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Meet Helena Cortázar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helena Cortázar.

Helena, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Visual arts are something I’ve always been fond of, and movies are just another beautiful form of art. When I was 16, I volunteer in a Casting Company in México, I made the graduation video for my school, so I decided to study Film.

Since I’m from Mexico, I always wanted to come to LA to see how the movie industry worked here, so in 2017 I decided to do a workshop in the New York Film Academy after finishing the program I came back to México. I was too shy to and I have always been very close to my family. Instead, I decided to study communications in Mexico City.

In my first two months of school in Mexico, I happened to have a trip to L.A with my family and I started thinking that I was doing the wrong thing with my life, I was everything but happy. So I decided to dropped school on México without my parents knowing that. I talked with them and they agreed. In January of 2018, I worked as trainee for a production in México and after that, I was pretty sure that I wanted to do that the rest of my life.

In August of that year, I came to study at the Los Angeles Film School during school, I worked in different projects outside school as a set photographer, Assistant Director and Production Designer. I just graduated school and I’m ready to start working and challenging myself in every project.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a difficult process with the simple fact of having your loved ones and best friend away from you, but they have always supported me and have been for me in all the decisions I make. Thanks to the school I made a family here, I am very grateful to my friends, they have supported me a lot. If at some point I miss home, I know that I am here for a reason and for my life career and that this is what I want to do and with each project, I do I know that it is worth being here and although we receive many rejections there are another people who pay attention to your talent and that they’ll hire you for projects. All people come here for a dream but it is up to you to go ahead and make it work.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I work as a Production Designer, Set Photographer, and Assistant Director. I started as an AD and I have done a couple of projects but one day I received an offer to do BTS in a short-film and when I did it I really liked it and they liked my work so they recommended me to more people so I’ve done six behind the scenes of projects. As a Production Designer, I’ve done 1 for a horror short-film, one music video. Also, I’ve done four projects as a Set Dresser. Three months ago, I was at a school and I received a call from a producer that they wanted me to do the Production Design for a Pilot in an upcoming series. I did it, and all of my work as a production designer. It would not have been done without the help of the wonderful team that I have.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The first credit I’d love to give it’s my parents, my sister, my brother in law, my best friend have been super supportive, and the main reason why I am here. Also, my school has been super supportive of my process, paperwork, and everything especially my advisor Yacine. The Producer from my last project: Celine Onwuchekwa. Last but not least, shout out to my amazing co-workers and friends: Kenia, Annabel, Paola, Rome, Luz, Freddie, Cris, Manon, Christina, Shea, Tori, Angela, Carlo, and Jason.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Annabel Lavkraft, Theresa Eschbacher, Manon Tamalet

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