Filmmaker and San Antonio native Steve Acevedo moved to Los Angeles during the summer of 2008 with one goal in mind: to make a name for himself directing TV shows. One of his favorite shows, The Sopranos, had just aired its series finale the year before and Breaking Bad was starting its debut season. The TV landscape was going through a huge transformation and Acevedo wanted to be a part of it.
“That was the peak for me – to direct television,” Acevedo told the Current during an interview this week. “TV sounded like the perfect career for me.”
More than a decade later, Acevedo has finally seen his dream come to fruition. Episode 9 of Season 4 of the crime drama TV series Queen of the South (Los Pecados de los Padres/The Sins of the Fathers), airs tonight (August 1) on the USA Network at 9 p.m. It marks Acevedo’s directorial TV debut.
“I had been working toward this for so long,” Acevedo said. “To finally get validation and for them to tell me, ‘You’re in’ was a pretty amazing experience.”
Acevedo moved to L.A. over a decade ago when he was selected by ABC-Disney Television Group and the Directors Guild of America to participate in a directing fellowship. The program, unfortunately, did not lead to an opportunity to direct an actual show for ABC.
“At that moment, I thought I was going to direct for TV within a year,” Acevedo said. “It took a lot more work than I expected.”
Although disappointed, Acevedo decided he would stay in L.A. He didn’t want to give up. Over the next few years, he continued to network in the industry and land gigs directing commercials and working as a cinematographer on different projects. He also shadowed other directors on the set of Season 2 of Queen of the South and for a few episodes of the espionage drama Burn Notice.
“The stars always have to align in this business,” Acevedo said. “I’ve been hustling to get here. It wasn’t easy. Having patience was huge. For most working directors, it’s a marathon. You get told no so much, but you keep on working at it until someone finally gives you a chance.”
Acevedo shot his Queen of the South episode in May 2019. The production lasted 15 days. Although he admits he was “a little nervous” weeks leading up to the shoot, once he got on set, he felt right in his element.
“As soon as I got there, I thought, ‘OK, we’re doing exactly what I’ve been doing as a professional for the last 15 years,” he said. “The nerves went away very quickly. I was ready.”
Now with one TV episode in the can, Acevedo looks forward to building on the momentum. He hopes it’ll be less difficult now that the weight is off his shoulders.
“It’s been a long road, but it’s been gratifying,” he said. “The goal now is to get another episode on another show. And another one after that. Now that I have one under my belt, there’s a much better chance that I can get the next one.”
Episode 9 of Season 4 of Queen of the South airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the USA Network.