February 25, 2018, 7:37 am
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Pinoy storyteller living his dream in Hollywood

CHARLIE Coralejo is beginning to live his dream.

HE gets “Schooled” every week by guests on the weekly show aired on Twitch TV, a social video platform and community for gamers, video game  culture and the creative artists.  Schooled had given him the chance to interview creative professionals who have worked in prominent movies that inspired him like Jurassic Park, Dark Knight, and How to Train your Dragon 2. He also had guests who were in prominent creative positions in the gaming industry, working for well-known developers and publishers such as E.A., Disney, and  Valve

The Filipino-born and trained artist left a burgeoning career in Manila a few years ago to take up a master’s degree in film and stake a claim on uncetain future in Los Angeles.

Like a pilgrim drawn to religious relic, Charlie, who thinks of himself as a storyteller first more than anything, has long dreamed of a life in LA.

“Why did I go to Hollywood? Because I think it’s the Mecca of films. It is the place where films are embedded in the cultue,” said Charlie, a film director, graphic artist and animator whose work in Manila included the channel brand for Jeepney TV, the nostalgia channel of ABS-CBN Corp. “That’s kind of how I want to live my life, making stories people empathize with and entertain them,” added Charlie.

While trying to earn a master’s degree in film and media production at the Los Angeles branch of the New York Film Academy, Charlie was given the opportunity to work with brands like Twitter, Showtime, Netflix, Youtube and Ford. He completed his master’s course with honors, the only Asian in his batch to have won a distinction.

Currently, Charlie also juggles his time as motion designer with ad agency Standard Time LA and as an editor at ATTN, an issue-driven media company with a mobile-first audience.

“So far, the professional atmosphere in Los Angeles has been very kind to me. The stress and challenges are the same as back home but there seems to be more opportunities to do something new and different just because of the new environment,” relates Charlie.

Whatever extra time he could squeeze from his busy schedule Charlie uses to finish a couple of film projects that he wants to enter in film festivals.

“One of them is called Player 2, which is kind of my love letter to Video games and how they’ve helped me get through difficult times in my life. Another one is called Stand-Ins which is a romantic comedy about the awkward situations that happen in the film process,” said Charlie.

For young Filipino filmmakers dreaming of taking the path that Charlie has trod, the storyteller said they will be surprised at how welcoming the environment is. Just bring your sense of humor, resilience, good manners, and good intentions, he added.

 “You need those characteristics because it’s very difficult to get started in Hollywood,” said Charles, recalling his own experience. “If you remain consistent with those qualities, you can withstand the brunt of the initial difficulties of starting from scratch in a place like Los Angeles. It’s with those qualities that will keep you sane.”
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