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In the movie The Killing Strain, Juan “Rick” Carrillo plays a soldier who escapes a helicopter crash to lead a group of flu-epidemic survivors to safety.
On screen, he was a nothing-can-stop-him hero.
Off screen, Carrillo struggled fighting the elements—mountain cedar had him blowing his nose, taking antihistamines and using his inhaler between takes.
“I wasn’t feeling 100%, but the scenes captured during filming were very effective in telling the story of this gutsy soldier,” Carrillo said. “This always reminds me the great power a camera has on creating a world for audiences to absorb and be part of.”
Today, Carrillo uses his acting and film-making experience as a Video Production Manager for Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, a national program that uses communication to empower America to start and support healthy changes in Latino schools and communities.
Check out all Rick’s videos on our YouTube channel.
A love of movies
Carrillo has always loved movies and enjoyed acting (though his mom used to say he was better at acting up than acting).
After high school, he tried majoring in theatre.
But he ended up with a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Medicine and a master’s in Health Care Management.
That seems like a 360-degree shift from acting. But having a steady hospital job as a technologist and interventional radiology operations manager allowed him to participate in bilingual TV commercials, public service announcements, voiceovers, and print ads.
Carrillo eventually ingrained himself in the San Antonio film community and became fascinated with the production process of filmmaking.
He started developing narrative films promoting health and wellness as a contractor for the video department at the UT Health San Antonio. His videos focused on diabetes education, geriatric fall prevention, sex education and more.
One video used a continuous-shot format to follow a nursing student through a simulation lab.
He scripted all the action choreography.
“I was able to incorporate unique learning objectives through different mediums and concepts for different video productions,” Carrillo said.
Featuring healthy changes for children on film
For Salud America!, Carrillo handles all video production tasks—concept, scripting, pre- and post-production, and more—on promotional videos, social videos, and videos about real people driving healthy changes in communities.
Carrillo said he likes showing how parents, health care providers, and leaders can create healthier environments for children.
“I enjoy the opportunity to contribute to a genuine and purposeful cause that impacts so many human beings via a creative environment that allows me to try new methods of media production to push information,” he said.