Valentina! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. So to start off, what made you want to pursue filmmaking?
When I was coming to America from Kazakhstan, I watched a movie on the plane for the first time in English. It was the Parent Trap and I thought it was odd that they had they both had exact same teeth. How did they do that?! The magic of that moment really intrigued me and I wanted to learn how to do that.
What inspires you most to make films?
As someone who wants to make a positive impact on the world, I believe film is the most powerful way of doing that – Be it through a feature, documentary, video, etc. I like to make films with purpose and a message. Film is the medium to do that.
What is it like creating content for a successful YouTube channel?
I was very fortunate in that I came into a built-in audience and I didn’t have to grow it from scratch. There are very few YouTube Channels that have the power to put out whatever they want. When a creative is happy and given room to grow, it’s liberating and it shows. The videos I did were well-received because you could tell that I was passionate and excited about it. It was not just a job.
Tell us more about what you do now.
Currently, I am the Creative Content Director at Aputure , a multinational camera accessories manufacturing brand. I also am a frequent collaborator with Benjamin Von Wong , a famous international surrealist photographer who works with charities to raise awareness for social justice causes. I also collaborate frequently with Karen X Cheng who popularized the ‘donut selfie’ trend who creates viral videos for brands.
What advice do you have for any budding filmmakers out there looking to pursue their passion?
Find your team. They may not necessarily be the folks that do the best work, but it’s important to find those you like and you can raise each other up together. Even if you’re not in film school, you can find your people online, in clubs, through friends, and even work. Filmmaking is a collaborative sport.
What is one of the worst parts about finding a location?
Finding a location is hard enough; most want to charge a premium and you’re not sure if most businesses would even allow filming. It’s so tedious because you have to set aside a day for a visit. Then there’s all the technical nitty gritty. You have to make sure you’re not messing up the location, communicating with the owner, etc. There are a lot of variables and everything is really annoying.
How has Wrapal helped you out?
Everything on Wrapal is film-friendly, I don’t have to even ask if they’ll allow film shoots, which is half the challenge of location scouting. Having photos of the location is great; I can share them with my crew without having to visit. It saves so much time, money, and effort.
Describe your ideal project.
My ideal project is accessible to everyone and is free to watch. It should change people’s perceptions about social issues. I want to affect people. I don’t even care if I’m credited. I just want to affect lives.
Here is a link to Valentina’s website! Go check it out!