Raul Carrera has an extensive education and background in the film industry. He owns and manages his own company, Back In The Saddle Productions. In addition to directing and producing, Raul also enjoys “crewing” on films, whether it be set construction, greens foreman and more. Raul was kind enough to share his experiences and the memories he has of working on The Radicals.
MY RADICAL EXPERIENCE
In late 1987, my high school friend and fellow filmmaker, Robert Nowotny brought an ambitious film project to my partner Harry Thompson and me in Dallas, Texas. It was to be a historical documentary with the probability of some reenactments. What began as a conversation about Harry and me helping to make this documentary film authentic in the way of set and costume design, soon evolved into us making a full-length feature film about the central character, Michael Sattler and his wife Margaretha. Harry would be the production designer, my brother Jesus (Chuy) would assist him and be the construction coordinator. I would help put the crew together and be directing.It was such a natural progression of events that it took me several weeks before it dawned on me how many of my dreams were coming true all in one big blow. I had been acting, producing and directing for years by then but this was going to be my first feature film to direct! We would be filming in Europe! And of course, all of our locations were amazing! Not only were they beautiful, many were historically accurate. We were filming some of our story’s scenes in places where they actually happened!But most important to me, I would be working with some “top” level professional actors who had made a name for themselves in theater, film, and television. It was a thrill from the very beginning. Barbara Remsen, my casting director in L.A. brought in some great talent that resulted in our casting of Norbert Weisser as the title character, although, it almost didn’t work out that way.Norbert had just come off a film titled “MURDER” I believe. In which he was playing a dark, very cold, very bad killer. Even his hair was dark and slicked back. He had understood we were thinking of him for the bad guy in this film as well. So he was very intense! Barbara intervened on his behalf and told him to go home and come back the next day after he looked at the role of Michael Sattler, a saintly character of deep conviction and intensity of purpose. As soon as I saw Norbert returned the next day, his hair back to its wavy blondness, his smile deep and sincerely friendly, I knew we had our man. It takes a very brave actor to play true evil realistically. We needed such a brave actor to play our “Saintly” Michael Sattler as a real man living in a hard real world and willing to die for his beliefs. Obviously, Norbert lived up to our expectations.In fact, all of our great talent; Mark Lenard, Christopher Neame, Daniel Perrett, Leigh Lombardi, and all our supporting cast lived up to our high expectations as well. All the characters they were playing, all our cast, were real or representative of historical figures who had lived through a period when the simple voicing of your true religious beliefs could mean death to you, your family, and even your friends. Their performances were at once strong and vulnerable. It was sincerely an honor to work with all of them.The making of a film under the circumstances of a modest budget is always a bit scary. Plus in this one, many on the crew were volunteers, NOT of a film making background. It was an amazing challenge to be sure. The experience was both, great fun and very challenging for me and my family. My wife Nancy played the role of Wilhelm Reublin’s wife. My daughter Chloe was their daughter Mary. And my daughter Ashley (who by the way, just graduated from Williams College) was the baby being baptized several times during the filming. It was great for me to have my family with me on location. But as I said, it was very challenging. We could not have done it if not for the help of my mother-in-law Shirley Meyer, who came out to help with the children and lovingly support both, Nancy and me. Yet, there is no doubt that the resulting success of my experience in the making of THE RADICALS has served me throughout all these years. I still produce and direct independent films. Most recently I am in post production on a project in which I had an opportunity to work with Norbert again, MODOS: THE PROPHESY ARMAGEDDON. And more than saintly, he is actually an angel in this film. I have also developed a very successful career in crewing on larger feature films. I work mostly in the art department (set design, build, and decoration). I’ve been blessed to work on some great projects such as TIN CUP, THE ALAMO, THE REAPING, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, GLORY ROAD, and TREE OF LIFE.Every time I think or talk about THE RADICALS, I give a deeply felt “Thank You!” to Robert Nowotny and Michael Hostetler for bringing the project to my attention in the first place. And to all the members of the SISTERS AND BROTHERS organization for letting be a part of it. And especially, again to my actors and all my crew who never let me down. May all your lives be as blessed as mine has been.Lovingly,Raul
Raul Carrera: Back In The Saddle Productions
Here is a little more on Raul Carrera and his company. The images are thumbnails that will open the full-sized documents when you click on them.My deepest thanks to Raul Carrera for taking time out of his busy schedule to contribute these documents for the website, and especially for taking the time to write about his experiences while directing this special film. Here’s wishing you continued success, Raul!
Raul CarreraCrewing Resume
Raul Carrera Bio andProduction/Directing Resume
Raul Carrera, Norbert Weisser and an extra in the role of a guard, share a fun moment on the set of The Radicals.
Raul Carrera, Mark Lenard and Robert Nowotny setting up for the dungeon scene in the movie.
Norbert Weisser and Mark Lenard with Director Raul Carrera at the premiere of The Radicals.
Norbert Weisser and Director Raul Carrera on the set of The Radicals.