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   AUTUMN OF THE SIXTEENTH

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Director: David E. Ruiz                                           

Screenwriter:  David E. Ruiz                                  

Genre:  Fantasy/Adventure

Length: 49 mins.

Main Cast: Albert Lawson/David E. Ruiz/Mike Santiago

 

Logline:

After attending a Bible study where a heated debate is held about the teenage life of Christ, a high

school teen is magically transported back to the Biblical era where he gets an up close and personal

look on how Jesus Christ lived as a teenager.

 

SYNOPSIS:

When the teenage life of Jesus is the subject of a debate after a youth Bible study,  Albert a male high 

school junior is overwhelmed with the many opinions given by the other kids. Without resolving the subject issue of Christ's youth, Albert goes to bed with a heavy heart, wishing that somehow he can have a glimpse of Jesus' coming of age years. As a result he drifts away in a dream where the possible answers to all his questions are explained.

What kind of life did Jesus live as a youth?

Did he know who he was at an early age?

Did he and John the baptist know each other as teenagers?

Autumn of the Sixteenth is a heartwarming, often comical tale of how two buddies answered the call in their lives and together change the world forever.

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                                             DIRECTOR'S COMMENT:

    Producing Autumn of the Sixteenth was a super challenge. Here I am attempting to make a movie about Jesus in San Diego with barely a five thousand dollar budget. I'm pretty sure some of the people I knew must have thought that I was crazy, because for a moment I even thought I was crazy to attempt this. Even though I lacked so many things, especially knowledge to even make a film I was so eager to do this and get my first film under my belt. Making this movie was such a learning experience. It was exciting to see the words on paper translated to the screen and even though the film lacked so much it was an amazing experience. So amazing that I wanted to do the entire film all over again once we wrapped. This film started out as a short comedy sketch but deep down I knew I wasn't through with the idea and even to this day I am still rewriting the feature screenplay. 

      

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                                    PROCTOR 

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Directors: David E. Ruiz / Patrick Umali

Screenwriters: David E. Ruiz / Patrick Umali

Genre: Drama/Suspense

Length: 87 minutes

Main Cast: Rob Dey/Reyn Mercuri/Criston Mitchel/Celeste Damron/Pia Thrasher

 

Logline:

Two buddies discover the truth of a horrific crime that for so many years was only believed to have been a popular

 urban legend. 

SYNOPSIS:

As a favor to his realtor brother, Rob Velez and his buddy Mike drive up to the rural mountains of southern California to video tape some of the land. After reviewing the footage Rob is shocked to see bizarre and frightening images of what appears to be a murder.  Intrigued by this phenomenon Rob is compelled to investigate and enlists the help of Mike who is reluctant to join him. After researching the images they are lead to inquire about an unsolved crime that took place over thirty years ago. Through their continued investigation, they discover only one living person holds the keys to the truth.  

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                                                                DIRECTOR'S COMMENT:

Completing the film Proctor was extremely difficult. I did have an associate producer for this feature and we both had to deal with some very unpleasant circumstances that came our way. Without recalling too much detail, the experience did inspire my next film Bad Guy One (below). About half way through the production I was left to finish the film on my own. It was a difficult task but it had to be done. The great thing about the film is that we screened it at a Chula Vista theater and many of the people who came to see the movie already knew about the legends of Proctor Valley Road. So that was good advertisement in itself. People came to watch the movie out of curiosity. In 2004 digital formats were just starting out and we were fortunate enough to be the first indie filmmakers to use the theater's newly digital projectors.

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This scary looking house was the main setting for the shooting of Proctor. I thought it would be perfect considering the film is a pyschological thriller. The house actually belongs to my Uncle Frank who along with my mother and all their siblings grew up in the house.  The outside alone looks really creepy and aside from the regular stairs to go to the second level there is also a hidden stairway at the back side of the house.  My Uncle Frank was gracious to allow us to shoot there for many days. Below is the front of the house. The "sold" sign in front was placed there for the scene.  To this day in the year 2021 my Uncle Frank still lives there.

