We Have a Winner: American Bred

Film & TV / June 23, 2016


Los Angeles Center Studios announced American Bred as the winner of its 2nd Annual Filmmaker Competition earlier this month and held a special red carpet screening at the LACS Beaudry Theatre for the film’s writer and director, Justin Chambers.


American Bred gives the audience a look into organized crime in Detroit through the experiences of the Adamo family. When they lose a suspected informant, lies, manipulation and deception are revealed. American Bred is a movie with a strong storyline and fantastic production quality. Truly a well deserved winner! We talked with Justin about who he is as a filmmaker, his movie, American Bred, and the special screening.


Justin Chambers

What is your film background?

My film background actually spans really far back as I’ve been making films ever since I was 9. The moment I realized Jurassic Park wasn’t a home movie it was actually a work of fiction and people actually did this for a living, I immediately knew I could do nothing else. I had to be a filmmaker.

Have you worked on any other movies before?

I’ve worked on several different films, but American Bred is my second feature length motion picture, from a professional standpoint. Not including short or longer form narrative pieces.

How long did it take you to create this film from start to finish? Budget?

American Bred from script to screen took a year and a half. We shot over 18 days in both LA and Detroit followed by an 8 month post production. I love deadlines, so before I even begin a project I set the completion date. I feel like if you set a goal, that in your mind is attainable, it will force you every day to set expectations of what is required of yourself to meet that goal. In turn achieving your goal, whilst utilizing your time wisely. Because regardless whether you have money or not, you are still spending your time and you control how much your time is worth. With American Bred it was an amazing experience getting the chance to film a movie in Detroit where the buildings and people gave the movie so much production value. I don’t want to go on the record saying what the budget of the film was but I can tell you if we had a quarter of the budget some of these Sundance films have these days I honestly feel in my heart, American Bred would be in theaters everywhere.

What was your motivation or purpose behind creating this film?

I have always been a filmmaker that loves to explore the human condition; the events in our lives that make us who we are. That idea is seared into this film.

American Bred Screening

The screening for “American Bred” was an exciting success, with catered hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, interviews, and a full showing of the film in the 400-seat Beaudry Theater.

This is a deep subject, what made you interested in writing a movie about this kind of organized crime in Detroit?

I thought it would be intriguing to tell a Mafia story from a different perspective. This film does that. It’s actually loosely based on how the Mafia was in Detroit but the circumstances are completely fictional.

What was the casting process like and what made you decide each actor was right for the part?

The casting process is my favorite part! I loved it! My favorite part of the filmmaking process is finding a person who encompasses the fictional character in your head thus bringing them to life. I decided the actors based on whose personality and performance best suited the role. Actually a lot of the actors came in for different roles than what they ended up with.

What thoughts were going through your mind when you found out that you won the 2nd Annual Filmmaker Competition?

Honestly I was in shock! LACS is one of the biggest names in Hollywood. So officially getting their stamp of approval as the reigning champ literally made me feel like in a business full of smoke, mirrors and false promises I could finally rest my head on something real, a real opportunity to outshine the competition. Backed by a major brand.

How did it feel to know that your film beat out 8 other applicants?

I’m truly blessed, no words can describe how honored I feel.

What was it like to arrive at the Beaudry Theater?

When I arrived at the Beaudry Theater I felt like a major Hollywood Filmmaker. Much like I aspire to be. It was an experience very few get to experience.

What were your thoughts as the audience watched the film?

Well I was thinking like how amazing to be sitting on a back lot watching my film. I remember when I was an intern, I would see these back lot screenings and I would just dream about one day that being me, and look dreams do come true.

What message do you hope the audience gained from your film?

That no matter what happens in life you cannot escape the person you were always meant to be.

Was the night of the screening what you expected?

The night of the screening was far more than I expected. I wish I would have had more time to market the event to my fans because LACS literally rolled out the red carpet for me and it was something magical! I didn’t want it to end. I hated leaving because it was such a dream come true. I wanted more.

Any closing thoughts about this experience?

I think this is an amazing experience and it’s a great way to champion young filmmakers like myself. So please continue to do it! LACS has a major name and it’s great that they are doing something good with it.

What’s next for you as a filmmaker?

To release my film American Bred to the masses and start pre-production on my next film. I also feel like it’s time to get a Manager and Agent, so that too is on my radar.

What is one piece of advice that you would give other filmmakers that are trying to create a film?

Filmmakers should continue to create, keep making movies. Don’t waste your life on one idea. When there are multiple stories and perspectives in every moment waiting to be told. If you don’t create, you won’t learn or grow as an artist. In an industry that has so many voices, the only way to be heard is to make yours the loudest, the most unique, the most daring. What are you waiting for? Grab a camera and shoot, that’s what makes you a filmmaker.

Last year’s winner, Jillian Corsie, set the bar high with her documentary film “Trichster,” which has since gone on to critical acclaim and is now available on iTunes. With his incredible storytelling and filmmaking Justin continues to push those standards even higher. To learn more about American Bred, visit their website at americanbredmovie.com.

Each year has brought exceptional talent and LACS looks forward to seeing what next year brings. So filmmakers, ready…set…shoot!

American Bred Team

LACS life
LACS life
Contributing writers from the Los Angeles Center Studios come from all facets of the film and television industry bringing fresh insight and innovation. From screenwriters, to crew, to makeup artists and location scouts, we’ve got contributors from every corner of creativity.

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