• Tony Ballejos Bio
  •   Growing up in the Harbor area and Beach Towns of the South Bay, a skinny little kid by the name of Tony Ballejos had consistent fantasies about being one of the comic book superheroes he sketched so diligently and realistically. An artistic and passionate boy, he searched for subjects and endeavors that would fuel his desires. Urged on by his Father, he started boxing. Initially it was at the old Wilmington Teen Post on Anaheim St in Wilmington. Subsequently it was at the legendary Fabela Chavez Boxing Center in Carson. Possessing a quick, long jab and a deceptively tough and scrappy style, he competed as a clever welterweight in amateur competition including the regional golden gloves. Simultaneously studying business and art at El Camino College, Tony soon realized after a spotty amateur career, that he was probably not going to light the pugilistic world on fire. So he decided to shift focus to a more capitalistic, and less painful enterprise; real estate. Using learned and self-taught basic leveraging principles, as well as creative financing techniques, he began acquiring houses. Then it was multi-units. Soon he was rehabbing and flipping properties as well as dabbling in real estate development. By his thirtieth birthday, he was just a hair shy of millionaire status, and was living what he thought was “the good life.” He owned a huge four level custom home in Hermosa Beach downtown district. He had acquired a beautiful young model for a wife, as well as two Porsches, two Harley Davidson’s and some jet skis. The American Dream, why didn’t it feel right? Very slowly, something happened... He increasingly grew bored with his comfortable yet passionless existence. He longed to re-ignite the fires that burned so fervently in his younger days as a scrappy welterweight. Always a “film brat,” he happened to catch a film in 1989 that would change his life. It was Sex, Lies, & Video Tape, written and directed by Stephen Soderbergh. ‘This film really hit me hard” Tony said “it was the first film where I thought...I can do that.” Tony immediately enrolled at UCLA’s extension film program, studying under renowned film instructor and producer Larry Kostroff. Although he had never written seriously before, he started writing scripts and was immediately recognized by Kostroff as one of the most creative and talented students in the program. (The oldest too.) With the illusiveness of actual hands on filmmaking and fundamental training out of the way, he had the momentum set. Drawing from his experience with real estate creative financing, he quickly secured funds for his feature short directorial debut, the award winning, hilarious and controversial Met-Rx @ Tiffany's. Now a cult classic, this film was co-written by Tony and Patrick O’Neal. Shot on 16mm black and white, it had an edgy realism—both in tone and dialogue as well as a style and narrative that connected with audiences and reviewers alike. Reaping surprising (across the board) critical praise for this gritty debut, Tony then began to map out his next moves and decide which follow-up project to go with. He also concentrated on honing his writing and painting skills. He even became proficient in drawing storyboards and is now a known film critic for IndyWire and Easy Reader. It was about this time that Tony co-founded the Hermosa Beach Film Festival, (now Sandance) with what he called “a couple of attorney types.” Still beaming from the local success of Met-Rx @ Tiffany’s, it was time to secure financing for his much anticipated follow up; the sexy, soapy and biting, GateKeeper. This splashy, multiple award-winning tale, tells of sexual power and betrayal amongst the Manhattan Beach Elite. With the film completed Tony found time to start The Sandance Film festival, a beach based vehicle for exhibition, distribution and more importantly, to prospect for South Bay cinematic talent. In 2004 Tony made his successful MTV directorial debut with the internationally broadcast music video for the heavy metal band Fear Factory, with the hit single Bite The Hand That Bleeds You. This CD was for the soundtrack of Lions Gate’s Se7enesq horror feature Saw. 2006 saw Tony strike a deal with Don Remate Productions to write and direct the desert noir Three Days to Kill, which will be shot on Panasonic HD Veracam. This film will require shooting in Bogotá Columbia, Juarez Mexico and El Paso Texas. Also in 06, Ballejos inked a deal with producer Bill McBee for the multi-media franchise Skanks on a Plane, to be shot in 07. Other projects in the different stages of fruition include Cargo Runner produced by Steve Graham, Masters and Muses, The Blake Storm Franchise and Hell Hole the feature.
  • UCLA Extension 12 Month Program for Filmmaking from Concept to Distribution, studied under renowned instructor and Producer Larry Kostroff
  • Time Warner Producing Course, Hermosa Beach, California, Hands on Television Production, Gregory Wyatt
  • El Camino College, South Bay, California, Theater, Creative Writing, Business, studied under  renowned instructor Ron Scarlatta


  • Hermosa Beach Film Festival, Audience Award, 1997, Met Rx @ Tiffany's
  • Latino Film Festival, Best Feature Short, 2001, GateKeeper
  • Sandance Film Festival, Best Short, 2000, GateKeeper Best Short Film


  • William Spradley, Associate, 714.224.2424

Writer, Director, Painter, Graphic Artist, llustrator, Story Board Artist

Employment Details

  • Work History : Industrial, Radio, Voice Over, Traditional and CGI Artist, Painter, Storyboard Artist and Illustrator, Theater, Commercial, Music Video, Film, Television, Internet
  • Job Categories: Editing, Casting, Writing, Production, Boxing Stunts, Producing, Composing, Cinematography, Directing, Acting
  • Are you willing to work unpaid?: No
  • Authorized to work in United States: Yes
  • Primary Citizenship: United States
  • Valid Passport: Yes
  • Self Portrait by Tony Ballejos Prior Job Title(s): Managing Partner, Director, Writer 


Tony Ballejos Head Shot Names: Tony Ballejos