Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
My name is Rod Rinks and I’m a makeup artist and filmmaker from Chula Vista now living in Los Angeles. Being the great grandson of Mexican Revolutionary and radio pioneer Pedro J. Gonzalez you can say hearing the words “no” and “you can’t” don’t go over well with me. Storytelling is in my blood and I’m commitment to it whether you like it or not. My goal is to tell stories that resonate with me personally and people like me as a first generation Mexican-American coming from a boarder town like Chula Vista. Being a father of three all under the age of 10y/o I feel it’s my duty to tell stories/films that everyone can relate to and enjoy that leave a lasting impression.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
Much like a fingerprint we’re all unique, creative and have our own individual voice and idea on topics or subjects. I started in the entertainment business over twenty years ago as a actor and soon found my way into makeup where I chose to learn everything there is from the bottom up. Behind the scenes to find my groove. Along that journey I worked with many celebrities doing makeup and grooming. One being a fellow Chula Vistan Mario Lopez whom I’ve partnered with on my last project Made In Mexico starring A Bronx Tales star Lillo Brancato. Have Mario as a partner as well as the relationships I’ve build had helped tremendously. I’ve seen both the good and bad side to this business and one thing is for certain, this is a people-business first and for most. People want to work with good people that are reliable, honest and trustworthy. This business is not a sprint, it’s a very long and rocky marathon. But if you can pace yourself and keep at it you’ll finish the race and you’ll be surprised at who’s at the finish line and where they want to take you to celebrate.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I had just moved to LA and my roommate were filmmakers. I had worked on small independent sets as a actor but never been through the process of making a film. After we casted the film, location scouted and I got a chance to help with the script, I knew this was something that I loved. First day of shooting couldn’t come fast enough and boy was that it. I was hooked. I had dabbled in writing as an actor, mainly my own dialogue for shorts and so forth. But the process of having a film come to life was something that I loved. From that point on I dove into writing and knew I’d return to this a career, I just needed to figure out some other pieces.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
I’d say the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome at this point would have to be time. Three kids, a wife and mortgage are a lot of motivation if you’re trying to make it as a filmmaker. Lots of late nights and early mornings working along. My last film Made In Mexico I made for just 20k and shot it in just 6 days. I remember pulling out of my driveway(used my vacation time from work) with my car packed with wardrobe, props etc to head to the hotel to meet my star Lillo Brancato before our first day thinking “what in the hell am I doing!!?? I’m a father of three that should be worrying about 401k plans and retirement options and I’m off to make this little movie.” But with much support from my wonderful wife and family I knew I had something special in this film and it turned out to be one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. You have to start somewhere, and I was fortunate to have my first film be a well received.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
I’m a big fan of the people who make things happen. Writers, Producers, Directors. I’d have to say Terrence Winter(Sopranos, Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire) would be at the top. Followed by Martin Scorsese of course and Robert Rodriguez. Those would be my top three.
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