Exceptional filmmaker Eva Szigriszt, has a couple of big commercial projects in early development: one is, a sci-fi feature film and a sci-fi TV series, with some pretty well known producers (whom we cannot mention at this time). She will also be teaming up with the CEO of Triple Threat Pictures to produce a feature film which is based on the short film “Chew”. All this and more for this talented girl from Spain, who in between her busy schedule, recently caught up with us. Here is what she had to share:
First of all, how far do you feel you have come from a few years ago when you first arrived in LA?
I’ve come further than I thought I would in just three years, honestly. I would say that the biggest change happened two years ago when I decided to not only produce independently for other people, but to support my own career as a writer/producer. So, I quit my 9 to 6 job to fully commit to IPs of my own.
Soon, entertainment lawyer Ralph Brescia at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman heard my pitch for a TV series I was developing and interested him enough to take me as a client (among “nobodies” like Scorsese or Christopher Nolan). And that was what opened the door to the real Hollywood for me. Soon enough I was signing a deal with Ted Field at Radar Pictures for that same TV show. Pretty wild!
What have you learned the most?
I would say that the biggest lesson is that you can’t believe things will stay high, high, high at all times. The same time that a deal comes fast, it also expires faster than you think and you have to be ready to take the reins and go back on that horse without losing momentum. If you so much as stop to feel self-pity, you will miss the next opportunity. It goes that fast and slow! You also have to understand that at times, you’ll be waiting for months for that “so and so producer” to have an opening in his/her schedule, so use that time to work on other projects. The secret is to never stop creating no matter how you feel. Use it!
What has been your favorite project to work on so far?
This is like asking which of your children is your favorite… I don’t think I can really respond to this question. Every project has a lesson hidden waiting for you to tap into. Every different crew member grows your “foster family” in way that you could have never have imagined. Every hardship strengthens your core-self and teaches you ways to become a better professional and a better human being. It is the best job in the world, really! If you work in an artistic field it should always feel like that. I think that if I ever feel different it will probably be a clear sign calling for retirement.
How have you remained grounded and not stressed out in an industry such as Hollywood?
I try my best. Sometimes it is difficult, though. It’s harder when things go well, because we tend to believe that “that’s it”, “we made it!”, when the reality is far from that. So, once you experience that sort of roller-coaster a couple of times… then you have two choices: either you go ballistic and let your ego take over or you learn the lesson and start a personal protocol so you can keep yourself checked.
How do you find California compared to where you grew up?
It’s not so much as California per se but the cultural clash between US vs Spain, really. After a little over five years of living here, I still struggle with this. Spain is a very old, very artistically educated country- and I’m not trying to say the US is not- but I feel that it is a young nation and sometimes that shows up in places I wish it wouldn’t. Like meetings with renowned producers (for example). Sometimes you have someone over you professionally who is so under educated, it hurts. So I guess, in answering your question as fair as possible, I grew up in a family that cared for my education more than anything else. They believe that knowledge is directly related with freedom and they wanted their daughters to be as free as possible.
Sometimes (not always) but sometimes, I feel most people here are brought up in fear of knowledge, therefore, enslaved. So, in my understanding, even though this is “the land of the free” I can’t help but feel that tagline works better for the prepared foreigner that, like me, comes to this country seeking an opportunity, than the average American. Sorry if I got deep here!
What are some of the most important things to do and remember as a filmmaker in LA?
To keep your relationships healthy. This is a monster city. Everything is so spread out and far. You can find yourself alone if you don’t make an effort to keep your relationships alive. Never approach anyone with the idea of “making a contact” nobody likes that. Just treat people, whether they are successful or not, as any other human being. If you care for the person and not their position you will soon find that they reach out to you without even asking.
Over the last few years, what was was the highlight for you being a filmmaker in LA?
Working on one of my projects in the company of one of the most regarded producers/directors (I can’t name, names). I became a writer/producer because of his movies and now I get to work hand in hand with his team and he is even considering the idea of directing the pilot of my TV sci-fi show. So, imagine if you can, dreams do come true!
Tell us what keeps you most humble and grounded?
Clearly, my friends. I have amazing people around me. Out of this industry and also others trying to make it in this industry. I feel blessed, honestly. Without their support (Susana, Jessica, Steven, Juan, Javier, Ana, Raf, Rachel, Verena, Andrea…) the list goes on and on! Without them I could not do what I do. They are the backbone that keeps everything together. They are my family.
What can we expect to see next from you in the near future?
I have big sci-fi TV show called “Kings of the Sun” (think Appocalypto meets Prometheus), a sci-fi high budget film “PO1NT ONE” (which is a story set in the future about white slave trafficking with aliens and the hero that fights for their freedom) a very dear project of mine; and a psychological thriller “Turn” which I’ll produce and will make my debut as a director. Very exciting stuff!
To keep up on Eva’s latest projects, go to: