Case Study: Marilyn Martínez

Director Lucia Galindo Martínez chose a special way of authentically portraying her heroine's own life.

Although having known her main character for many years already, it never struck the director Lucia Galindo Martínez to make a film about her. Until one day she scrolls down her Facebook page and suddenly an idea crosses her mind.

“I asked my character to film herself because I wanted her to tell her own story.”

Getting the idea

“The idea for this film came in two parts: The first part was the main character, Marilyn Martinez. I knew her for more than ten years but it was at that one morning when I was looking at her facebook posts that it entered my mind that she had a story. This was around March in 2016. In November 2016 I volunteered at IDFA doclab and it was there when I clearly realised that it was a VR story.”

Experimenting with the cuts

“Since I knew her for so many years already, I knew the story quite well and how I wanted to bring it up. I only did two versions. For the the first cut I did, I worked very freely and made an edit just experimenting with the material I had. This ended up in something that was far from what I wanted to tell about her. In the second version I came back to my original idea.”

Shooting her own story

“I asked my character to film herself because I wanted her to tell her own story. My inspirations were her posts on Facebook, where she would film herself and talk about her life, vacation, going out, etc. So, I bought a Nikon keymission, a 360 action camera and showed her how to use it. We discussed when and where it would be good for the documentary to film and she gave me the footage after she had filmed it.”

Some surprising results

“I edited myself and it was my first documentary. Even though I had a lot of experience editing for clients I found it very difficult to edit for myself, to take the decisions according to what I wanted. I only worked with a music composer, somebody I worked with for a long time, all the rest I did myself. I also worked on the colours myself and I had plenty of difficulties because the camera doesn’t produce very high resolution material. I did ask friends to give me feedback along the process though, writers, editors, directors and sound professionals.”

“Working with the composer went very smoothly. We had worked together for many years already, so I fully trusted him. I used existing music to give him the mood of the scene and the sound I was thinking about and he would give me back his own compositions. On one occasion he gave me a piece of music that totally shocked me. It was at the end of the day and I was tired and I didn’t know what to do with that music, I didn’t really like it. The following day I tried it in the editing and once more it shocked me because it really matched the scene.”

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