Today we’d like to introduce you to Roger Castillo.
Hi Roger, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States when I was six years old. Like many other Dominican children, I dreamt of being a baseball player but somewhere along the way, I discovered movies, photography, and my joy for storytelling. My filmmaking and photography journey got traction during my senior year of high school. A college recruiter came in and had a conversation with a couple of selected students ( myself included ) about going to school for something that we were actually passionate about. Being an immigrant, I experienced firsthand the struggle and amount of work my parents put in to make sure we got a proper education and did something with our lives so not going to college was never really an option for me. That being said, I did not want to be a doctor, lawyer, or accountant I wanted to study the arts. After that meeting, I made a heartfelt decision to pursue storytelling. I made a short documentary on one of my best friends who is a brilliant fine artist, this documentary ultimately lead me to receive two scholarships to two separate colleges for filmmaking with substantial scholarships.
In college, I took up every opportunity to take on new experiences and learn as much as I could not just in the classroom but in real life. I studied abroad and photographed different people across Europe, with each telling me a bit of their story. I made three short films throughout college, my last one “With The Seasons” is about a joyous family man who must find the strength to open up after the murder of his older brother. The film got some traction in various film festivals and won some awards. I graduated in May of 2020 and the Pandemic really pushed me to figure things out for myself and not work for a big company right out of school. This decision ultimately lead me to start my own creative agency, GUARIDA. Guarida is a Creative Agency developing and producing high-end visual campaigns for brands and artists worldwide. It is where I can combine the different visual mediums that I love and use them to add value to other people, brands, and companies.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road for sure but It would not be fun if it was. I honestly prefer not to speak on those obstacles and challenges. I just want to say that I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve received and the people I’ve met along the way.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a storyteller, most notably as a Director and Photographer. Aside from commercial work, I like to tell stories that truly encapsulate the human condition, the plight of people. I’ve tackled masculinity and loss in all of my short films because I believe it is a topic that gets misconstrued a lot especially in the communities that people like myself come from. In my photography, I love to take portraits. As I mentioned, I am interested in people’s stories and experiences. I believe a portrait is a gateway into an individual’s life if we compose it correctly. This however is not limited to non-fiction, I love to create stories within my art both in still format and in motion. I do everything in my power to capture a feeling with each one of my works and when people express that I have done it successfully, it makes me the proudest. I always want my audience to walk away from something I’ve created feeling something and then maybe sparking a conversation with another person about their thoughts and emotions that my work has left them with.
Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
The most important lesson that I have learned due to the pandemic is to always bet on myself. I took a chance and turned down a full-time job offer to build something that I am truly proud of, my business @guarida. Even though it is not where I want it to be just yet, I am enjoying this journey and no one can take it away from me. Patience and faith are vital throughout this journey. Two years ago, I wanted things to happen and move very fast for me. I understand for a lot of us coming up things may seem like they are taking forever so it can become very easy to just move to something else. I discovered the secret, if you are locked in and focused on your work by the time you take a breath and look around you, you realize that you are much farther than you think. I came up with a plan and strategy and worked towards it every day.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: rogcas.com
- Instagram: Personal: @rogercastle Creative Agency: @guarida
- Twitter: @guaridahq