Featured photography (above) by Marina Mche.
For 2019’s first Creator of the Month, Phi Magazine is proud to interview Alejandra Lopez Martin – a young filmmaker, musician, and director of the production company Skateaway Pictures – which she recently founded. Phi Magazine had the pleasure of reviewing her recent film debut Capital of Pain in our latest print issue.
Now, Alejandra has started a crowdfunder to release her upcoming EP (please give generously here). We catch up with her to talk about her music and film influences, the forthcoming release of her song and music video Green Tunnel, and what the future holds for her in 2019.
You have written, produced and directed a film in the past year Capital of Pain, how was your experience doing that?
Capital of Pain was my first experience as a filmmaker. It was extremely rewarding, but now I see that we did a lot of things wrong! I was very fearless and didn’t know the steps of production, but I made them up as we went along and that was okay. I guess people believed in me and in the project because I was very enthusiastic about it!
Now looking back, the film was exactly what I needed to do in order to get into the industry. After it, people took me seriously because it showed I’m constantly working in order to learn. I really enjoy collaborating with talented artists. That’s my favourite part, bringing creatives together. Capital of Pain allowed me to work with other people for the first time, and it is addictive. They elevate your ideas to places you didn’t think possible.
How does producing and writing a film differ from writing and producing an EP?
Well this EP is a special project in the sense that it is still very close to filmmaking. At the end, film is what I do! But I do enjoy songwriting too, so I decided to keep it very cinematic. We are producing music videos for every song. We locked the edit for the first video ‘Green Tunnel’ only a couple of days ago and now we are developing the second one. We are only recording the songs properly after the film is shot, just like you would do in post-production in a picture. So on set we work with demos. That way the music is informed by the visuals and feels more organic.
Producing the EP seems like a very similar experience, in the sense that I am still the person looking for other creatives to collaborate with, making sure they also get something valuable from the experience.
Would you say that you’re quite artistic then?
Haha I suppose! I was never sure what that meant though, to be artistic, to be an artist. That label is an interesting one, I always thought it was about confidence: you are an artist only if you believe you are one. It was only recently that I started to believe that I am one. Before I thought I was just me doing my thing. But in order for people to understand what you are doing you need to present yourself in some sort of way, for me it’s as a ‘cross-platform artist’ I guess!
Where do your artistic inspirations come from, both from film and music?
That’s an interesting question, I am not too sure, I’ve never been asked that before! My filmmaking is more formulaic than artistic I think. I’m very interested in spectatorship and the relationship between camera and viewer. In my head, filmmaking can only be about that, nothing else is interesting to me. That’s why my projects always differ from fiction and traditional storytelling. I am rubbish at telling stories, I guess I’m better at creating experiences.
And music is the same, but I’m still trying to find my sound. The songwriting always comes from the thorough exploration of an idea or a feeling, something that could’ve lasted a second. And then I make a 6 min song about it, so I can experience it for longer, so I can study the subject further. The songs are strange I think. At the same time they aren’t.
To answer the question, I am going to say that the artistic inspiration comes from the medium itself, I’m fascinated with that sort of experimentation. I am still in the early stages of my studies, but every project is getting more ambitious and I’m getting better at my craft!
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently undertaking an MA in Film Production at Goldsmiths so I will finish that. I have started a production company called Skateaway Pictures. Its only been two months but we are already developing our third project, a short film written by a close friend from my time at Kings College London. The company is slowly growing. Now other producers are getting involved, they will take over the projects so I don’t have to work alone. Which is great! I get to give a voice to all of these creatives, a space for them to work, hopefully some money very soon too! And in the meantime, I get to produce my projects, develop my music, and get paid to do it. It will take a while to get the ball rolling but hopefully not longer than a year. We have amazing projects queued, and amazing talent attached so stay tuned!
And with that, I would like to add that, if anybody wants to grow with us in any sort of way (literally any sort of way, crew and cast but also accountants and marketing specialist too, anybody!) don’t hesitate to drop us an email! We want to meet you! There’s always space for more of us. Our email is email@example.com !
And about the EP, I am fundraising some money to produce and distribute the music. Any contribution would be so helpful! And if there’s no money, it would be amazing if you could help us spreading the word, sharing it around! We need the songs professionally produced for the music videos to be perfect!
The first video ‘Green Tunnel’ will be out on the 11th of January, but you can have a preview following the Inidiegogo link here.
‘Green Tunnel’ will be out on the 11th on January on all platforms along with the music video (previewed by the photos above). If you want to find out more about any of the things in this interview check out the Skateaway Pictures Instagram Page (@SkateawayPictures), follow Alejandra (IG: @alejandraxlopezm) and follow her quest to release her new EP here (IG: @Aletulle)!