into production.
When I cast Nelson Vásquez and Michael Philip Del R