April 20, 2017
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Lucero Film Recipe
by Blake Wellen
Anthony Lucero worked as an editor before moving into the visual effects for Industrial Light and Magic and Tippett Studio. photo: courtesy A. Lucero
“I like making films that are multicultural, with multi-colored people,” says local filmmaker
of his latest script, "East Side Sushi", an independent feature film to be set in the Bay Area. “I look around me and I see that everybody’s from a different part of the world and a different ethnicity, and I’m not really seeing them represented enough on film.”
An accomplished writer, director, and editor, Lucero’s script is an inspiring fusion of Japanese and Latino cuisines as well as cultures in the person of Juana, a working-class single mother who strives to become a sushi chef. The story came from Lucero’s observations of everyday people.
“I was watching this cook in some greasy spoon restaurant one day, and I was thinking, does he aspire to be anything else? I wondered if he ever wants to do something like be a sushi chef. Then I thought that it would be even more difficult for a female and it just snowballed from there.”
His childhood love of movies spurred Lucero to study filmmaking at San Francisco State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in film. After working as a commercial editor for several years, he moved into the visual effects world for companies such as Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic and Tippett Studio, working on such films as "Star Wars—Episode II", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Iron Man" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn".
Lucero does some test shots at Oakland's Kakui Sushi Bar for his Indiegogo campaign. photo: courtesy A. Lucero
When he’s not working on visual effects films or documentaries such as the PBS series "Not In Our Town", Lucero’s personal creative pursuits lead him to tackle subjects ranging from whimsical to deeply serious, such as his poignant 2007 documentary film "
Angels and Wheelchairs
". This intensely personal slice-of-life short won Best Drama/Documentary and Best Overall Film awards at the Alice 5th Annual Independent Film Festival in San Francisco.
“That story was about somebody you wouldn’t ordinarily know about,” says Lucero. “But you go into people’s houses, and you find out that these seemingly-ordinary people have extraordinary lives.”
Some of his other works, including 2005’s comedic "I Need My Mocha" and last year’s "San Francisco Is…" have garnered various film competition awards. And in keeping true to his local roots, several of his films have screened at the "Old Oakland Outdoor Cinema Movie Series" that takes place in Jack London Square and Downtown Oakland every summer.
Tentatively scheduled to film in Oakland and the East Bay in late summer, "East Side Sushi" is a labor of love that has been in development since 2008. The fictional story highlights both the food and the skillfulness of the sushi chef, and tackles the issue of why, until recently, women have not been traditionally accepted as sushi chefs. The script is lively, with crisp dialogue and a mix of drama and comedy.
Lucero is working once again with a talented team of fellow filmmakers, including veteran Director of Photography
, and producer Julie Rubio, who just sold her locally-shot independent feature film “
” to Osiris Entertainment.
For Lucero, the jump to making a low-budget feature is definitely a challenge and he and his team are setting up an Indiegogo campaign for East Side Sushi to help raise funds for the project.
Lucero at work on a documentary project. photo: courtesy A. Lucero
“It’s daunting, because I don’t have the money to do it the way I really want to do it,” says Lucero. “I have a lot of excellent crew people helping me do this. And I’ve worked on a lot of other colleagues’ and friends’ films…so I’m glad the karma of people of wanting to help on this film is coming full circle.”
Although the female lead has been filled, the casting search is still in progress for the sushi chef, Aki, and others. Actors interested in auditioning can send resumes and reel links to:
"East Side Sushi" will be another example of Lucero’s affinity for storytelling. Combining food, culture, relationships and self-discovery, it also teaches us about acceptance and the drive to never give up on the pursuit of one’s dreams. And from the looks of it, Lucero is cooking up the perfect recipe for making his dreams a reality. See their
Posted on Aug 13, 2012 - 06:46 AM