– . – Margarita Jimeno (Low Budget Filmmaking)
Margarita Jimeno (Low Budget Filmmaking)
What training have you received?
I started out studying history. The history of cinema class was at seven in the morning, so I slept through the most important first films ever made, but thanks to that I spent more time studying those films! I was already into photography and writing short stories, so I had a short stop in art school, but I had been bitten by the film bug. So I took a 50/50 chance and I applied to only one film school in New York City, The School of Visual Arts, and soon I received my ticket out of the Andes! My emphasis at the film programme was in directing and editing.
Does your budget limit what you can explore in your films?
I’ve gone out without any budget to film what I need, because I couldn’t wait around for grants or investors. Working with a budget is the best way to go, but it shouldn’t stop you from being creative. I also do ‘sketch films’ to vent ideas. For me making films is a necessity, and budget limitations can make you very resourceful, which can be a good practice.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a low budget filmmaker?
It’s to do with filming on your own, and doing sound. Set channel 1 at a higher level, so it picks up low sounds. And set channel 2 at a lower level, so the levels won’t peak if there is a high sound. Then in post you can add twice the same channel to audio 1 and 2 in the timeline.
Most significant moment in your career so far?
It is great when you don’t expect much because then everything that happens is an authentic ecstatic moment. Being invited to amazing film festivals around the world has so far been my highlight. This past year I became very good at interviews, and I even won 3 prizes. So I’m very satisfied with the film Gogol Bordello Non-Stop because it has been playing around the world from Northern Finland to South Africa, to a corner in Mexico, Israel or Kosovo… I find it beautiful that all these people share a film in common and get the same kick out of it.
You’ll die happy when…
When I make a couple of projects I have in the oven.