By the end of 2013 during the holiday festivities, Victor Amparan and Alfonso Duarte were having some beers at Victor’s backyard, talking about how hard it is to start any project with other people. There was always an excuse to push the dates months ahead. After that night a production company was underway with the name Cool Raccoon. Now Nube and Chucho can control every single detail without someone else bitching about how things should be said or done. Quickly by early 2014 Cool Raccoon was involved in different projects (outside projects as well) and it has been like that ever since.
On November of 2014, the 48hr film project took place in more than 130 cities around the world. We participated in the rally that took place in Mexico City. It was our first 48 hr as Cool Raccoon (Alfonso Duarte had previously participated in Las Cruces, NM). At the raffle we got exactly what we wanted “black comedy” thus our main actor Aaron Alonso it’s he’s specialty (and ours as well). We wrote the story in a couple of hours, shot the next day, edit the whole night and morning, and got to turn in our project with 1:30 mins left. Our film was screened in a sold-out Cieneteca Nacional theatre.
Fun fact: Our main character went missing just hours before it started (he was partying) called us at 4 am and said “Tell him (Nube) to calm the fuck down I already know what you want”
Laura Muñoz invited Cool Raccoon’s founding members to participate in her short film “Heaven USA”. A story that she co-wrote with Alfonso Duarte a couple of years back. The story is about a troubled american who decides to order a wife from mother Russia. When the Russian arrives to the US, everything is but what she expected. On set we met Carlos Corral (camera) and Christopher Robleto (actor/sound), got a good work flow. Shortly after this project was done, this new friendship led to new cool projects.
Fun fact: The director forgot a shot and we had to lit the entire block to make it look inside like it was daylight.
Region 4 written and directed by Victor Amparan starring Christopher Robleto. The story is about a guy who has been in a cell for an indefinite period of time, and he will soon find out why….however, the truth is hard to believe.
Rules of competition for Universos Fugaces 2015.
One actor, hand held camera, little to none artificial lights, original music and no more than 5 persons per team. WINNER!
Fun fact: Due to a poor production the food was not appropriate for our main character (he is vegan) and he almost fainted. We struggled and improvised to finish the movie.
“Mañana” was our other short film that participated in the competition of Universos Fugaces 2015. Written and directed by Alfonso Duarte starring Maryam Lopez. The story is about a Girl who is leaving everything behind, but what awaits for her in the near future is uncertain.
Same rules applied, one actor, hand held camera, little to none artificial lights, original music, no more than 5 persons per team. WINNER!
“The long road to forgiveness” written and directed by Alfonso Duarte. This short film was an official selection in the annually horror film festival “Feratum” that takes place in Tlalpujahua Mexico.The story is about a co-dependent and destructive couple without life direction who take extreme measures to escape their most desperate moments, only to end up alone in a parallel reality without hope or a second chance for redemption.
Fun fact: In the middle of the dessert we got the main character’s car a flat tire on purpose for a scene. Later to realize that one of the screws was stuck…No one knew where we were. The director used the anger and frustration of Oscar to continue shooting, thus we were shooting a similar situation.
“In the Darkness of the Pecan Groves” a trailer directed by Victor Amparan and Alfonso Duarte based on the novel by Isela Graells. On late October while working on an outside project in Mexico city and Tamaulipas, we got a call from Tales from the Grove that requested cool raccoon to make a book teaser. The shooting was going to take place in Mesilla New Mexico on November 2nd during the dia de los muertos. At first we rejected the offer due to the project we were working on, later that night we realized that we had 4 free days that we could fly to Mesilla shoot it in 3 days and go back to Mexico City and finish the other project. The challenge was physically demanding, however we managed to finish both of them!
Fun fact: The best shot in the movie was totally improvised, we weren’t supposed to shoot in that side of the ranch, but the scenery was just perfect, so we jumped to the fence and shot it anyway.
For the second consecutive time we participated on the 48 hr world rally. This time at the raffle we got SCI-FI and the team was overwhelmed. The story was written by an old Man who claimed to be a script writer. However it seemed like he never understood that we had 48 hrs! He turned the script 12 hrs late, and with long complicated dialogs, lost more time re-writing it (a complete mess) The story is about an Android that thinks he is a real human, and goes to therapy with a psychologist. Little by little he starts to discover pleasures in life that he doesn’t seem to grasp completely. We managed to turn in something decent due to time restrains. But nevertheless we learned from our mistakes. KISS (keep it simple stupid)
Fun fact: The original story was written by a guy who totally complicated our work. He gave us a large script with complicated dialogues. So we improvised and rewrote the story as we shot the film.
This short film was written and directed by Alfonso Duarte and Victor Amparan starring Francisco Chavez as the main actor. After working on an outside project we met Francisco in Reynosa Tamaulipas. We worked together for a month, and developed a friendship. Soon we were talking about doing a short film back in Ciudad Juarez. After a vehicle accident, real tears, a lost flight, amongst other problems we managed to finish the film. The story is about a guy who just lost he’s job, and needs money quick so he can pay the polleros to cross the border. He makes up he’s mind and returns to old habits to take care of business.
Fun fact: We wanted the main character to be father Luna from the Corpus Christi church. After obviously declining such a role, he nevertheless got us 80% of the cast and locations.
“Sin luz” written and directed by Christopher Robleto starring Illeana Donatlan, Michelle Betancourt and Christopher himself. Recorded in the ex Hacienda Jesus Maria located in the mountains 45 min from Guanajuato and we also recorded in the city of Guanajuato during the last days of May. The story is about a business man who pollutes the water of a small town. A group of activist is fighting for justice. However there is a girl amongst them who is playing by her own rules. Along the process she discovers something beyond the problem… beyond her. Coming Soon!
Fun fact: We almost killed each other in those mountains, the pressure of working on a big budget got us little agitated. Insults, threats and other fun stuff, however we got the job done.
Written and directed by Victor Amparan starring Rodolfo Valdes, Aaron Alonso, Tulio Villavicencio, Raul Avila, Benjamin Lopez. Executive producer Luciano Guerrero, director of photography Adrian Blanco, assistant director and focous Alfonso Duarte. Shot in El Paso at sunset heights in a house from 1910. The story is based on true events that occurred in Cd. Juarez on the winter of 1976 during an anniversary of an all male business club.
Fun fact: When we were one hour away from shooting, we had everything ready but the camera. A “friend” who Victor never met before told us to meet him at a bar, he was finishing his shoot and rented us the camera last minuted wrapped in a rag.