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This is the actual Proctor Valley Road. After the pavement ends it's all dirt road for seventeen miles until you get to Jamul. We did shoot on the road, at night and it was kinda scary just to be there after hearing about all the stories that allegedly took place.

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                                   BAD GUY ONE

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Director: David E. Ruiz

Screenwriter: David E. Ruiz

Genre: Drama/Suspense

Length: 1 hr 53 mins

Main Cast: Lisa Palmer, Pia Thrasher, Criston Mitchel

Logline:

Two female filmmakers struggle to complete their debut film because they are being stalked and harassed by a troubled cast member.

SYNOPSIS:

Amy Scott and Monica Kidd of Just2Gals productions have just set out to produce their debut feature film. After holding auditions and selecting their cast, they become a little weary with the enthusiastic behavior of one of their actors, an estranged man named Simon. As Amy and Monica proceed with their filmmaking Simon's interest in the film becomes more fixated and he begins to turn on the girls when they don't answer to his every whim. They eventually decide to release him from their film and cut all ties with him. What happens next is somethiing that no amount of film school could ever prepare them for.

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                                DIRECTOR'S COMMENT: 

I shot Bad Guy One with literally no crew. The three lead characters all had supporting roles in my previous film Proctor. I got to know Pia Thrasher, Lisa Palmer and Criston MItchel on the set of Proctor and asked them if they would be interested in the leads for Bad Guy One. They all agreed, with Pia and Lisa being the filmmakers and Criston being the bad guy. I shot it with one camera and the only time I had technical help was when we shot at night in Alpine, California. Other than that I was solo. As I had mentioned Bad Guy One was inspired by the hardships we went through shooting Proctor. Pia, Lisa and Criston gave very fine performances and really brought the script to life. One of the most exciting parts of the film was when we shot at a movie theater and we had about one hundred extras show up to be in the movie, including family and friends. 

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                                 THE SLINGERS

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Director: David E. Ruiz

Screenwriter:  David E. Ruiz

Genre: Faith Based Sports Comedy Drama

Length: 82 minutes

Main cast: Aaron Acosta/Emma Rose Maloney/April Edwards/Bill Trepanier/Pia Thrasher

Logline:

When a brand new children's kickball league is set to debut in the summer, siblings Bradley and Brianna rally all the kids in the neighborhood and set out to participate in the unprecedented event.

 

SYNOPSIS:

 Twelve year old Bradley Logan and his kid sister Brianna live in a neighborhood where the kids around the block don't have Ipads, Iphones and xboxes. Instead these kids are outside every day playing the game they love--kickball. So when Bradley discovers there is going to be a new organized children's kickball league debuting in the summer,  he rounds up all his friends to join the league. With the help of their wise-crackin', pig-tail wearing, in your face, telling it like it is, junior assistant coach TJ, they overcome odds, unite as a team and together face their greatest challenge. Focused on the story of David and Goliath, Bradley and his teammates find success on the field when they, like David using his sling, find their "sling" and get good at what they do best. 

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THE SLINGERS MEDIA FRENZY

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                                                                 DIRECTOR'S COMMENT:

I  was so excited when I finished writing The Slingers. This was one story that I  had the opportunity to connect the audience with an encouraging Christian message about the story of David and Goliath. Plus I have always wanted to work with kids and this was just the right script for that. After holding my auditions, I assembled a group of talented kids led by Aaron Acosta and Emma Rose Maloney. We first set out to shoot a simple trailer and then went to production in the summer of 2012.  About one third of the way through the production we ran out of funds and so I had to break the news to the kids and their parents that we were shutting down the production. It was a very humbling experience. However these parents wanted to see this film be completed so they raised a little bit of money (barely enough to finish the film) and we went back to production in the spring of 2013.  We screened the film in the fall that year and I really wanted to do something special for the kids, so we had a red carpet premiere. We all felt like Hollywood stars!!  The Slingers really had great potential but we simply didn't have the budget for it. So I was forced to get creative and did so in many ways throughout the film. 

