The Mexican director, Oliver Castro, began studying graphic design and afterwards cinematography at the Lorenzo de Medici School in Florence, Italy. Since a very young age, Oliver started working at the production company “Z Film”, led by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, who would become his mentor.
In 1997 he began directing second units, television commercials and video clips. In 2002 he opened his own film and advertising production company, Distrito Films. In 2012 he won a bronze Lion in Cannes for his campaign Crafter
for Volkswagen. In the last few years, he has been immerse in the development and production of feature films, short films, documentaries and television series.
During the earthquakes in Mexico in 2017, he opened the doors of the Distrito Films studios to be used as collection centers to help the affected people in his country, together with the renowned actor Diego Luna. Shortly after these tragic events, he directed an appalling short film titled S19. He is currently represented by Milagro Films in the US Hispanic market.
1. How did you begin directing?
It happened very naturally: since I was a child, I had a special taste for recording visual material. When I was very young, I took part in a musical video contest called Rock Líquido
summoned by Coca-Cola. My videoclip of the song Hadita Zonza
by the group Marilyn Suicidas
, turned out to be finalist. It was the first thing I did. From there, I went on to become part of the Z FILM
team, where I continued directing videoclips and commercials.
2. What motivates you to arrive at a set?
The shooting is the end and the beginning of something. On one hand, all the pieces are ready because you have prepared them with great detail in the pre-production, on the other, you don´t know what will turn out. You know each element deeply, and at the same time, you can expect the greatest surprise. You know that this entire tridimensional world that surrounds you, this madness of objects and people is going to land in a two-dimension entity. And you expect a result that is always different. Regardless of how simple the project is, there is always that makes it new. The work on the set, no matter how much you have planned it, is full of chance, randomness, and this randomness, coupled with luck turns it into magic.
3. What is the best story you have from your shootings?
To make an advertisement for the Palacio de Hierro
, with the legendary model Carmen Dell’Orefice, I travelled to París. The preparations for the shooting did not turn out as I expected, and a few hours before the client and agency travelled from Mexico City to the French capital, I had to admit to myself that I actually didn´t have anything important to show them. Then, I made one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my professional life, I picked up the phone and called them to ask them not to come yet. They were on their way to the airport. They screamed blue murder. The trip was cancelled. It was terrible. But I knew that not making that call would have been worse, specially for the project. Thanks to this decision, the process was able to start flowing. The result was extraordinary. They were thrilled and I not only made one of the best pieces in my career, but strengthened with that team of people ties that still continue to unite us. The relation I established with Carmen dell´Orifice continues to be unforgettable.
4. Where do you find inspiration?
I find it everywhere: In my personal life, with my children; in my relationship with nature, and mainly in enjoying art. Music has great importance for me. I also find a special source of inspiration in the moments when work becomes pressing: that state of tension, when everything is almost ready but you haven´t reached the goal and you seem to run out of time. In that state, ideas, images, unknown sensations arise. It is like an express pot where all the ingredients converge and everything boils, flows, and shines. In that limit state, inspiration acquires its final form.
5. Where is Oliver Castro headed?
I am looking for new challenges, new opportunities. I think the moment haws come to give priority to a personal language, the expression of what makes me up as a person. I want to invent new ways to say what I am. This will likely happen in the same path of advertising, to which I am adding exploring new methods, but my goal is no longer to be diversified but, on the contrary, to gather everything I have achieved to make it coalesce in something truly my own.
Milagro Films, US
Contact: Sergio Nicolau
T +1-323-460-6661Watch video