When interviewed by The Daily Tribune News two years ago, Guerra expressed a desire to move to Los Angeles and break into the film industry. He had made a number of short films and worked on a variety of productions after graduating from Woodland High School in 2008. In the process, he said, he overcame behavioral problems and a learning disability.
However, things became difficult for him in LA once his family kicked him out of their home when he was unable to pay rent. Guerra said he spent a couple of days on the street with his possessions. At one point he was mugged and his camera was stolen. The experience led him to recently return home to Cartersville to stay with other family members.
“I really had nobody out there. No support whatsoever, and that’s what kind of led me to come back here,” Guerra said. “So, four weeks ago, I came back. I got myself a job. I set a lot of goals in life ... Some say it’s hard to find work here in Cartersville, but I did it in two days.”
Guerra found a job with Pal’s Car Wash and shortly began to consider working on a new short film based on his experiences in LA and returning home to find peace from the violence and gangs he encountered in LA.
“The main reason why I came back to Cartersville is to find peace. Why? Because every night in LA I would have to leave my film gig work ... I had to be home at 6 o’clock because once the sun goes down, every night, you hear sirens, helicopters and shootings, and I didn’t want to be out there that late,” he said.
Describing being abandoned and kicked out by his family, Guerra said he was depressed about his situation and seeking a way to relieve the depression.
“In my head I was thinking about pills, medicine, just to kill the loneliness and stuff,” he said. “The thing is, I didn’t use none of that. I thought about it. But, no, I didn’t use none of that.
“The only thing that helped me was the Bible and being able just to have that peace and comfort with the family that I did have, and being able to talk to them and express how I feel.”
While back in Cartersville, Guerra began working on a short film titled “Motions,” which he said will depict his recent journey back home and his expected return to LA. He said part of it was filmed near Burnt Hickory Drive and other parts of it will be filmed in Atlanta. Once the short, approximately 3-minute, film is finished, Guerra said he plans to post it online and submit it to the next Los Angeles Film Festival.
“I actually plan on making more movies. ... Honestly, I really don’t care about the fame because I don’t care for the money. I just want to be able to do something I love — to make enough to be financially stable. That’s all I want,” he said.
The peace Guerra found in Cartersville came from a very specific place, he explained. When his grandfather was alive, the two of them were very close and he said he feels a special bond to a building his grandfather built in his backyard many years ago.
“In a way it’s kind of spiritual and stuff because, when I go out there, I block out everything. I go inside this building and, even though there’s bugs and spiders, I don’t think about that,” Guerra said. “I think about the peace that when my grandfather was alive, what he brought me and how we used to just hang together and go fishing and stuff. Those memories come back and I was able to just block everything out.
“... I believe in comfort in the guardian angels and all that. I feel like my grandfather is my guardian angel and when I go out to that building it’s a peace that goes over me. I’m able to just think about things.”
Guerra is now planning to return to LA, as he was hired by a restaurant two months after applying for a job. He said the restaurant was going to hold the job for him, and the work schedule would still allow him enough time to work on his film projects and pursue his goals. Ultimately, he added, he would like to change the tone of Hollywood movies and make them more positive.
“I know that if I can do things here and I can get a job in two days when people say it’s hard, I guarantee I will do something out there, make somebody of myself and show the world that I’m all about peace. I’m all about the positive and I just want to be able to change that,” he said.