When I think of movies, film, and following passions, the first name that comes to mind is Raf Valentino. I most like to refer to him as Director Valentino. Following your passion is all about investing in yourself. It’s all about becoming a master at your passion; enhancing it day by day, studying it. When I first met Raf, I was impressed with his dedication to perfecting his passion. Not only was he able to educate me on what his passion was and make me want to know more about it, but he pushed me (unknowingly) to perfect mine. Check out this week’s PASSION LIVING: IN LIVING COLOR interview with RAF VALENTINO and find out more about his passion and how he is living it out loud.

What is your passion? 

My passion is filmmaking. Ever since I was a kid, movies captured my attention and took me to new journeys and adventures. They were my “escape” and now I’m lucky enough to be able to film my own movies and create the ultimate form of art for me as well as sharing my visions with the world.

What are some of your past or current projects that display your passion?

To me, my only project is whatever film I am working on at the time. I devote complete attention to it. Right now, it’s a dramatic short film called “Last Call”. It’s based on one of many short stories written by the author Christin Webb. It’s about a young 20 something single mother who has come to a crossroads in life, choosing between the controversial career path that pays her bills and takes care of her family, and a more stable and respected lifestyle.

Because of the filmmaking process of “Last Call”, I’ve met some great new friends and very talented individuals whom I hope to help push even more in their career paths. To me, that is part of the filmmaking process, and it is very exciting to meet talented, hard-working people who share your same interests and passions about life.

Have you always been in tune with your passion?

To a point. I’ve always been an avid movie fan, but I wanted to follow a career in the computer industry and grow as a human being first and foremost before I started making movies.

Can you recall when you first realized it was your passion?

It was very early on when I was a child. I remember movies I watched at a young age that moved me and I knew right then that I wanted to be in the film industry.

Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion?

It was a combination of great films and great filmmakers – filmmakers such as Kubrick, Scorsese, Kurosawa, Lean, Wilder, etc… There are too many to name. I was moved, transfixed and inspired. And I love all genres of film. A great movie is a great movie, whether it be a drama, comedy, thriller, mystery, film noir, action or foreign movie. I love it all.
What have been some of your greatest challenges, if any, in following your passion? How did you overcome those challenges?

The only limitations are ones in your mind. Anyone can achieve anything they want and put their mind to it. So I don’t validate any challenge that says it’s too strong enough to not follow your passions.

Have you been able to expand your passion into other things?

My every day job. Others at work have recognized my talents and vision and have been open to let me explore them for the company I work for at my career job, and not just for my external filmmaking.

What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years?

One of my greatest thrills would be to have discovered actors or pushed the career of people I’ve worked with on my films because I saw something in them even though they didn’t  and to have them be very successful and happy in ten years. So for someone I discovered or furthered their careers into a new level who ends up as an Oscar winner, per say, would probably be my proudest moment.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to follow Raf and watch him live his passion out loud!