Mini Bio (1)
Rafael was born and raised in Miami, Florida. His earliest memories of influence as a young artist are of standing eye-level to his father's architectural drafting table to watch blueprints take three-dimensional form as buildings, and of adding the finishing brush strokes to his mother's paintings. During his teen years, he rode the Florida rodeo and horse show circuit with his Cuban uncle, a former CIA asset, and worked on his ranch. Traveling with him on business excursions to Columbia and the Caribbean instilled in Rafael an appreciation for Latin America's Magic Realist authors.
Pursuing the love of the arts that his parents inspired, Rafael entered NYU's Tisch School of the Arts on full scholarship to study acting, stage directing, production design and film theory and history. A highlight of his experience at NYU was as a member of the first class taught by Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Mamet. After graduating Dean's List, he became the Co-Artistic Director of the Seraphim Theatre Company where he directed and produced plays with some of the best actors in New York, including the world premiere of Gary Lennon's "Blackout" which became the feature film, "Drunks".
While continuing his work with Seraphim, Rafael entered the film and television world as a very busy story analyst for New Line Cinema, Fine Line Features, Miramax, and Robert Halmi, all at the same time. At New Line, he discovered the script, "Hangin' with the Homeboys", for which he received a "Special Thank You" in the film credits and which won writer/director Joseph Vasquez the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival.
Halmi especially liked Rafael's work and hired him as Director of Development at RHI/Hallmark Entertainment. Rafael built the East Coast story department and was involved in the development of three miniseries, three feature films and eleven TV movies. At this time, he also associate produced the indie film, "The Next Step". Realizing that he wanted to not just develop other writers' work, Rafael began researching and writing his first spec script, "Hackers", which triggered his coming under surveillance by the FBI.
"Hackers" sold to United Artists and during the development process, Jeff Kleeman and studio head John Calley gave a stack of scripts to Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated screenwriter Jay Presson Allen for her to choose a writer to mentor. Rafael was honored that she chose him, and he still applies what he learned from her about story telling. After production wrapped on "Hackers" with director Ian Softley and star Angelina Jolie, Rafael wrote "The Rage: Carrie II" for UA, a sequel to the Stephen King/Brian DePalma horror classic "Carrie", starring Amy Irving and Emily Bergl.
He followed up by writing several as yet unproduced screenplays, including "One Hundred Minutes" for Harvey Weinstein and Miramax, and for United Artists "Devil's Playground" and "Bones", which he sold from an original pitch. Other highlights of his career include writing a remake of the 1949 Jacques Tourneau classic, "Catpeople", for Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, a draft of "Basic Instinct II" for director John McTiernan, and working as a story editor with Chris Carter's 10/13 Productions ("The X-Files", "The Lone Gunmen"). He taught at New York's School for Visual Arts and recently served as a judge for the UCLA Graduate Film School's 2008 Screenwriter's Showcase Contest.
Rafael is developing a graphic novel/game/film sci-fi project and co-writing a screenplay on the life of an iconic 19th Century weapons maker.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sky Unlimited Arts