Sometimes, the easiest way to spur yourself into action is by making a simple statement of intention. So when Alfredo Lara Orbezo Lira heard that Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, would shoot key scenes in Mexico City, he immediately called his parents.
“I said to them, how can I not apply? I knew I had to find a way to work on this movie because it was filming in my home country, and I’m a huge James Bond fan.”
A native of Córdoba, located in the Mexican state of Veracruz, Alfredo’s passion for filmmaking brought him to Full Sail in 2011, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in Film (2013) and an MFA in Film Production (2014). Shortly after graduation, Alfredo landed a gig as a Production Assistant on Telemundo’s hit reality music competition show Yo Soy El Artista. He’d just enrolled in the Entertainment Business Master’s program when Spectre went into pre-production.
Alfredo reached out to his Career development advisor, who provided him with resources to view production calls in Mexico City and the surrounding areas.
“I made hundreds of calls,” says Alfredo. “Nobody was able to tell me much, since the project was still fairly confidential at that point. Finally, I got in touch a couple of people who were working in the location department for the film. They were willing to interview me.”
That interview landed him a gig in the catering department. “I’ve never done catering in my life, but I figured I had to start somewhere,” he says. Armed with a resolve to make the most of his situation, Alfredo showed up on set ready to work.
“Turns out, they needed someone bilingual to act as a translator for British crew members working in the extras department. I ended up switching departments that day, and I never even made it to catering.”
For the next two weeks, Alfredo assisted in the management and coordination of 1,700 extras involved in the film’s opening action sequence. The scene amounts to about five minutes of screen time, but Alfredo says the amount of planning and organization that went into filming the short sequence was truly mind boggling.
“Coming from Yo Soy El Artista, I was used to television, where anything you shoot has the potential to become useable content. There’s more room to improvise in television,whereas a movie has to be executed as it was written. We spent hours in rehearsals just to get a single shot.”
Which isn’t to say the long hours didn’t have perks. During filming, Alfredo was able to meet the film’s producers, as well as leading man Daniel Craig. He was also able to show his parents around set, an opportunity that carried extra meaning for Alfredo, considering their encouragement when he’d expressed a desire to work on the film months earlier.
“It’s been a dream of mine to work on one of these films my entire life,” he says. “I am really grateful to my family, and to the people who hired me even though I had limited experience.”
Spectre stars Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as M16 agent James Bond, with Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, and Monica Bellucci in supporting roles. The movie follows Bond on a mission to take down an infamous global crime organization, and has already grossed over $80 million since its release in the United Kingdom last week. The film opens worldwide today.