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Meet Vince Cruz of Cruzyadaddy Productions in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vince Cruz.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a dreamer always driven to find ways to create and express myself. As a Filipino American raised in Orange County, I’ve always struggled with issues of belonging. I turned to TV and movies to find characters I could relate to since very few, if any even looked like me. I found solace and salvation in my imagination and the arts. What started with drawing, to hip hop music, and then to filmmaking were all seeds for my passion in screenwriting. They all allowed me to explore stories where I could be the hero.

Fortunately, a fun diversion with some friends and a camera inspired me to start screenwriting. I instantly fell in love with it and couldn’t stop writing. I knew that this was the ideal way for me to bring the worlds stirring within my head to life, and more importantly, bring others into them.

In 2014, I sought out other creatives and became active in a few Los Angeles Asian American entertainment communities where I eagerly collaborated with filmmakers and artists while learning film production. Inspired and motivated by my own ideas, I wrote, produced and directed several of my own short films featuring a predominately Asian American cast and crew that likely wouldn’t have been made unless I produced them myself. Every project that I made or helped out on fueled my drive and inspiration.

As an avid lover of B-movies, wrestling and puns, I also started my own YouTube movie review channel, Slammarang! as a means of shining a spotlight on the mostly unintentional awesomeness in those films while adding my own comedic, wrestling twist. It’s something fun that I’m passionate about and regularly release videos for.

Currently, I’ve been writing original TV pilots and my first feature script with the intent of applying to network writers programs to keep growing and stay creative. I hope to inspire others with my works and in my journey to embrace themselves and be their own heroes.

Has it been a smooth road?
Certainly not, but that’s what makes me appreciative of every hurdle, mistake and lesson learned.

As a Filipino American artist who didn’t have a clear path or direction to what I wanted to do creatively, I had to just keep doing to discover myself and figure out what fulfilled me most. Granted, I’m still figuring things out and likely will always be, but as long as I’m creating and surrounded by muses, I’m on the right path.

The biggest struggle for me is work/life balance. Until I can make a living off my imagination, I have to juggle a day job. A few years back, I reduced my full time hours to devote more time to creating, networking and immersing myself with fellow artists and it’s easily been the best decision of my creative career so far. Having time to experiment, fail and learn with your creativity is essential as an artist. If you don’t have or make time to pursue your dreams, you’re just treading water as time sails by.

You should never discount the importance of taking care of yourself mentally and surrounding yourself with people who support you and value you as a person. As an artist, you also need to just be around other artists for connection, inspiration and motivation.

Please tell us about Cruzyadaddy Productions.
My production company is Cruzyadaddy Productions. It’s essentially my own personal production company where I’ve written, directed and/or produced my own short films, but I have also directed and co-produced on other people’s projects.

I tend to direct the things I’ve written, so my bread and butter has been comedy and action shorts.

I’ve prided myself on learning as much as I can from other sets by wearing many hats to further my knowledge of film production and implementing it on my own sets. This also made me a better communicator of my vision with the cast and crew. I’m certainly proud that with every project, I’ve faced new challenges creatively and logistically with a growing pool of talented friends and am better prepared to take on bigger and more ambitious projects.

What sets my works apart would definitely be the ridiculous humor and snappy dialogue. I certainly love incorporating wordplay and puns.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As streaming content gains more and more traction, I think companies will be more competitive with each other over original and diverse content which is a boon for us creators and consumers that yearn for something fresh. Nothing will ever be considered too niche or too culturally specific anymore. This will be an amazing time for original and untold stories that will hopefully open minds to appreciating are cultural differences and that we’re all humans and we can all enjoy things together.

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