Paxeros is proud to introduce a new member of the family! Please meet Kare Bortolus, Paxeros' new Production Coordinator. Who’s Kare? Let’s find out!
PAXEROS: Hi Kare! To start off, why don’t you tell us a bit about your background and what you did before Paxeros? How did you find yourself in LA?
KARE: I was born in North Jersey and grew up next to Princeton, NJ. But my favorite childhood home was in a town called Ortley Beach-- a tiny beach town on a barrier island. My grandmother lives there in a house that my grandfather built to share with our family, and I spent my childhood summers there until I moved away.
Before Paxeros, I was kind of bouncing around different freelance producer jobs. I've done so many different kinds of projects from documentaries to music videos, to short films, which were all really fun. And before that I was in graduate school getting my MFA in Film and Television Production at Loyola Marymount University, which I finished in May of 2020.
Before LMU, I finished my undergrad degrees in Communication and Film Studies with a minor in Spanish at Eckerd College, and then I moved to New York where I worked for a post house even though I always wanted to end up in LA. I’ve always liked the idea of moving out to California and working on movies and then after college when I was working in NY I had a moment where I thought, “You know, maybe I can do this.”
P: And here you are! Speaking of making your dreams a reality; is Production Coordinator your dream role, or is there something else you’re working towards? How do you hope to grow?
K: I really love producing, not just in the fun, creative sense, but also the logistical sense.
I love that being a producer means that you make everything fit like puzzle pieces and that you have a box that you have to make everything fit in and you have to figure out how to make a production happen. You get to create something out of nothing. And that's really, really cool to me. But definitely as I grow and continue to work with Paxeros and with my own personal goals, I'd love to grow into being a producer and get better at that.
P: That’s so exciting! And as a producer, what kind of stories do you want to tell?
K: I definitely have an aesthetic. I love magical realism and I'm working on a feature script that incorporates that style and is set in the early 2000s, which I think is really fun and at this point -- it's almost like a period piece! I love that magical realism straddles reality but lets you have so much fun as a creative to play with allegory and metaphor within that space.
But I'm also passionate about helping tell the stories of those who have been silenced or have had difficulty making their voices heard. I feel so grateful to have gone to grad school and have had the privilege of making and telling my stories. So ultimately, I'd love to extend my privilege to help amplify the voices that need to be heard. That's really important to me.
P: That's incredible! That was one of the things that drew us to you during the hiring process. We feel like your goals aligned with the ethos of Paxeros. Speaking of hiring... how did you find out about Paxeros?
K: Well I found this position through an LMU Alumni Group. And I’ve always felt that LMU people are good people, they turn out to be pretty kind- hearted folks. So I saw the Production Coordinator position listed and I thought, “Hey, I’m a giant spreadsheet nerd! I could do this!” and so I shot Sarah an email.
When Chelsea and Sean had posted the position, they called it an ethos--driven production company. And while I had an idea of what they meant by that; upon doing more research and getting to talk with them I was so happy to know I had been right: that they are the kind of production company that cares about what they are making.
Especially in the commercial sphere, it can be very soul-sucking when you don't believe in the things that you're trying to create content for. And I think that you guys are very intentional with your work and your business practices. You guys are aware of the impact of your creative branded work and on the non-commercial side of things, you guys aim to tell stories that educate, bring joy, or make the world a better place.
As somebody who really wants to amplify voices and tell stories that impact the world for good, this level of care is what was a huge draw to me about this position and about this company.
P: Well that's all very kind of you to say. For those of you reading this - we promise we didn't pay her to say that! The feeling is mutual Kare. We’re so excited to have you help us make meaningful content! In regards to creating impactful content within the industry- is there a defining moment you had in deciding that this creative world was meant for you? Or was your journey here a series of stumbling?
K: I think a lot of it was stumbling. But weirdly enough, I felt like my defining moment was kind of after I was already in it. My first year of grad school was a lot of stumbling and I knew that I wanted to become a filmmaker in a really general sort of way. Then I went to grad school and realized “Oh my god, this is so much more specific than that.” I was doing a lot of first AD and producer work, and I thought “This is my niche,” but then I kind of had a rough first year and a rough summer after my first year of grad school.
