Crank: How did you get your start in filmmaking?
Rosco Guerrero: About 10 years ago now, which sounds crazy! [laughs] I started way back in the music scene doing tour docs and recap videos with a bunch of DJ’s and bands. It led me down the rabbit hole. I now direct commercials and music videos professionally in Los Angeles.
What’s been your biggest lesson as a filmmaker so far?
Stay persistent and make a lot of mistakes. I’ve learned the most valuable lessons from falling on my face.
Where did the idea for MUMA come from?
Brady Dowad, the lead actor, wrote the script and asked if I wanted to help him make it. Brady wanted to portray a monster of a human from a human perspective, which really resonated with me. I then adapted his initial script to a location I had in mind at friend and DP, Samuel Emerson Morgan’s back yard and decided to shoot it as a single-take shot around the pool using the landscape and camera moves to achieve the emotional beats and make the reveals.
Who was involving in making this film with you?
Brady got the ball rolling with his script. The DoP, Samuel and I have been friends and collaborators for a long time and he brought on a whole bunch of great folks that he’s worked with including the steady-op Kyler Jae who is tremendous. Trey Terpeluk joined as an EP, which helped immeasurably, creatively and financially. Brady recruited Wendy as the “Muma” voice actor. Actress Bailey Curbow volunteered to be the “wife” character which was actually much more involved given the blocking than expected. She worked closely with MUA’s Lizzy Romero & Lindze Morgan and their practical SFX team. Andrew Scott Bell graciously contributed his time and talents on the score.
How long — from start to finish — did it take to make this film?
We moved on this thing pretty quickly. From the time Brady first sent me the script to the finished film – about 4 weeks.
How would you describe your filmmaking style?
It’s extremely collaborative. Everyone contributed ideas that made a difference on-screen.
Why did you choose to shoot this film in one take?
We didn’t use it as a “cool” gimmick, we used it to help place the audience with Brady in real time. It allowed me the opportunity to feed the audience bits of information at a dedicated pace.
Was it challenging to shoot in one take?
I decided to shoot it at sunset, which added to the intense choreography of crew jumping behind bushes and on the ground behind the camera and out of frame as the camera swung around following Brady. Nestor Valenzuela gaffed with handheld and strategically placed lights. We did around 7 takes, I believe, and nailed it at the perfect light time!
What would you tell first-time filmmakers ready to start on their project?
Stay as busy as possible and do the work you don’t want to do. I think there’s a lot to be learned shooting industrials, promos, commercials, music videos, content, whatever. All that experience will inform your technique and add tools to your box.
What are you working on next?
Well, this pandemic has brought things to a screeching halt. So, just staying quarantined at the moment and packaging my supernatural-thriller feature script PARADISE; getting it around to producers and managers.
Anything else you want to share?
Stay safe and healthy, please! You can catch my work at vimeo.com/RoscoGuerrero and I’m on Instagram @Roscorg.
About the Filmmaker
Rosco Guerrero is a commercial and music video director based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a founding member of filmmaking collective, Blurred Pictures. MUMA was selected as Best Short Film at the FreakShow Horror Film Festival.