“Franky is a young filmmaker/ photographer working as a post-production assistant in Los Angeles. It’s been several years since I’ve seen him in person and all along the way I’ve been stalking his incredible adventures from around the globe. We spoke to put a voice and story behind some of Franky’s videos and pictures.”
2013 — Ithaca, New York
Mike: I haven’t seen you since high school so give me a run-down of your college experience in Ithaca (Upstate New York).
Franky: Freshman year, I was playing football which I had done my whole life and I was in a business program that I: 1. didn’t like and 2. was doing terrible in. A friend brought me to a film set where I got a tremendous feeling telling me that working in film would be the right path for me.
Mike: So did you switch into the film program?
Franky: Funny story about that, I waged a multiple year battle with the dean of communications who repeatedly barred me from taking courses required for film majors. After two years of gaining the right experiences, acing film program classes and getting stellar recommendations, I applied to the film program with what I considered to be an application that was impossible to say no to.
Mike: and your dreams of being a film student came to fruition?
Franky: Haha no, I got rejected within 20 minutes. I ended up designing my own program called “Film Producing: Production Studies”, then I was able take the right classes and gain the necessary experiences to get me to where I am today.
2015 — Verona, Italy
Mike: Talk about your time in Verona.
Franky: I spent honestly the best 3 weeks of my life living with 15 other crew members and working as a camera assistant for a film called “Nightfire”. It’s a James Bond type of movie with secret agents, action sequences and pyrotechnics starring Dylan Baker (the guy from Spider-man 2).
Mike: This was your first big project, I imagine it was quite hectic.
Franky: Super busy, we shot the whole thing in 14 days and had many 12 hour days. We worked in this place called MovieLand – the Italian version of Six Flags with pyrotechnics. Since we were the first film crew to shoot there since 2004, the locals were going crazy. I read about us being tracked in the newspaper and at one point people were trying to steal our equipment.
2016 — Seoul ⇒ Dallas
Mike: Alright, once you flew back from Italy, how did you end up going to South Korea?
Franky: My professor asked if anyone was interested in an opportunity to film a documentary in South Korea. Having had such a good time in Italy, I raised my hand immediately. I produced, wrote and shot a short documentary called “Korean Fried Chicken” about the fried chicken industry and socio-economic issues for South Korean retirees.
Mike: How was it presenting this film at the Asian Film Festival in Dallas? I would’ve been nervous.
Franky: The film being shown before mine was about a world renown, South Asian Architect who built all these fantastic buildings…hell, it was being narrated by Matt Dillon. So yeah I was nervous following that up but it was great to be in the same arena as some of these films.
2017 — Los Angeles, California
Mike: What are you working on right now?
Franky: I’m a post-production assistant (PA) on a show called “You” scheduled to air on Lifetime and Netflix. It’s about a guy who does unethical things and stalks this girl in the name of love. It sounds strange but it stars Penn Badgley (who is apparently a big hit with teens, he was in gossip girl) and there is a ton of onscreen chemistry between the actors.
Mike: Describe the hardest part about your job?
Franky: As a PA, the hard is the fun part. I make sure that 3 different editor teams have what they need from stock footage to temp music and other things. A big part of what I do is adapting to what needs to get done, I ensure all the cogs and parts in the production team run smoothly.
Mike: I’m not sure if you’ve seen “Hot Ones” on youtube with Sean Evans but we are going to do our own “deep dive” into your Instagram and have you explain some of your photographs.
Franky: This is from a region in South Korea where every year at that time, they get a shit ton of mud. So naturally with all that mud you have to throw a mud festival. I have so many photos from there it was quite a unique experience: there were mud slides, mud soccer games and there was even a huge obstacle course with staffers pouring mud onto people. As for this guy’s face, he was wearing some beautiful muddy face paint. When in South Korea, embrace the mud. It’s something that is hard to fully explain and 100% better to experience for yourself.
Franky: One of my favorites. I was with a group that went up to the top of a 17-18 story building. I saw this window up there, looked through it and I knew there was something incredible behind the do not enter sign. I told my group members to go on watch real quick and I started positioning myself through the window and onto the roof. That’s when I captured this shot.
Franky: My dad and I took a road trip from Pennsylvania to California. This one surprised me because we were in a moving car and I somehow managed to get a reasonably clear image. I remember questioning if this scene was real because the mountains were so strikingly blue.
Franky: I helped do a commercial shoot for the LA philharmonic. We had 14 locations in 3 days throughout the city of LA. The shoot was comprised of different musicians playing in various picturesque areas.
Mike: What do you think got you from the point of being repeatedly rejected by a school dean to working in the Film industry that you wanted to be in?
Franky: A combination of persistence and finally realizing that I did not need to care what other people thought about what I was doing, I reached a point where I didn’t want to please others anymore.
Mike: Wonderful, what is the next year looking like for you? Also, go ahead and give a plug for what you are working on.
Franky: I’ll be working on the show “You”, which you can catch in the fall on Lifetime and Netflix and another pilot called “God Friended Me“. For my photos you can go to Instagram.com/franciscoaguilarfilm.
Mike: Thanks Franky
Pictures and video content are from Instagram, Youtube and Vimeo. Photos belong to FranciscoAguilarFilm.
Franky is a young film maker and photographer from New Jersey who is currently living in Los Angeles. He is currently working as a production assistant for a show called “YOU” and another pilot called “God Friended Me“. When he isn’t working on films Franky is watching them and traveling.