To Top

Daily Inspiration: Meet Lena Báez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lena Báez.

Hi Lena, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
A dream brought me here. The dream to become an artist and tell stories that can inspire audiences, stories that embrace who we are as human beings. As an Ecuadorian filmmaker, my purpose is to tell stories that can hopefully cause change.

Seven years ago, I touched for the first time the HollywoodLand, and since then, I’ve been growing as a film director and writer. I came here to learn from the best in the industry, and I’ve been lucky because I had the privilege of being the student of many distinguished professors from NYFA, LACC, and UCLA that have helped me through the development of my professional career.

When I was a kid, movies seemed so far away, a creation from another world, an untouchable dream. It was thanks to my family and their support that it became reachable. My first film teacher was my sister, a successful journalist, who taught me not only camera angles but the importance of the story in between 24 frames per second. My mom, the psychologist of the family, motivated me to see the world with a loupe. “Everything has a reason for being,” and that’s how stories are born, from the beauty of the world surrounding us and the human emotion that we live every single day.

There are many jobs in the field of making movies, but I recognize that directing is my passion. When I look into a script, I like to dig deeper into the characters and their mentality. It is through them that we feel close to the story because, in one way or another, they capture our humanity. A movie is not just a continuous pattern of images, a movie for me is the freedom of speech that helps me as an artist to talk about what not everyone wants to talk about, the taboo subjects that our society pretends to ignore. The idea of becoming a film director was born in a small casting room when I was 11-12 years old. That day, my life changed and I realized it was possible for me to be involved in the magical world of cinema. I’m grateful for that day.

Stories can be told through many genres, and today I’m exploring them further through my writing. The more I read about my history as an Ecuadorian, the more that I feel inspired to create new stories that I hope my people feel proud of, but that’s something for future interviews. Until then, I will keep navigating the different genres and rebuilding historical worlds based on our humanity.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I’m a family person. I value the closeness that I share with my parents and siblings. Since I was little, I learned that family comes first, and being physically away from my foundation it’s been rough. However, their support is palpable wherever I go, and I’m very grateful for that because it’s my family that helps me through this very demanding career. I don’t think Filmmaking is a smooth road, but what motivates me is the passion that I have to tell stories, and that’s what keeps me going. And I have to admit that I like challenges. Filmmaking is like any other job, it has ups and downs.

I think Murphy’s law has a special interest in Filmmaking. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. However, after many setbacks and learning experiences, I’ve learned to get along with it. Being prepared even for the worst-case scenario can help you surpass the inevitable. I’ve learned that sometimes things are out of my hands and the best thing that I can do as a director is to keep calm and breath because that’s the only way that I will come up with a solution. I’ve learned to trust my crew. Without them, a vision is just a vision and nothing more; collaboration and trust are key.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a freelance director and writer that specializes in stories that break through the different paradigms of society, and I’m proud about that. I believe films and music videos are the best medium to express ourselves. I think it’s fundamental to break taboos and say what we need to say. As an example, two music videos that I directed: “Bad Time” and “Supposedly a Man,” were considered by the Grammy’s in 2021 in the category of best music videos; their stories approach important topics in our current days, which are the lack of power that women face in our society and their different struggles. Telling stories like these is essential to me because it opens an environment of awareness; therefore, we can create change. If we don’t show it as it is, then the problem will be neglected and covered under dirt. I believe it is my job to shine a light on the different obstacles that women and men encounter, especially on an ordinary day.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I consider myself lucky. I have many beautiful childhood memories, but the ones that I cherish the most are the moments that I spent with my family on Sundays. That was my favorite day of the week. As a family, we had many hobbies and group activities. Some Sundays, we would go to the park and spend the morning playing basketball altogether. My mom would cover our faces with sunscreen while my dad would teach us his favorite hook shot. Other Sundays, we would travel to a nearby city and eat traditional food from Ecuador. I remember other Sundays, singing Spanish songs in the car on our way back from the beach. Even the most simplistic activities were lovely. Like the Sundays, we would stay home, order in some food, and watch a movie together. Sunday was always a family day, and it still is despite the distance.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Rigel Yaluk Mosquera
Shubham Gosalia
Steve Escarcega

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in local stories