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Meet Xander Montes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Xander Montes.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Xander. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to make movies and entertain.

When I was a teenager, I remember this church I was attending would let me in to edit videos. I would stay as long as they would let me. This helped me work on my skills and really develop a passion.

When I went to college, there was no doubt in my mind as to what I wanted to do. I made sure I was going to be involved in everything and learn as much as I could about filmmaking. It was here where I learned that I wanted to be a producer.

After I graduated college, I went on to film school and focused on my producing skills. Other than just wanting to produce projects and films, I really discovered a lot about myself. Leadership and story were huge themes for me.

I discovered that I could lead people to make a film. I discovered a passion for the craft of storytelling. I discovered lifelong friendships.

Today, I’m still working on growing my friendships – I call it “my tribe” – a group of filmmaking friends that want to create, tell stories, and become better filmmakers. It’s not a large tribe but it consists of the right people.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been the smoothest road.

There have been gaps in between work. Lots of questioning myself. A few redirections in life.

I remember moving back to LA/OC from Virginia (where I went to film school). I left a great job at a great studio to be closer to family but the hardest thing about coming back home was having to rebuild a community. I remember feeling lonely, alone, depressed, tired, and empty.

It took some time to readjust to being back in California and finding the right people to build “my tribe.”

I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work on various projects as well as create projects. I am currently in a position at a university where I get to help build up and inspire young filmmakers. There is still lots to be added to my own journey, but I am excited to see where it all leads.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I think people who know me would say that I’m known for my energy, “You always have so much energy!” It makes me laugh because I feel like I’m always tired. But this energy I bring to the table sets me apart from others.
It fuels my creativity. It pushes me to succeed. It drives me to lead.

I think I’m the proudest of having a group of storytellers around me that are on the same journey as me. Don’t get me wrong, the stories that we have been able to put together is something I’m grateful for but without my tribe there would be no projects.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My biggest supporter and advocate has been and continues to be my wife, Vanessa. She gives me the space to dream and encourages my creativity.

I have had so many great professors throughout my schooling that have helped shaped me into the filmmaker I am today.

Shoutout to my tribe: Megan, Alicia, Richmond, Jon M., John P., Helene, Heather, Kim, Tony, & Brandon. Without them, none of this would be possible. Thanks for the willingness to jump in, be creative, but also just to be part of the adventure.

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