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Northern student works behind the scenes on feature film

Northern Film Student works behind the scenes on feature film


 In the midst of bright monitor screens, boom mikes and light reflectors, Stephanie Martinez was in her element.

As a young and ambitious Digital Media Arts student at Northern New Mexico College, Martinez has gotten the chance to do something few have: work on the set of a feature film. 
“I work with the art department, helping to dress the sets and make sure everything looks right for filming,” Martinez said of her role as set P.A. “I’ve really learned a lot.”

The Sundance Institute film, Drunktown’s Finest, recently welcomed the acclaimed Robert Redford aboard as executive producer. The film follows three Native American teenagers who learn they may be the next generation of medicine people for their tribe.
Co-producer and Española resident Mateo Frazier said that half of the film’s crew is made up of media students from universities across northern New Mexico.  “It’s a good opportunity for these kids to learn,” he said. “It’s good to get out on the set and see where you really fit.”

The growth of the film industry in the state and renewed interest in homegrown stories means that opportunities for film students are growing.  Programs like Accelerate New Mexico also provide funding for career fellowships, allowing students to continue their education while building their résumé.

“The Accelerate program helped me pay for classes,” Martinez said. “It was like getting paid for a real job in film.”

Martinez worked behind the scenes on Jared Moshe’s western Dead Man’s Burden last fall and has worked in film production throughout her studies at Northern, including local cable channel Canal Seis. She looks forward to graduating this spring and has big dreams for her future career.
“Eventually, I want to write and direct my own films. Until then, I’ll probably work at a TV studio.”

When asked what she would tell other students with hopes of working in the industry, she simply said, “go for it!”

                    Story by Stephanie J. Montoya, Staff Reporter