“Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a new independent filmmaker. Luis …”
Pimber who is now medically retired, due to having suffered traumatic injuries, unfortunately at the hands of Law Enforcement. He is very passionate about his new vocation. Luis is well spoken and intelligent. He considers himself a Bad Guy who chose to be a Good Guy.
TK-How was it doing some many jobs on one project.
-I had talented people around me. The director of photography (DP) , was Ben Braten
. His creative eye shot and edited the film, he is a very talented DP out of Utah. I also assisted director Bryant Scott
with the direction of the Actors and subtext of the drama
. He would ask me ‘what would you do here.’ (Luis’ insight into the life of an undercover cop was priceless in the making of this film and is forever greatful for having such talent on set.)
TK-How important was casting your film?
Casting was super important, I really wanted to cast people who were no only actors but that came across as authentic, much like in my real life experiences! Andrew McLaren
who plays Jimmie, a racist, drug abusing, bad guy is realy nothing like that, yet very convincing. This is completely opposite from his actual character. Andrew was also in a Discovery Channel show entitled ‘Weaponizers’. He was referred to me by a friend. I went to LA to meet with him, and
liked his personality. Elliot Ruiz
a Puerto Rican Actor originally from Philiadelphia now residing in Los Angeles plays Marco, the undercover cop (based on Pimber)
, was referred to me by Andrew, who is great with networking. Antonio ‘Boodah’ Guzman
, who plays Boodah, shows his real personality. He is from the streets, and the music you hear midway through the film is his along with his vocals. Amazingly, this was his first film
project. The other actors my Wife, Cindy Pimber, Associate Producer
Michael Ortiz and Jon Proudstar
, were amazing and great to work with. Marc Anthony Pimber
, who is my son is in this film. In real life, he is a natural, very comfortable in front of the camera look for him in film currently in post production.
TK-How did you get into filmmaking?
Luis-I started out doing some police and weapons technical advising for a filmmaker named Ben Lopez of Viento Fuego Productions. He later asked me to read. I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but I went and read and developed a passion for acting and film.
TK-Did acting help you while undercover?
Luis-While working undercover you have to be an actor, a real Actor. You have to make the bad guys believe you are who you say you are. You are reacting on instinct and past experience. Improvisation is very important.
TK-Your career ended due to injuries inflicked on you by a fellow officer in the course of your duties and during an undercover operation. How do you handle losing you career at the hands of ‘the good guys?
Luis- I’m over it now and it’s taken me a long time to say that.
Acting has been
far more helpful than any therapy. I lost my career in such a way that I needed to go back to that time in a safe way and then leave it behind. Acting, especially in ‘Duress’ and other films such as King’s Man
, allowed me to do this. While working as an undercover cop I investigated from street,
mid to upper level drug dealers. No matter how much you try not to,
you take that home with you at the end of the day. When ‘acting’ the part of a bad guy, you leave it on the set when you go home.
TK-Are you ever afraid of the drug dealers you busted will come after you.
Luis-I could choose to live my life in hiding, or I could choose to live. I choose to live. There were suspects I really liked and who liked me. They understood the game….ok, you got me this time. I never made someone appear more guilty than they allegedly were…other cops do. Some of these guys were people who felt they had no other choice, that’s all they knew how to do. I was fortunate growing up that i eventually was pointed in the right direction.
TK-A lot of cops work undercover, however they aren’t really undercover as you were.
Luis-‘Duress’ showcases the ethical and talented Undercover Agents that are out there. A lot of cops who say they work undercover don’t really. They are excellent surveillance officers, etc. The don’t have belly to belly contact with bad guys. They don’t sit down and break bread in the home of a drug dealer. I have been in situations where I was inside of a home with a gun pointed in my direction and told that I would not be going home that night. Your life really does pass before your eyes. I saw a photo of myself at my son’s age and an image of him, side by side. In situations where there will be one dead guy and one live guy, I didn’t want to be the dead guy. It takes a certain talent to negotiate a drug deal. ‘Duress’ is very real.
Luis also wants to thank his family, for helping him through the hard times on the job. He didn’t want to bring the job home, it becomes who you are. It stays with you and takes a while to come off. Some cops forget they are just playing a part. You must know what your own limits are and never lose site of your integrity. Luis is also thankful for the people who watch and like his film. He is also open to feedback.
Luis did mention he is a big fan of the show ’Breaking Bad’ and would love an opportunity to be considered for such an award winning cable television series. So…Sony Pictures Television, grab him now while you can still afford him. Luis is going places.
Luis will also be featured in the upcoming film ‘Mattie’.
Duress is now exclusively on ‘Openfilm‘.
DURESS 2010 from Luis Pimber on Vimeo.