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S.A. filmmaker triumphs in face of adversity

By Maria Elena Cruz
When Buddy Calvo decided to turn his experience of being burglarized into a movie, he never dreamed it would do so well—-it wasn’t a normal experience though.
A group of vandals had been breaking into cars and terrorizing his neighborhood. When his vehicle became the target, he became determined to make them stop.

“I just got sick and tired of being robbed,” said Calvo. “I was so fed up I decided to do something about it, I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I was determined to catch the thieves.”
He said he was not going to hurt anyone, just teach them a good lesson. “I just wanted to confront them.” Although he set out some bait for the would-be-robbers, Calvo never caught them. He never forgot, and decided to turn his experience into a movie.
“I always wanted to do film, so I just did it,” said Calvo.
He dropped out of his third year at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and went to San Antonio College (SAC). From there he never looked back.
In 2008 he took the steps toward bringing Jacob to the big screen. He partnered up with Machina Cinema and they developed with the script for Jacob.
“It was easy to write the story,” said Calvo. “It was about a guy who, after being robbed several times, decides to take the matters into his own hands. I was robbed twelve times in 2 years. I can certainly relate to this guy.”

It wasn’t always easy for the aspiring director and his crew. “We were working thirteen hour days eating nothing but pizza and drinking Gatorade,” said Calvo.
His budget was another problem.
“We literally had $200 to work with,” he recalled.
Calvo’s will and drive, however, would more than make up for his lack of funds.
“When push comes to shove, I always say just push back and push harder.”
His hard work and determination would pay off. “Jacob” opened to rave reviews from critics and moviegoers alike.
“I was blown away by the reaction,” said Calvo. “I knew we had something good, I just never imagined people would like it as much as they did.”
Now Calvo looks back and feels good about taking that leap of faith to follow his dreams.

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