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Suidae: An Interview with Marina Ni

Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?

I come from a rather artistic background with my mom, grandfather and aunt all having music academy degrees; and my father is self-taught artist. Following in my family’s footsteps me and my brother both graduated from musical college, with him majoring in guitar and me in vocal and piano.

Speaking of art, I was into photography and shooting ever since my hands were able to hold a camera. I first tried to shoot when I was just 8 years old using my old Samsung smartphone and used rudimental methods of editing to make video more presentable and entertaining. At that point in my life I did not consider myself artistic. I did it simply because I enjoyed doing it, and even to this day I am only engaging into activities that I am truly interested in.

Searching for new ways to express myself I discovered wondrous realm of YouTube in the middle school and tried myself as YouTuber for the first time editing and uploading entertainment videos, which further grew into music channel where I cover popular songs.

To be frank, I am still in a process of self-discovering journey, exploring my passions, evaluating my skills and strong sides and probing myself in various fields to uncover my true talents.

What was your first job in the art field?

Considering my music background, my first career was a singer in a girl band when I was 15, which later turned into lead vocalist role that I successfully combined with the side work as a video editor.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

Decently made video spiced by special effects, graphic and professional sound evoke all kind of people responses from frantic laugh and goosebumps to thrill and ecstasy. Seeing genuine human emotions is what fueling my work and keeps me going. There’s no greater reward than seeing priceless smiles on people’s faces when they observe my work. I believe that a good story is when people vicariously live though life of one of the characters they sympathize and therefore follow the story line together with this character till the end.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

I approach each project from the position "I open to new ideas and ready to learn new things." I tirelessly learn from my mistakes, getting better and more professional with each and every project I embark on. In here I side with famous quote by Irish novelist Samuel Beckett who said to succeed we need to “Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

It is a quite difficult question to answer since I instead of paying attention to big names in the industry I rather prefer to collect bits of useful information and learn from mistakes and successes of people who inspire me. Nevertheless, let me mention here some films which inspirated me and do it every watching is "The owners", "Fallen angels", "Cidade de Deus" and "Last Film Show. "

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

We are currently living in unprecedented times of new changes where having a business meeting through zoom and video calls is becoming a new normal, where covid social distance restriction made some filmmakers opt to use smartphones to shoot their works. In fact, with front cameras quality getting increasingly better every new release with a bit of imagination and creativity anybody can shoot more of less quality videos.

However, due to people-heavy nature of movie production process social distancing in a movie set seems next to impossible. Thus, we would probably need to reshape the way we used make movie and find more agile and flexible methods like involving less people on a set, delegating some parts of shooting process to separately operating teams, remote controlling cameras and movie equipment, incorporating more green screen special and visual effects for background and virtual sets. Change is always difficult to go through but stressful time like this always open new pathways for innovative ideas and new opportunities.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

It would probably sound very cliché, but I would say it anyway: just do things that you like and don't try to live up to other people's expectations. Do not try to be somebody else but yourself. At the end of the day we all crave joy and satisfaction from things we do, so follow your heart, not fears. With that being said, always avoid stagnation and procrastination as I believe there is only two directions to move in which is either rolling back and fall behind or keep moving forward and succeed.

Thus, I’d advise young talents to keep doing what they truly love, even if it seems pointless, time and resources consuming at the moment, if it is one thing that keeps you up in the middle of the night, something you feel passionate about and cannot imagine your life without, then you’re probably on the right way and one day things will work out eventually.

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

It is one thing that change, inspire and aspire numerous people to make changes in their life, give up toxic work, discover new talents, travel and explore. Ever since the first movie creation the industry continues to influence, change and challenge our worldview and our perception of things. It is the one that can make people view old things in a new ways and evoke passion and emotions we normally do not experience in our daily life. I believer effectively made motion picture can be either a tool or a weapon, inspirational true-story biography or biased state propaganda, depending on who’s controlling it.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

From my perspective, it is not what people watch because classic like action, drama and comedy would remain classic through ages, but the way they consume movies changed. As a matter of fact, pandemic did encouraged so-called bidged watching which in turns allowed many video streaming services like Netflix, Disney +, Hulu to flourish.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

Throughout my professional career I've been involved in various stages of movie making process like production design, location scouting, shooting and editing. Now I am mostly creating and editing digital content in form of camera footage, dialogues, sound, graphics and special effects to produce interactive graphics coverage for commercials, music videos and various TV programs.

Recently I have been involved in a process of scriptwriting for the movie that would be based on dramatic real-life events of one of my close friends. Hopefully, project will see the light and I would be able to send it to you for your review and feedback.


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