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Meet Camila Martins in East LA (Atwater Village)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Camila Martins.

Camila began her directing career with an award-winning short documentary entitled Chains – a look at the history of hip-hop from its Jamaican roots to the streets of the Bronx. Born and raised in Brazil, Camila is now based in Los Angeles, where she worked extensively in TV commercial production for clients such as Gatorade, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s with directors like Floria Sigismondi and Mark Romanek.

Martins has been a part of prestigious filmmaking programs such as Film Independent’s Project: Involve, Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access, and Tribeca All Access On Track with her documentary project Fallen (previously titled The Row).

Always driven by her passion for story-telling, Camila is currently dedicating herself to various projects which include a web series about the LA Junior Derby Dolls and projects for non-profit organizations like the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Most recently, Camila wrapped production on her first narrative project: an 8-episode series titled Or Die Trying about four ambitious women’s attempt to achieve their own definition of success while dealing with the struggles of being a millennial in Hollywood.

Merging her passion for storytelling with her documentary background, Camila’s branded work includes pieces for clients like Froot Loops and Red Bull.

Has it been a smooth road?
Growing up, I never saw images of women behind the camera. Even when I started working in the business after college, women were only present in certain departments like production and glam. It took a long time for it even to sink in that I could be behind the camera as a director, that I could be bringing my vision to life.

Once the decision was made (and to this day) it’s hard work all day every day to show the world that you have a point of view, a vision that is unique to you – and be ready to back it up with a stellar work ethic. There is no coasting in this business, you have to wake up every day ready for battle.

It took me a while to realize that just being able to make a living as a female director is in and of itself a huge accomplishment. Because we are in LA, we tend to compare ourselves to the people walking up on stage to get their Oscar or Emmy. Our culture is so obsessed with success that we have taken away the spotlight from struggle and failure and the strength that comes from dealing with those things. No one ever talks about what I call the industry’s version of a miscarriage: When you nurture a project from its inception, giving it all you’ve got, but then because of one moving the part that didn’t fall into place, that project dies before it’s born. It’s painful and traumatizing experience, but EVERYONE goes through that multiple times in their career whether you are Alejandro Inarritu or a struggling no-name filmmaker. That, to me, is the hardest aspect of my business. The fact that vulnerability is seen as a weakness when it is in fact, an integral part of being an artist.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I direct short-form documentary, narrative, and branded content. I work for a wide range of clients – from indie producers to non-profits like the LA Phil to big brands like Instagram and Red Bull. My style is unique to me because it is shaped by my background growing up in Brazil and my work in documentaries. It based in reality, even when it is scripted.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
In my opinion, there is no place like LA for those working or aspiring to work in the entertainment industry. The caliber of the talent pool in this city is unparalleled whether you are working on a tiny budget or a multi-million dollar project. That also makes it so that you have to step up your game and be the best you can be because the competition is intense!

To those who are just starting out, I recommend to get an entry-level job in the industry that is somewhat related to what you want to do (like a production assistant which is how I started or even a receptionist at a production company) just to get your foot in the door and soak in as much knowledge as you can. And while you are doing that, use ALL your free time to create your own content: write something, shoot it on your phone, edit it yourself, learn from your mistakes, REPEAT. In LA, you will find a group of like-minded people who are doing the same thing as you, and you will collaborate, help each other out, and keep each other motivated.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @camilaonenonly
  • Twitter: @camilaonenonly

Image Credit:
Caroline J. Phillips (@caro_jphillips)

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