Crystal Correa: Filmmaking in LA
Crystal the Webseries
By Anabel Marquez
Photography by Rachel Carrillo
Crystal Correa moved to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue an acting career but instead of waiting for a return call from a casting director, she created her own film company, wrote and directed a self-titled webseries and starred in her own production.
Crystal the webseries is a 15-minute, 6-episode production categorized in both comedy and drama genres. It’s based on a younger Correa’s perspectives on trending topics as well as life with a roommate in Los Angeles.
“I wanted Crystal to stay fun and happy. She’s everyone’s friend,” explains Correa.
She filmed and completed her project within two months, while pregnant.
“It’s so incredible when I think, ‘I became a mom in L.A.,’” she says. “L.A. matured me.”
As her pregnancy advanced, Correa knew timing was of the essence. Plus, she was counting on friends and industry acquaintances to help, despite her limited budget. That meant she had to set some parameters before filming began.
“I’m the type of director that will do three takes. After the third take, if we haven’t gotten it, we probably won’t,” she told her crew.
They shot the entire webseries in five days, most of which was done in Echo Park.
“Echo Park is the one place that really opened itself up to me. It’s the one place that really accepted me,” says Correa.
Once she wrapped up post-production, her pregnancy was reaching the second trimester and Correa knew she needed to slow down. At that point, she directed her energy toward the marketing of her webseries.
“If I wasn’t pregnant, I would have kept going,” she says.
With her 6-episode production completed and submitted to numerous film festivals, Correa took some time off.
She gave birth to her son Rey, who is now 18 months old, and adapted to life as a new mom which came with a bout of postpartum depression.
As she battled negative thoughts and feelings and sought professional help to get better, it was announced that Crystal the webseries, had been officially selected for the popular Holly Shorts Film Festival.
Correa’s hard work was getting Hollywood recognition.
“When I got into the Holly Shorts, I knew I had to keep going,” she says with a cheerful laugh.
Crystal the webseries also made it to the first annual Mammoth Film Festival.
Correa was born in Seoul, South Korea to Puerto Rican parents. The family was living in Asia because her dad was stationed there on behalf of the U.S. Military. She spent her childhood relocating to different cities until finally settling in Virginia where she was working as a hair and makeup artist.
As a member of the beauty industry she was often hired for gigs. One of those was an assignment that proved to be a defining moment for her.
Correa was hired to work on the set of a film production as a hair stylist for the cast. She says the experience of being surrounded by actors, cameras and “chaos” led to her decision to move to Los Angeles.
“That job triggered me to save money, do the research and move,” says Correa. “I packed my life in a car, road tripped with one of my friends and [once we arrived] crashed at another friend’s couch for about a month.”
Along the way, she met her boyfriend Carlos, with whom she’s raising their son Rey. He supports her and watches their toddler while she focuses on Season two of Crystal the webseries.
As for what’s next on her agenda?
“With Rey, I want to do more family friendly projects.”
Connect with Crystal Correa!
Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Crystal Correa at her workspace in Downtown LA. We watched her edit, sketch and share her creative ideas while telling her story. Crystal moved to LA to work in the film industry but instead of waiting for someone to hire her, she created her own production company and hired herself. Every Mom Has a Story.