A Conversation with Promised Land.

A Conversation with Promised Land.

February 16, 2022 A DGA Latino Committee Virtual Event

On February 16, the Latino Committee’s meeting featured the panel discussion, A Conversation with Promised Land. In dialogue moderated by Latino Committee Director Category Representative Regina Ainsworth (Sharp by Design), Producer/Director Ed Ornelas, 1st AD Vincent Gonzales and Promised Land creator Matt Lopez spoke about what goes into the making of this ABC series.

Promised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latino families vying for wealth and power in California's Sonoma Valley. Stating that this is a Latino tale but an American story, Lopez discussed his inspiration for bringing the farm workers’ story to television and said he wanted the Directors to feel empowered and in control of their episodes. He also revealed his initial nervousness as there had never been a network show with this much Spanish speaking dialogue up front and how, commendably, ABC didn't push back on that.

Ornelas, who felt the show in many ways was his family story, discussed bringing in a Latino AD team and the camaraderie they felt throughout a challenging shooting schedule. He added that working on the series has been one of the highlights of his career.

Gonzales talked about the unique experience of having a full complement of an AD team that spoke Spanish to work with the large number of Latino background actors, catering, and crew, and the challenges of working against time, going up against nature and the vineyards losing their leaves.

Following the moderated portion of the discussion, the panelists took questions from the online audience.

Edward OrnelasEd Ornelas
In addition to his work on Promised Land, Ornelas’s directorial credits include the independent feature film, The Legend of Billy Fail; and episodes of Grey’s AnatomyPrivate PracticeNCIS: New OrleansCode BlackThe Resident and Roswell, New Mexico. Ornelas has been a DGA member since 2009 and also serves as a Co-Chair of the Latino Committee, as an Alternate on the DGA National Board, and as a mentor on the DGA Director Development Initiative’s Television Mentorship Program. 
Vincent GonzalezVincent Gonzales
In addition to his work on Promised Land, Gonzales’s Assistant Directing credits include feature films such as Benny Boom’s All Eyez on Me and Nathan Frankowski’s Te Ata; as well as episodes of series including Cobra KaiBiggerThe PassageLegaciesMind Games and The Walking Dead. Gonzales has been a DGA member since 1996. 
Regina AinsworthRegina Ainsworth (moderator)
A DGA member since 2015, Ainsworth previously served two terms as a Co-Chair of the Latino Committee. Her directorial credits include co-direction of the feature length documentary Red Dog & Bates; the spec pilots The Project and Law & Order: The Musical; and the short films Sharp by DesignRecombinedPerchance to Dream and Better Together
Matt LopezMatt Lopez
In addition to his work on Promised Land, Lopez’s credits include serving as the writer/Executive Producer on the series Gone and Anand Tucker's movie for television Gothica; as well as working on the screenplays features such as Jon Turteltaub’s The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Andy Fickman’s Race to Witch Mountain and Adam Shankman’s Bedtime Stories.  

About the Committee:

The Latino Committee was created as a networking group to advance career and job opportunities for Latino DGA members by improving craft skills, networking, and making Latinos better known to the Hollywood creative community.


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