A lot of the things that happened at that time were just… not that awesome. I was super stressed out and I almost left school but I just finished writing this script and I wanted to make it, so I figured I would push through production and then drop out once the film was complete.
But then, I ended up loving the experience. We shot with a 1969 Mustang that was really hard to drive. And it was just a really wacky sort of space movie that isn't quite set in space.
I think it's the most fun I've ever had on set. I slept for maybe five hours over five days. We were shooting in the desert; it was hot and it got really cold at night and it was windy. And when I did sleep, I was sleeping on the floor. I was physically miserable, but it was the most fun I've ever had.
I was just so happy and that led me to reassess, "This is worth it. I do love this. I'll stay.”
P: We're SO glad to hear you stuck it out and rediscovered your passion and we hope to share many more inspiring and fulfilling on-set experiences with you!
K: Oh, that’s what makes it all worth it - knowing I’ll get to return to that creative space eventually.
P: What type of content would you say has inspired you most? What movies have impacted you? We know you love magical realism.
K: For movies, I would have to say other than classic magical realism films such as Big Fish and Practical Magic - my other favorite types of movies are seventies and eighties films and SciFi films. Specifically seventies and eighties action movies, like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Alien… and even the cheesier ones, like Terminator or Total Recall.
P: And how about television?
K: For TV my guilty pleasures are telenovelas… really trashy Spanish novelas. One recent novela I’ve been really into on Netflix is High Seas. It’s set on a cruise liner in the 1940s. It’s production design alone is incredible.
As far as comedy goes, I love feel good TV comedies like The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine--Nine… those sorts of shows, because I feel that those are my happy shows.
P: Ohhh those are fun! Speaking of which, let's jump into fun facts... are you a dog or cat person?
K: Umm bunny? Kind of both, but I have a pet rabbit! Though I definitely like the idea of having a dog more than a cat.
P: Do you have any siblings?
K: I have a brother and he and I are twins! And actually, the way my father introduced Star Wars to us… He was like, “Oh! Here is a movie about a boy and a girl who are twins!” And then you realize now as an adult that that was erm, actually a spoiler.
Pa: That's hilarious. Such a dad move. What’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?
K: When I was in college, I went on a service trip to Cat Island. And I hesitate to call it a service trip because it didn't feel like service at all... but we did environmental cleanup because the island doesn't really have the infrastructure to handle their waste. It was really fascinating; the people there are incredible. They cooked for us and took us land crabbing. It's such a beautiful, beautiful island.
P: Land crabbing?! That sounds cool! Would you say that environmentalism is an important area of advocacy for you? What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
K: Yes, actually! Taking care of the ocean is something that is extremely important to me. And I adopted a low--waste lifestyle from my mom, in regards to being smart about recycling and consciously cutting down on unnecessary things.
And in regards to my hobbies, I’m really, really into hiking and I would definitely say that ties into my love for the environment! I just love being out in nature - heading out to the desert, up to the mountains, sitting out by the beach, planning different National Park trips.
I’m also really into cooking. My family is very Italian and my mom's side of the family is well known in the North Jersey Italian-American community for how good they are at cooking. All of the Italians in North Jersey know each other. And then I also do what I call stress baking. With baking you can relax - you have to follow the recipe and just focus or it’s not gonna come out right! It’s why they say: baking is a science, cooking is an art.
P: Ooo - well if you ever want to share the fruits of your baking labor, we're happy to be your taste testers...
K: Haha! I do make really good double chocolate chip cookies that have made a total stranger hug me they’re so good.
P: That sounds AMAZING. Well, we’re so thrilled to have you on our team and we can’t wait to create impactful content with you. Thanks for sharing more about yourself with our Paxeros community!
K: I'm so stoked to be on board and I can't wait to help make some movie magic happen!