In March I had one of the most exciting experiences of my writing career: I worked in the writers room of Real American, an upcoming webseries from Perelandra Pictures. The call for screenwriters was on a Facebook page for Michigan Production Opportunities. I didn’t think I actually had a chance of getting the gig, and at first I didn’t care. I submitted because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. But then I got an email from them, and then a Facetime interview. During this time I learned more about the project, and I started to care A LOT. It sounded so interesting and engaging and timely, and I felt a strong connection to the subject matter. I knew I had to be a part of it. That’s how I met Jacob de la Rosa.
Jacob is a writer, director, and owner of Perelandra Pictures. Along with his producing partner Kathryn Postema, he created the “Nottingham” video for Son of None, which was an official selection of the 2018 Grand Rapids Film Festival. Jacob also wrote and directed 2013’s Break Glass in Case of…., a feature-length film with Doctor Who‘s Tom Baker voicing a lead character.
Real American is nearing production, and Nathalie Galde has been cast as the lead. It’s time to learn more about Jacob de la Rosa.
SGSC: Where did you get the idea for Real American?
JD: I was really blown away by how sci-fi shows like Orphan Black and Jessica Jones had these strong female protagonists with their own rich lives and experiences, and I wanted to write a show like that with a Latinx lead.
SGSC: Anastasia is a complicated woman. Was this character inspired by anyone you know?
JD: I work at a news station full of career-oriented, hardworking women, so that definitely influenced Anastasia’s professional life in the series. A lot of how Anastasia lives her personal life, how she feels disconnected from her world and her past, that comes from my own experiences of what it’s like being biracial and passably white. Then I really have to credit you and Jalexia Stoutmyre for your work in the writers’ room, and for pushing to make Anastasia more flawed.
SGSC: Who is your favorite director? Writer (screenwriter and/or author)?
JD: My favorite directors are Wes Anderson and Guillermo del Toro. My favorite writers are C.S. Lewis, Stephen King, and Michael Crichton.
SGSC: If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would you choose?
JD: The Dresden Dolls.
SGSC: What has been the most rewarding moment of your career so far?
JD: Recording with Tom Baker for Break Glass in Case Of…is up there. There’s been a lot of rewarding moments with Real American where I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be: working with other writers, meeting Nathalie Galde, and the character photoshoot for Anastasia.
SGSC: What is the single most important thing that people need to know about Real American?
JD: That it’s a story about the very relatable challenge of trying to figure out who you are, but seen through the eyes of an alien in disguise.
I hope you’re all as excited about this project as I am. Click here to learn more about Real American or to donate to the Kickstarter campaign to help get it into production.