Valentina Duarte is a filmmaker and student at UCF. I sat down with her to talk about her daily life and interests:
Q: Tell me a little about yourself!
I am 19 years old and from Jacksonville, Florida! I go to UCF and I am in the Film BFA program. My hobbies are writing and drawing. Beyond writing for Odyssey, I also enjoy writing short stories and poems. My drawings are mostly portraits because I think it is really fascinating how diverse humans are. I usually draw when I am feeling stressed and need to take my mind off of things. My dream is to become a film director. I am a huge fan of A24, which is the studio that made Lady Bird, Moonlight, and Ex Machina, and I would love to work with them on a film in the future.
Q: What type of videos do you produce/film?
I work on student films and they have mostly been dramas. I am currently working on an action film with a club at UCF. So far, I have been an Assistant Director, Casting Director, and Screenwriter for the films I have worked on at UCF.
Q: What got you into filming?
My whole life I knew I wanted to study something art related, but it wasn't until I saw 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' in 8th grade that I decided that I wanted to pursue filmmaking. That film truly touched my heart and I wanted to be able to make films with the same kind of impact.
Q: Who do you look up to in the creative/filming industry?
I look up to Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele, David Fincher, Ava DuVernay, and Greta Gerwig. They are all absolutely amazing directors and I am inspired by each of them in different ways. My favorite genre of films is Psychological Thrillers and I hope to make something as intense and unique as Inception, which is my all-time favorite film. However, I also want to be able to intertwine the struggles that the Latinx community faces into the plot of the film, like what Peele did with "Get Out" and the Black community.
Q: what do you think is the importance of filming and expression?
Filmmaking is extremely important because it serves as a mirror of our society and should be used as a tool to bring attention to injustices and also to expose the public to diverse groups of people. A film can introduce someone to a topic or a culture that they may have otherwise never learned about, which can then make them more accepting of people that are different from themselves.
Q: What are your goals in 2019 for your videos?
My goal in 2019 is to start my own YouTube channel. I would like to be able to post my own short films and movie reviews.
Q: What can you say to someone that wants to get into filming?
If you want to get into filmmaking, my best advice would be to get together with people that also have that interest and see what you can all come up with. I am in a film production club at UCF and it makes it a lot easier to be able to create films! I also recommend going to school to study Film production. I have been learning a lot in my classes so far and it is been interesting to hear the experiences my professors have had while working in the industry. Also, watch as many films as you can! That is the best way to find out what kind of films you would enjoy making!
Q: How has the online platform change the way you're able to produce and be creative?
The internet has definitely made it easier for people to give their films more exposure. It has also made it easier to find a cast and crew for films. Facebook is a popular platform for this at UCF and it has become my main resource in finding out what films are being made and who is looking for acting and filmmaking experience.