Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crystal Santos: An Unconventional ‘Wonder Woman’ To Make Movies, TV with G Productions and Mystic Warrior Productions

Watch Crystal Santos on Let's Talk! show, Thursday, June 23, 2011, 7:30 a.m. on KJLA/LATV, check your local cable grid in the greater Los Angeles area (from Santa Barbara to Orange County, to San Bernardino, Temecula). To read this interview's full article, visit: 
Crystal Santos, leading
Hollywood Stunt Professional
often doubles for Rosario
Dawson and Roselyn Sanchez

We caught up with Crystal recently and asked her about her new film venture and how she balances her busy life: 

Q: Film financing is hard to come by, how did you convince Chinese investors?
Cristal Santos: I was fortunate to meet some wonderful Chinese investors and they had seen the value in my project and moved forward rather quickly. I had taken a course in Asian business etiquette in college and let’s just say it paid off. There is a very different style to Asian business and it is based on respect, honor, and honesty. It’s refreshing.

Q: It’s such a rarity to get financing. What other aspect helped you?
CS: There are many ways to finance a film; it’s about knowing what the market will bear and what investors want to see. Finding money for a film is fun and challenging. Still, no two films are funded alike.

Q: What type of training and diet regime do you follow?
CS: I personally stick to the Paleo Diet and strength training plus I run over an hour a day. And of course the extra fun activities like swimming, fights, weaponry, and miscellaneous stunt stuff.

Q:   We’re calling you Super Woman combining work with motherhood, but in the real world, well that’s just hard for any person. Since the birth of your son, has any aspect of your career focus changed?
CS: I incorporated motherhood into my business. I believe it is good for my son to grow up knowing hard work and discipline. By being an example as an athlete and businesswoman, I think it would be ingrained into my child. I want him to feel welcomed in my life and my business is part of my life and one he will inherit, so he should always be involved. I try to take Alexander [son] everywhere. And, yes, he will be going to China with me too.

If anything has changed it would be in the area of focusing more on my acting and film producing for my own movie projects.

Q: Why is Comic-Con and AFM important to you?
CS: Comic-Con is important because I am writing and releasing a comic book and have assisted others in doing so. Attending this convention helps me to make the important connections in that industry, which helps to facilitate my goals more efficiently. It is also beneficial to meet the artists that are out there and to see their work. I actually am hiring one of the artists I met at Comic-Con. As for AFM, it is an invaluable resource for a filmmaker; you meet distributors, financiers, actors, directors, etc. Wonderful results come out of AFM and it is AFM that gives you a real sense of opportunity in the global marketplace.

Q: Growing up, who in entertainment was your role model?
CS: Honestly, like most little girls my age, I admired Linda Carter. Wonder Woman was awesome!

Q: You’ve worked on some major films as an actor and stuntwoman. Which gig was the most dangerous?
CS: I suppose anything I have done involving fire. And, the most important movie I worked on was War of the Worlds. Everyone was pleasant, stunt team, and actors, and the director made it fun as he guided us into his vision seamlessly. Hands down, the best work experience ever.

Q: On the entrepreneur side, you and your husband also have a vitamin and skin care company, another successful venture. Why another business when you’re already thriving in the movie business?
CS: In the business I’m in, it is important that one’s body is strong and healthy and also, the outer must also shine for the camera. It made sense to venture into the health and skin industry. We’re fortunate in that both Markethealth and Healthbuy are successful businesses. Markethealth offers affiliates opportunities to promote our vitamin and skin care lines as a home business and Healthbuy is a place for consumers to buy our products. My personal favorite is our Revitol line, which I use faithfully.

Q: Is it pure passion that has contributed to your business success?
CS: I really believe that if you are passionate about any business you can make it successful. It’s also about knowing what you want and being flexible on how you get there. Example, you may want to finance your film via private equity, but discover that there are other methods such as gap and bridge loans that may work for you. Understanding what you can collateralize on and what the value of every element of your film is can determine your budget and potential investment opportunities. That age-old saying comes into play: Know Your Worth! Also be prepared to say ‘no’ to a deal. Example: if you write a script with the intent of directing it, then stick to that, do not let someone tell you that your script is great but you can’t direct it. Understand that there are elements you can include in your package that will increase the value of the film, a director is just one of them,  actors another, location, qualified producers, etc. Be realistic. Know what kind of film you are making, who will be interested in distributing this film and what is the possibility of the investors return on investment.

Q:  So, Crystal what does an active working professional like yourself do for fun?
CS: I have tons of fun! I get together with friends and play with bullwhips, swords, practice fights, and hang off things,” she laughed. “Our hobbies are a bit unconventional.” Crystal added that a friend even got a baby harness so they can introduce one-year old Alexander to the trapeze soon.

Considered one of the industry’s top stuntwoman, working on dozens of films and television shows. She is also a popular stunt driver for TV car commercials. To learn more about this multi-talented woman, visit: 
  Don't forget to watch her on Let's Talk! on KJLA/LATV at 7:30 AM. Or check out the episode on the website, 

Latinowood: Elia Esparza
Crystal Santos/June 2011 ©

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