By Patrick Ibarra
Associate Producer of Cement Suitcase
This isn’t the first time I’ve realized my dreams have changed. At one point I saw myself delivering an amazing closing argument to a jury, one that would sway it my way and ultimately set an innocent man who was wrongly accused free.
That ended abruptly after I knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer during my freshman year of college, and my dream changed to one of me sitting behind the desk on SportsCenter, or writing cover stories for Sports Illustrated (a dream that still lingers).
Then I met an amazing woman, we started a family and my dreams changed again to visions of me coaching youth basketball and driving an SUV.
I totaled my SUV, by the way, and here I am, 30 years old, realizing I have an even newer dream floating around, one Cement Suitcase has a good shot of making come true.
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The ever-evolving dreamscape I’ve experienced hasn’t made much sense to me, personally. You work your whole life towards something only to watch it rapidly altered by a new love or passion. But the fact that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense is almost perfect to describe the emotions I’ve been going through in the initial process of making this movie.
I never wanted to be a movie producer. I didn’t have dreams of one day being on set, ushering actors and actresses to where they needed to go, hoping everything comes together before we lose sunlight for the day. Yet here I am, embarking on an adventure I didn’t see coming, and I don’t think I could be more excited about it.
Let me take you back, back to kindergarten where I first met Rick Castaneda, Cement Suitcase’s writer/director. He had a vision as far back as then, and I never understood it. Growing up together all the way through high school, he had his sights set high; he was going to take over the world one way or another. Again, I didn’t understand. I just wanted to play basketball.
Now he’s poured his heart and soul, and his savings, into Cement Suitcase, and for the first time in the 25 years I’ve known him, I understand. I understand completely.
I can see into the heart of Rick’s dream now, and somehow, in a way, it’s become mine, too. Sure, we lead different paths in our lives; we’ve gone to different colleges and gotten different degrees, worked in different fields and pursued different professional and personal goals. Yet here we are, together again, this time sharing a vision and working night and day to make a shared dream come true.
Part of me thinks Rick planted a seed in kindergarten all those years ago. Somehow he knew we’d end up here one day and it was his way of recruiting me to help him make his dream come true. I feel blessed to be a part of it. And now, more than ever, a purpose for me seems forthcoming.
As an associate producer, I’ve had my hand in several different things in pre-production of the film, from public relations to helping cast actors for the film. I’ll stir the pot even more going forward with several more duties, doing whatever is needed to ensure the success of this movie. I’ll write updates on this website, help coordinate actors and locations, and even hold a prop on set if necessary. I’ll do it all because I believe. I believe in Rick, and after reading the amazing script, I believe in Cement Suitcase.
It’s because I believe that I can dream. And I gotta tell ya, it feels pretty good to dream again.