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Hidden Gems: Meet Maris Lidaka of The Blended Future Project

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maris Lidaka.

Hi Maris, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I always knew I wanted to be a storyteller. I just wasn’t sure what was the best way to tell the stories that were in my head. I grew up in a mostly white suburb in Illinois, where I was one of only a few kids with interracial parents. my mom is a Black woman from Chicago. She’s still alive. and my father was the child of immigrants who fled Latvia during the Russian invasion. I was fascinated with all the stories I heard about their upbringing and how they met. I experimented with different mediums of storytelling – I wanted to be an author, a comic book illustrator and dabbled in filmmaking.

It wasn’t until after my parents separated when I decided to go into the entertainment industry. My mother moved abroad to Copenhagen, Denmark and I spent my high school years living with her there. I went to the movie theater a lot and fell in love with the way that movies could have an emotional pull that I didn’t find in any of the other mediums. I tried going to film school overseas but was unable to qualify. So I decided to return home to attend film school in Chicago. I stayed in Chicago after I graduated, just getting my feet wet. I learned how to direct, produce, edit, light, shoot and record sound. After the financial crash, I headed out to LA where I took a step back from doing a little bit of everything to finding my focus.

I finally began creating my own work as a filmmaker which led me to finding my own voice, and who I wanted to speak for – the Mixed population. The people who were raised in a multicultural household and environment and didn’t quite feel like they fit in any one place in society. And now I not only continue to make films but use all of the different mediums of artistic and storytelling expression to speak more about this growing experience.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road. I graduated film school during a great time of change in the industry and how films were made. When I came out, making a film still had to be shot on film – which was incredibly expensive. And then I witnessed the rise of digital which changed the way that films were made and marketed.

I put off creating my own work for too long. I kept waiting until I had established myself – until I felt I had “earned” the right. This meant a lot of instability as I was completely reliant on word of mouth for work since I had nothing to show what I was creatively capable of. And I was frustrated a lot until I just decided to start creating my own work.

And when I started creating my own films, I wanted to create the best project that I thought would catapult me into the next level. I ignored the fact that the entertainment industry is a business, and I didn’t think about how I wanted to present myself. So while I built a portfolio of good work, it was very inconsistent. The work that looked good still wasn’t creating the impact that I wanted. And I had to take a step back from trying to consistently turn out creative work and become truly intentional about what I was creating and why.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Blended Future Project is a development agency that works with Mixed creators and brands to refine their storytelling strategy and develop their content from small to large scale. I do this work in order to bring the Mixed experience – being multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural – into the forefront. So have a better understanding around what race and culture are, and how to solve the conflicts around the merging of these elements. And the best way to have this impact is to give the tools and strategies to others that can tell their own stories in whatever medium works best for them.

I am proud that the company has been able to merge activism and creativity to have an impact and actually give a voice to an experience that continues to be more commonplace. I’ve been able to work with non-profits to refine their outreach events, private companies to upscale their media strategies, and individual creators to retool their personal strategy.

What sets us apart is not only our personal mission. But also the ability to have a personal touch with our clients that has the ability to scale depending on their needs.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I’m always looking for new partnerships and projects. So there are easy ways to reach me.

People can visit our website at blendedfutureproject.com and book a time to meet with me. Or simply email at contact@blendedfutureproject.com. They can also follow the company on Instagram at @blendedfutureproject.

Pricing:

  • Consultation – $200/session

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Carlos Serna Chris Hall Kristen Bell

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