Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

David Martinez Refreshes his Director’s Reel, Placing Emphasis on Levity, Simplicity and a Good Beat

David Martinez is a collector of stories, with every new encounter an opportunity to tell a unique story and remove what isn’t needed in order to reveal the essential. He is known for his ability to keep things simple, however, simple does not always mean one dimensional. In his new Director’s Reel, David captures fresh faces, new adventures and moments of zen. His ability to use natural light and enhance the beauty of the world around us allows us to feel fresh air on our face and salty water on our lips. 

Each vignette in this reel tells a story, a peak into the life of someone else. And with a good beat as its base, David hopes the reel brings a moment of levity to your day. We sat down with him to learn more.

Describe your new reel in three words.
Joyous, playful and bright. 

The music feels intentional and seems to work perfectly with your work, can you speak to that?
I really like the track used. I actually was working on this reel for a while when I got stuck on which music to use. To me, the music sets the tone of the reel. This particular track has been in my saved, to be used files, for some time. I gave my editor five tracks, knowing that I’d be happy with whatever she chose. She sent me back the file with this particular song and I knew the reel was finished. I think the pace music is evocative of my work and that track gives the levity that I wanted for the reel. I wanted something that was delightful to experience. 

You mentioned your editor, how important is the relationship you have with that role?
The most important. You can have all of the perfect footage in the world, but if you aren’t able to put it together in a way that makes sense and tells a story, it won’t work. I have worked with my editor, Anais, in the past so I felt comfortable giving her freedom to select a track and piece things together in a certain way. I think it says a lot about our creative flow that she picked the song I most wanted. Although I am a solo photographer and director, my work always hinges on other people to get it to its final point. I consider myself lucky to have collaborators with whom I work well with. 

How does directing differ from being the stills photographer on set? 
Oftentimes these days I am tasked with shooting both stills and video on the same set. I always like to start with stills and work out any lighting and blocking issues before shooting motion.  When it comes time to shoot the video I am free to direct and focus on talent and direction having solved all of the technical issues while doing the stills. Shooting video has allowed me to go deeper into the stories I am trying to tell in a way that stills can’t, making my job more fun than ever before.

In your own words, what is the purpose of a director’s reel?
I think of it as a peak into my mind and how I see the world. Not only does it give people an idea of what I’ve been up to and my current work, but it also tells a bit about my perspective on things. I hope that this gives viewers a general feeling of what I do and how I do it.

Follow David on Instagram to see imagery that is a result of expressing his vision through balance.