Catalina Rojas: Tell me about yourself and how you became interested in film school.
Magely Martinez: I am from Bakersfield, CA. I came down here to study film production. I started off wanting to direct film and everything, but as I started taking more classes and actually being on film sets I realized my stronger skill sets are more in sound designing and makeup.
With sound design, it has been something I’ve been wanting to do since early high school, around there. It’s been an interest, but it grew more. When I went to Universal Studios I was just so in love with anything that had to do with behind the scenes, because I love the fact that you could turn nothing into something.
But I’ve always thought about that too, how a story you have in your mind can be created into something that is impactful, it makes you want to do good. For example, what always got me was superhero movies and that’s why I’m a huge nerd of them. I’ve loved them ever since I was seven when we got cable. I feel like those are the coolest because they have the most to do during the entire process. Especially with special effects and CGI and makeup and sound designing. But sound designing came more with Transformers. I would see behind the scenes of how they would create noises. Watching them fidget around and create robotic noises, that’s when I was like I want to learn how to do this.
CR: Was sound design the main influence of your decision when it came to choosing schools?
MM: No, when I was choosing universities it was either going to be CSU Bakersfield or JPCU. I really wanted to go here because I’d never been to a Catholic school, but I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to be in an actual Catholic community instead of being around people that are forced to be Catholic. On the tour, I saw they have these classes where people get actual hands-on experience. At CSUB it was like there might be a film study program. So thankfully, after going through the FAFSA process, I was able to study here. Again it was mostly directing, but I just wanted to learn everything. From pre-production, mostly production and post-production, because I thought everything was so fascinating. It’s like puzzle pieces coming together to create this amazing image.
CR: Have you experienced a change in your faith since coming to JPCU? How?
MM: Yes, I was always viewed as the super Catholic one in my family. All my cousins were like you’re going to be a nun one day! Coming here I was jealous because everyone seemed so crazy Catholic, but I just didn’t know a lot. I’ve just learned so much. My faith has always been good and firm, but it’s grown out of that box. I think that’s why I feel happier in general. There’s just so much to being Catholic I didn’t know about. I didn’t even know Marian consecration was a thing!
CR: Do you think you’ve achieved learning what you wanted to?
MM: For most of it, yes. There are things that I haven’t fully learned. There’s a lot more to sound than people think and unfortunately, we don’t have all the classes for it. There’s just so many different parts to a sound department. And makeup as well, we don’t have classes for that. I mean just by watching Youtube tutorials and learning from other students here, I’ve learned a lot from that. Then there’s directing, I think that’s where I’ve been learning the most.
CR: Do you have a favorite between directing, producing, and sound design?
MM: They’re literally so different that I can’t choose. At least I can say I have these skills. I would love to in the future take on jobs that involve all them at some point. They’re kind of like kids. I love them all so much, but for different reasons. Some of them, like kids, are more annoying than the other. Sound and post is where I feel the most love-hate relationship. But I still love it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
CR: In your opinion, what qualifies a person as an artist?
MM: Mostly, you have to have passion behind whatever you’re doing. Because yeah you create something, but what if you don’t care for it? To me when you create art it’s because you loved it and you put your soul into it. You just have to be fully invested in it. Kind of like it’s your baby, you brought it up. I’ve definitely felt that here with some of the projects that I’ve done. It takes heart to create art.
CR: What’s your biggest fear with the future of your career?
MM: Disappointment. It’s something I literally have nightmares about. Because I’m a first generation child, a lot of my cousins are too, but I’m the only one going into an artistic field. Everyone else is studying to be a doctor, a social worker, a pilot- a “real career”. But I’m here doing art and a lot of people didn’t really believe in me. It took me a long time to convince my parents that this is something I really feel passionate about. I don’t see myself doing anything else.
I’m really terrified one day I’m going to come back home and say “Hey mom and dad, I don’t have a job. I need help and I don’t know for how long.” Because my parents are really hard workers and I really want to get that from them. It motivates me to try harder and harder to find the job I really love doing and not be that millennial living in their parents’ house until they’re thirty. I really do not want to disappoint them especially because they do feel proud of me for all I’ve done and just don’t want to let them down.
CR: How do you let that fear affect you?
MM: Unfortunately, I really care about what people think, so I did doubt myself a lot. But part of me thinks just go for it, it’s something you love doing might as well do it. I mean even though I did care what my family did say about me, where I’m at now I feel like I have the skills to say “You know what? Let me show you what I can do.” I’m going to show you the fun adventures I’ve been having, how much I feel like I’ve been living, how many people I’ve been getting to know. And it’s because I chose this career.
Photo by Justin Daniels