Chris Tasara is an an accomplished writer, director, and musician hailing from the West Coast. Fueled by his passion for filmmaking, Chris’s journey led him to the University of Miami, where he pursued and successfully earned his Master’s Degree in Film. With his academic prowess behind him, he wasted no time and headed to the heart of the entertainment industry, Los Angeles, to commence his career.
In his impressive portfolio, Chris is not only credited with writing, directing, and composing the score for a captivating boxing documentary, but he also weaves together the remarkable story of Fortitude and Glory. This film brilliantly illuminates the life and legacy of the esteemed boxing mentor Angelo Dundee, offering viewers a glimpse into his world. With insightful interviews featuring Angelo himself, two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman, and globally acclaimed trainer Freddie Roach, this documentary is a must-watch for boxing enthusiasts and fans of compelling storytelling alike.
Chris’s creative flair extended to Deadline, a supernatural crime thriller he both penned and helmed. Released on video on demand in 2013 and internationally in 2014, Deadline garnered an impressive fifteen awards from esteemed institutions like the California Film Awards, the Los Angeles Movie Awards, and the Lucerne International Film Festival.
Diversifying his talents, Chris’s musical compositions found a home on Nickelodeon’s hit show Victorious, further showcasing his multifaceted abilities.
Fueling his affinity for the fight game, Chris’s next endeavor, Warrior Spirit, delves into the world of boxing through a poignant father-daughter narrative. Echoing the spirit of classic boxing films, the screenplay shines a light on determination, perseverance, and unyielding grit. The industry took notice, bestowing accolades like Best Feature Script from the 2020 Vegas Movie Awards, an Honorable Mention from the 2019 Los Angeles Film Awards, and Best Feature Screenplay from the 2020 Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival.
Chris’s creative prowess also extended to the digital realm. His YouTube series Dopamine, which seamlessly merges entertainment, music, sports, and finance, debuted in October 2020. The series marked its inception with a bang, featuring none other than UFC star Dustin Poirier as its first guest. Additionally, Chris directed a captivating segment on Wolf Connection, a wolf sanctuary, adding to the series’ eclectic appeal.
Beyond his artistic achievements, Chris is equally recognized for his philanthropic endeavors. He has consistently extended his support to various animal rights organizations, including the Humane Society, Lady Freethinker, Stray Cat Alliance, Greater Good, PETA, Center For Biological Diversity, Cuddly, and Animal Recovery Mission. Notably, he also devoted three years to hands-on volunteer work at The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, showcasing his commitment to making a tangible difference.
Chris Tasara embodies a creative force with an unwavering dedication to his craft and a heart committed to making a positive impact on both the entertainment world and the realm of animal welfare.
Chris Tasara, your journey through the world of filmmaking, music, and creativity is truly inspiring. Can you tell us what initially ignited your passion for filmmaking?
My passion for filmmaking was ignited at a very young age. My favorites were late 70’s/ early 80’s action and horror and 1940’s film noir, and I was captivated by the way storytelling and visuals could transport you to different worlds and evoke powerful emotions. I knew even then that I wanted to be a part of creating that magic.
You pursued a Master’s Degree in Film from the University of Miami. How did your academic experience shape your career in the film industry?
Pursuing my Master’s Degree in Film at the University of Miami was a pivotal moment in my journey. It provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that I still rely on today. The academic environment allowed me to explore various aspects of filmmaking, from theory to practical techniques, and it also gave me the opportunity to collaborate with other aspiring filmmakers, which was invaluable in building my network.
One of the standout works in your portfolio is the documentary Fortitude and Glory. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this project and your role as a writer, director, and composer?
Fortitude and Glory was a labor of love for me. The inspiration came from my deep admiration for Angelo Dundee, a legendary figure in the world of boxing. I wanted to capture his wisdom and the essence of his relationship with fighters like George Foreman. Being involved as a writer, director, and composer allowed me to fully immerse myself in the project and tell a compelling story through both visuals and music.
Your musical talents also found a platform in Nickelodeon’s Victorious. How did this opportunity come about, and what was it like contributing your music to a popular TV series?
Contributing music to Victorious was a fantastic experience. It came about through connections I had made in the industry, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share my music with a broader audience. Music has always been a passion of mine, and being able to combine it with my work in film and television was a dream come true.
Your screenplay Warrior Spirit has received acclaim, winning awards like the Best Feature Script at the 2020 Vegas Movie Awards. What inspired you to create this story, and what message do you hope viewers take away from it?
Warrior Spirit was inspired by my love for the sport of boxing and the timeless themes of resilience and determination that it embodies. I wanted to tell a story that celebrated these qualities while also exploring the complex relationship between a father and daughter. The awards it received were a validation of the hard work and passion that went into the project, and I hope viewers take away a sense of inspiration and the belief that they can overcome any challenge with the right mindset.
Can you give us an overview of what your YouTube series Dopamine Nation is all about and what inspired you to create it?
Dopamine Nation is a YouTube series dedicated to exploring various aspects of modern culture and entertainment. We cover a wide range of topics, from pop culture to extreme sports to social media trends and entertainment news. The inspiration behind Dopamine Nation came from the principles of freedom and self-empowerment that I’ve always lived by.
It sounds like a fantastic platform to stay in the loop about modern culture. You mentioned that some of the girls featured on Dopamine Nation have significant social media followings. Could you tell us more about these influencers and their role on the website?
