A conversation with Director Jeff Valdez

A Conversation with Director Jeff Valdez

June 15, 2022 A DGA Latino Committee Virtual Event

On June 15, the Latino Committee’s meeting featured a conversation with Director Jeff Valdez, who spoke about his agenda of not having stereotypical caricatures of Latinos on screen and the challenges of rebooting his beloved television series, The Brothers Garcia, during a dialog moderated by Director A. P. Gonzalez (The Wetback).

The new series, The Garcias, chronicles an American family based in San Antonio, TX, who are gathered for a summer vacation in their fancy beach house in Mexico. During the conversation, Valdez revealed how the casting process for the series led to a realization.

“I will never ever cast in person again. I loved casting on zoom, not because I wanted to be lazy, but because I was able to see what they look like on a screen. That's where, ultimately, they're gonna’ live. During callbacks, it's easy to get another cast member to read across from them so we can see if we get chemistry. That was really important and when [casting director] Blanca [Valdez] started bringing me guest stars and other roles, after a while I said, ‘I don't want to see the resumes,’ because when I was seeing their resumes they were like gang member number 3, gang member number 90, I said, ‘I'm pre conceiving their ability before they even read so I just want to see them read.’ And that's what we ultimately did, and it was it was a joyful process.”

In addition to his work on The Garcias, Valdez’s directorial credits include episodes of its precursor series, The Brothers Garcia and the movie for television, The Brothers Garcia: Mysteries of the Maya; as well as episodes of HA Festival: The Art of Comedy, Sí T.V., Almost Live from the Comedy Corner; and the all-Latina television comedy special, Comedy Chingonas.

Valdez has been a DGA member since 2001.


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.


See video from this event in the gallery below.

Pictures & Video


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07/03/22-07/09/22
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