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                               UNCLE 
   REESIE

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Director: David E. Ruiz

Screenwriter:  David E. Ruiz

Genre:  Comedy/Drama

Length: 113 minutes

Main cast: Andrew Ian/Ryan Brewer/Kella Smith/Matthew Gerchufsky/Kelly Kaup

Logline:

A long time single man who is like a second dad to his best friend's kids, finally at the age of 48 meets the woman of his dreams, but then must choose between her and the kids who have grown to need him.

SYNOPSIS:

Reesie has been unlucky in love his entire adult life. As a 48 year old man he's reached the decision that he may never marry. With virtually no obligations he spends every chance he gets with twelve year old Kenny and ten year old Kelsey, the two children of his long time best friend. Through the years Reesie has been more like a second dad and has bonded with the kids. When an opportunity to go on a blind date with career-driven Mavic presents itself, Reesie is reluctant at first but soon discovers that he may have a future with her. As his new found love blossoms, his relationship with Kenny and Kelsey suffers and now he finds himself torn between them. Life changing events occur and he is now faced with the possibility of being separated from the kids. (Inspired by true life relationships.)

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                                                                                                                                 DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS:

Preproduction for Uncle Reesie began in the summer of 2015 and we began principle photography in January of 2016. Since this film was inspired from true life relationships, I  was often asked how much of the movie was actually factual. I have the same answer to everyone; sixty percent factual, forty percent embellished. (Even that may not be correct). This is how it all began . . . . .

Most of my adult life I was single. At that time, I enjoyed the singleness because it allowed me to do everything I wanted to do when it came to my screenwriting and  filmmaking. In those single years I did a whole lot of writing and a whole lot of filming. In between I was hanging out with Kyle and Lana, the two children of my BFF. We were actually in our own world. We did everything and I took them everywhere. Other than spending  all my money on my films, they were the other reason why I was always broke. For eleven years it was just us. Our relationship was one of a kind.

I met Marivic Ayonque (Mavic) in the fall of 2013. Our friends kinda set us up. She was friends with my best friend's sisters. At this time I was in my late forties and finally, kinda sorta ready for a relationship. After communicating through emails for two weeks we had our first date at Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant (my favorite hang out place to write and devour chips and salsa.)

 

It was the beginning of a wonderful Christ centered relationship and we began dating regularly. Of course, this affected my relationship with Kyle and Lana. I really missed spending quality time with them and they were missing they're Uncle Reesie as well.  Though they were young, they understood what was going on and deep down they were happy for me. But this was the first time they had to share my affections and so it took some adjusting on both of our parts.  They had to get used to the fact that I wasn't going to be there at the drop of a hat anymore and I had to get used to the fact that I couldn't just go see them anytime I wanted to.  That's when I got the idea that, "Hey, what we went through could be a great comedy/drama movie". So I started writing the screenplay and I probably went from first to final draft in less than three months. 

After auditioning many people to cast for the film,  for the part of myself I selected a local actor (originally from New York) named Andrew Ian and to be frank we did have some physical similarities. For the parts of Kyle and Lana I selected Matthew Gerchufsky and Kella Smith. (I had worked with Kella in The Slingers so I really had her in mind for the role of Lana from the start). I wasn't successful in casting a female for Mavic's role  from the women who auditioned. None of them just didn't seem right for the part. Fortunately enough, I knew Kelly Kaup. We attended church together for a while at Bonita Valley Community Church. I have seen her act in plays and musicals and so I was confident in bringing her on board for the role of Mavic. I didn't even have her audition. We just talked and I told her about the project and she was eager and honored to do it. After we shot for nine consecutive days, we continued the production only on the weekends and we were wrapped by mid-April, had our red carpet premiere on May 13 and the film continued to screen at the Hazard Center theaters in San Diego for the following week.

To this day (in the year 2021)  Mavic,  Kyle,  Lana and I have a great relationship and every so often I get the chance to steal the kids (now teenagers) for a day excursion just like when they were kids. Mavic and I were Married on June 6,  2015.  Kyle was the Junior Best Man and Lana was the Junior Maid of Honor. 

 

 

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 A FUN LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES

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