Absolutely CJ Sparxx, who appeared in our Gun Store segment, has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. These influencers play a vital role in our content, bringing their unique perspectives and insights to our audience. Their substantial followings also help us reach a broader and more engaged audience.
It’s clear that social media influencers are a driving force in today’s digital landscape. Can you elaborate on how Dopamine Nation collaborates with these influencers and what kind of content they contribute to the platform?
Collaboration with social media influencers is an essential part of Dopamine Nation. We work closely with influencers like CJ Sparxx to create engaging content that resonates with our audience. They contribute in various ways, from participating in interviews and photo shoots to sharing their thoughts and opinions on relevant topics. These collaborations not only add authenticity to our content but also provide a fresh and relatable perspective on modern culture.
That’s a smart approach to staying relevant and relatable in the digital age. What can visitors expect to find on Dopamine Nation, and how do you curate the content to cater to your target audience?
Dopamine Nation offers a diverse range of content designed to appeal to a broad audience interested in modern culture and entertainment. Visitors can expect to find articles, interviews, videos, and features on topics such as pop culture, entertainment, music, money, and extreme sports. We curate our content by staying attuned to the latest trends and collaborating with influencers and experts who have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the world today. Our goal is to provide our readers with fresh, engaging, and informative content that keeps them coming back for more.
It sounds like Dopamine Nation has something for everyone interested in contemporary culture. Finally, where can our audience find Dopamine Nation online, and how can they stay connected with the latest updates and content?
You can follow us on YouTube at youtube.com/dopaminenation and also check out our website dopamine-nation.com.
We’re constantly evolving and bringing fresh content to our audience, so there’s always something exciting happening on Dopamine.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite episodes or moments from it?
One of my favorite episodes has to be the one featuring UFC great Dustin Poirier. It was incredible to have a conversation with him and delve into the mindset of a professional athlete. Additionally, the segment on Wolf Connection was special because it shed light on an important cause close to my heart (animals).
Can you tell us more about “Deadline” and what inspired you to create this supernatural crime thriller?
Deadline is a supernatural crime thriller that draws heavily from my influences from the 1970s and early 1980s. We wanted to capture that retro feel, emphasizing the story over special effects. The inspiration for Deadline actually came from real-life events that took place at the house I was living in in Hollywood Hills.
That sounds intriguing! Could you share more about the events that served as the inspiration for Deadline? What happened when your contractors found those bones in your backyard?
Of course. It all began when my contractors were excavating the backyard and stumbled upon some bones. This discovery immediately led them to halt their work and contact the police. Forensics eventually determined that the bones were from animals, but the entire situation got my creative gears turning. I saw the potential for a gripping story of a past murder or cover-up, especially given the presence of a crawlspace under the house. From there, I crafted a complete narrative and wrote the script.
That’s quite a unique and unexpected inspiration for a film. Can you tell us more about the storyline of Deadline without giving away too many spoilers?
Deadline revolves around the discovery of bones in the backyard of a house in Hollywood Hills, much like the real-life incident that inspired it. The film follows a group of characters who become embroiled in the mystery surrounding these bones. As they delve deeper into the investigation, they uncover chilling secrets and encounter supernatural elements, blurring the line between the past and the present. It’s a suspenseful journey that explores themes of crime, cover-ups, and the unexplained.
The blending of crime, mystery, and supernatural elements sounds captivating. Can you share some of the challenges you faced while bringing this retro-inspired thriller to life, particularly in terms of keeping special effects to a minimum?
Keeping special effects to a minimum while maintaining a captivating and immersive atmosphere was indeed a challenge. We wanted to pay homage to the retro style of filmmaking, where storytelling took precedence over flashy visuals. This meant relying on practical effects and creative cinematography to create suspense and tension. Striking the right balance between a retro aesthetic and modern filmmaking techniques was a constant consideration throughout the production.
It’s fascinating to hear how you navigated those challenges. Lastly, what do you hope audiences will take away from Deadline, and what message or feeling are you aiming to evoke with this film?
I hope to deliver an engaging and suspenseful experience that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Beyond the entertainment aspect, I want viewers to contemplate the idea that mysteries from the past can have a profound impact on the present. The film explores the concept of hidden secrets and the consequences of unearthing them, all while keeping audiences engaged in a thrilling supernatural crime thriller. Ultimately, I hope Deadline leaves a lasting impression and sparks discussions about the unknown mysteries that may lurk beneath the surface of our lives.
Your commitment to animal rights is commendable. Can you share more about your involvement with various organizations and your volunteer work at The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas?
I believe in using my platform and resources to make a positive impact on the world, especially when it comes to animal rights. Supporting organizations like the Humane Society, PETA, and others aligns with my values, and I’m proud to be able to contribute to their causes. My volunteer work at The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas was a deeply rewarding experience. It allowed me to connect with animals in need and contribute to their well being, which is something I hold very close to my heart.
As you continue your artistic journey, what can we expect to see from Chris Tasara in the future? Any upcoming projects or aspirations you’d like to share with us?
I’m always striving to push the boundaries of creativity and storytelling. While I can’t reveal specific projects just yet, you can expect more exciting content in various forms, from film to music to digital media. My passion for storytelling and my commitment to making a positive impact on the world will continue to drive my work.