There is a common understanding in the world that there is no way of ever truly understanding another individual until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Regardless of how someone behaves, there is no telling what lies beneath the confines of their skin. For Mariana Mendez, this reality is intriguing to say the least and it is the reason she chose to pursue a career as a producer in the film industry. She loves the idea that she can put herself into other people’s shoes, learning about new cultures and ways of life as she goes while using the information gathered to enhance the films and television shows she works on. She feels driven by the reality that she lives in a diverse, ever so unique society and that there are always opportunities to explore new individuals, passions, emotions, places, and more. It has helped her to establish a remarkable career as a producer and it brings her a true sense of joy with her life.
Over the years, Mendez has been one of the main reasons that films like Zero Hour go on to screen at prestigious film festivals such as the Las Vegas Film Festival in the United States and Canterbury Short Film Festival in New Zealand. She is also undoubtedly a main contributor to the fact that films she works on, such as OverAgain,go on to win awards for Best Film and Audience Choice at festivals around the world. She is known for her ability to take a concept for a film, develop a plan to execute its script masterfully, and take every step necessary to see it through to a successful end.
OverAgain follows the life of a man named Sam who reverts to old memories in the face of his relationship falling apart. Its premise begs the question as to whether or not he will miss what is right in front of him while he pines for what used to be. The script originated from the writer, Lilianna Wilde’s, memory of a previous romantic relationship and was shot over a period of three days in Los Angeles. When Mendez was approached by Wilde about working on the film, she was ecstatic. She, alongside her partner at her production company, Mindsoup Entertainment, excitedly agreed to take on the project and looking back now, she couldn’t be happier she did so.
When Wilde sought Mendez’ expertise for the film, she did so in hopes that she could find someone that she could trust to have the skill set and discipline to oversee the production of the film. Having witnessed Mendez’ exceptional work in the past for Zero Hour, she was confident that Mendez was just the person she needed to ensure that her break up drama would leave audiences pondering their overall message long after watching the film.
Upon agreeing to work on OverAgain,Mendez decided that she wanted Wilde to be able to shift one hundred percent of her efforts into crafting the storyline with her director in order to find out how best to bring the script to life before the camera. This meant, however, that Mendez would have to handle and oversee every other detail, big or small, in order to refrain from interrupting Wilde’s creative process. Mendez was up to the challenge and masterfully conducted her essential duties as a producer to keep the project on time, on budget, and on par with the quality of films on the big screen today.
In addition to the enjoyment of getting to do what she loves most for the project, Mendez was also energized by the fact that her cast and crew members were so close to the point that it felt as though she was hanging out with friends, rather than working. She felt that it helped them stay true to the realness of the script and to keep each other’s interests, as well as the interests of their audiences, of utmost priority throughout the entire duration of the project.
Winning awards and generating interest in the film industry was a firm reminder that there was little to no room for improvement with regards to the work that Mendez undertook for the film. She was honored to see it earn such great success so early on in its festival run and hopes to see it continue to gain traction amongst audiences worldwide. Overall, OverAgain served as yet another reminder that she chose the ideal path to carry her career along.
To other aspiring film producers who find themselves in a position to choose whether or not their career is worth pursuing, Mendez had the following advice to share:
“Don’t become a producer if you don’t truly love it. This is the reality in a lot of industries, but particularly this one. There are so many days of long, grueling prep and on set, that if you aren’t truly passionate about it, it can become extremely miserable. Also, don’t make a film just because its topic is trendy at the moment. It ultimately saturates the market and producers find that they’ve made a below average film based on a topic that is no longer relevant. So, if you really love it, find something compelling to produce and run like the wind with it.”