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Sam Medina – Diversity & OJT* Profile Film Director

*OJT: on-the-job-training

You probably have seen Sam in some Blockbusters like Venom or Alita Battle Angel. He has been acting for more than 15 years, making the mission impossible for Mark Wahlberg in Mile 22. Ambassador of diversity, Sam is the next generation of OJT film director.

Sam was born in Ho Chi Minh City from a Vietnamese mother and a Honduran/Polynesian father. For a long time, Sam has been in the music industry, producing Rap & RnB music. But after hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, fate and fortune show him another path.

His charisma and ambiguous look led him into the film industry. The face of the bad guy, started to realize it was probably his future. A trained martial artist, in an excellent fitness shape, Sam has integrated the world of stunts along with acting.

The stunt is a whole different world with its own rules. They are The people in the shadow, putting in danger their physical body to make the Star or the actor look good. It is a sport! Like any sport its lifetime is shorter.

Sam could fight, but he’s all the time being conscious of his ambiguous look and that he will be categorized as “The Asian fighter”. This was not his objectives & vision for his career.

Sam wants to do films for the beauty of it. The Art of Acting, the film cinematic, the beauty of visuals, the story, the venture; eventually, holding The Trophy.

“I knew I could be a fighter. But first, there are so many like me. Second, I do not want to be the Asian that fights, I do have way more to bring to the audience. Last, I have been working on my craft, while on set all these years, with amazing and legendary film directors”.

Not only Sam’s library is impressive, numerous books about film directing, screenplay writing, studying methods and directors’ work; but he had the chance, all these years, to put his future skills in practice on set.

There are fantastic film schools around the world, but everyone knows that OJT (on-the-job-training) is the best school of life. We all realize that we do learn important information at school but when we put them in action at work, it is a complete different process.

The human resource factor, the finance factor, the technical factor, the unexpected factor, the negotiation, the flexibility…. Well, you got it!

“Every time I was on set, instead of going back to my trailer, I was studying. Connecting with amazing crew, in every single department. During more than 15 years, I have learned with those individuals that I am so grateful for! I've watched legendary Directors like Oliver Stone, Robert Rodriguez, Antoine Fuqua, Martin Campbell, Edward Zwick, Peter Berg, directing me, advising me. I put in practice this knowledge, in addition with all researches and hours of learning in manuals and books. Like a puzzle, I took the best pieces and I created my own style”.

Sam started to direct & write slowly, maybe 5 years ago. It can be challenging, in the film industry, to get the job. But Sam has no problem to prove and show what he can accomplish, working on his own venture.

“I was never sure I can write a screenplay; I could direct but writing was a pending step”.

The click happened when Sam’s wife shared a video of Dan Peña, High Performance Executive Business Success Coach and founder of QLA, where he says “Stop reading the F***** manual and just do it!”. That was it, Sam felt it was the time to seat and F***** DO IT.

It has been here for a long time, as a gift, but the actor/film director was not feeling confident enough until that day. Results will follow: 3 feature scripts and 1 TV series; Sam had the words flow on the screen like it was natural; soon catching attention of top literary agencies.

In 2018/2019, Sam was contracted to direct a TV series. Shortly there after, Sam joined all Star cast for Lisa Joy Romance/Thriller title Reminiscence along side with Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson.

Sam is now early stage of pre-production of an Action/Thriller feature “Exile” that he penned.

Ambassador of diversity, Sam is empowering female leads. Innovative and resourceful, Sam will show and achieve the unexpected in a motion picture.

Author: Jack S.


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