Mission Park Opens Friday, September 6th at AMC Theaters in L.A., NYC, Chicago, and San Antonio
By Elia Esparza
When the former star of A&E’s hit show Flip This House was approached to executive produce Bryan Ramirez’s Mission Park, the real estate mogul didn’t think twice about it. Armando Montelongo, has inspired millions of people with his rags-to-riches story, becoming America’s largest residential real estate investor in fewer than five years. His Armando Montelongo Company ranks 19 on Inc. 500 list.
Mission Park is not only Montelongo’s first venture into feature films, putting up upwards of $5 million, but he has also lent his entrepreneurial expertise, creating Mission Park Productions and taking on the position of Executive Producer/President and CEO.
With just days from Mission Park’s opening on September 6th, we caught up with the vivacious and enthusiastic Montelongo to talk about his first experience as a movie producer.
Latin Heat: Out of all the films you could have produced, what was it about Mission Park that convinced you this was the film to green-light?
Armando: The story is what captivated me. I also admired director Byran Ramirez’s passion and knew that he along with our Mission Park production team (Douglas Spain and David J. Phillips) would make this a commercially viable film.
LH: How involved where you with the creative development? How was it to work with Bryan Ramirez, the director?
Armando: In my TV series I had total creative control so it’s a difficult thing for me to relinquish control of any project. But when you’re working with an individual of Bryan’s talents, if you’re smart, you will sit back and admire. It was poetry in motion.
LH: How did the AMC Theater deal come about? Were you involved in the negotiations? Tell us about it.
Armando: Since we began production I had an interest in self-distribution. The business aspect of movie making is what lights my fire. So when David J. Phillips [he helped secure the AMC theatrical distribution deal in LA, NYC, Chicago, and San Antonio] presented me with the AMC deal, I saw it as a great opportunity to incorporate my knowledge of marketing into the distribution of Mission Park.
LH: What skills in your background, experience, education or training came in handy as you put on your producer’s hat?
Armando: I know the television process extremely well both from an entertainment point of view as well as the production side. As a businessman I know how to leverage my assets. My best asset in this process was the team around me – Bryan, Douglas and David – they kicked ass!
LH: How was your overall experience working on Mission Park? Are there more indie films for your production company?
Armando: When I was in the TV series Flip This House, I directed and practically produced the entire process. I’ve produced the top real estate television long form commercial for four years running. Mission Park is my first feature film as an executive producer. It has been an exciting experience. The cast and crew brought their absolute best to this film. I’m used to larger than life environments and Mission Park was definitely that. And yes, we have many projects on our plate right now.
LH: Mission Park has an amazing cast – was there any one actor in particular that really surprised you with their craft intensity?
Armando: I was watching casting videos with my team and Joseph Julian Soria captured the screen in one of the scenes and moved the entire room to tears. Walter’s [Perez] acting was one of the best criminal performances I have ever seen… the stuff that makes you worry that these guys live in your city. This generation needs their De Niro and Pacino, and I found them!
LH: Growing up in Texas, did you ever think that one day you would be a star of your own reality TV show and film producer? Your family must be very proud of you.
Armando: I have a multi-million dollar business, three beautiful sons and I’m on TV and in film. My family never thought I was normal, now they know.
If you liked this Mission Park interview, check out our interview with Douglas Spain at: http://www.latinheat.com/film/urban-crimethriller-mission-park-opens-sept-6th-at-amc-theaters/
Mission Park – Opens September 6, 2013
An Armando Montelongo Productions
Written and Directed by Bryan Ramirez
Executive Producer: Armando Montelongo
Producers: Douglas Spain, David J. Phillips
Cinematographer: Thomas Nador
Cast: Jeremy Ray Valdez, Will Rothhaar, Walter Perez, Joseph Julian Soria, Will Estes, Vivica A. Fox, Fernanda Romero, Jesse Borrego and David J. Phillips.
Check out the list below for a theater near you and we just learned that the Santikos Theaters in San Antonio, Texas, will also have the film in four of their prime locations.
Don’t forget to LIKE the film on FB: https://www.facebook.com/missionpark
Visit film website: http://missionparkthemovie.com
More info on Armando Montelongo, visit: http://www.armandomontelongo.com
Los Angeles (AMC Theaters):
Burbank 8, Burbank, CA
Universal CityWalk 19, Los Angeles, CA
Norwalk 20, Norwalk, CA
Ontario 30, Ontario, CA
Orange 30, Orange, CA
Tyler 16, Riverside, CA
Galleria At South Bay 16, Redondo Beach, CA
Chicago (AMC Theaters):
Cicero 14, Cicero, IL
Galewood 14, Chicago, IL
New York (AMC Theaters):
Empire 25, New York, NY
San Antonio (Santikos Theaters):
Palladium IMAX, San Antonio, TX
Silverado 16, San Antonio, TX
Mayan Palace, San Antonio, TX
Northwest, San Antonio, TX
As of September 3rd, more theaters added: