We had the good fortune of connecting with Helena Cortázar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Helena, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Visual arts are something I’ve always been fond of, and movies are just another beautiful form of art. When I was 8 years old I started to go to a lot of sets and being able to watch castings in person, my aunt Isabel, she’s a Casting Director in México. I started to fall in love with how movies are made, when I was in 5th grade I started making videos of my classmates and I made my graduation video. As I was growing up I fell more and more in love with this career. In 2017 one of my aunts Adela who’s Wardrobe Designer took me to a film set, I worked as a Trainee and that was the moment I decided to do that for the rest of my life. Then I came to Los Angeles to study film, worked in various productions and I graduated last year… the rest is history and the best is yet to come.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a 1st AD & Producer, It is a job where there are always a lot of sacrifices. I started as Production Designer and 1st AD but I put all my time into being 1st AD. During the quarantine, I did a Production Post-grade. Looking for work and more right now with the COVID thing has been difficult, but it is not impossible. In the beginning, it is more complicated because we are still beginners but if you want to continue learning and show yourself that you are capable of doing everything you set out to do, there is no one or anything that can stop you. There will always be a thousand no’s, but there will be someone who will tell you yes and who’s gonna love your work. Do not give up. Right now I’m working on a production called “Emory Woods” Directed by Angela Zaniboni. stay tuned. IT’S A MASTERPIECE.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s a lot of places I love. The first thing you need to do is visit the Hollywood Sign and the walk of fame, watch the sunset/sunrise at the beach. There’s also amazing places like: Downtown (museums, restaurants with an amazing view, art galleries, etc.) Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, Melrose Av. & more. There’s a restaurant in Burbank that it’s called Gitana and you can have a lot of fun with your friends, amazing food and drinks. Some good restaurants in the Hollywood area are: BOA, Catch, Cecconi’s, 800 Degrees, Il Pastaio, BibiBop, The Original Hoy-Ka Thai Noodle & more. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First I want to thank my parents who gave me the courage and the opportunity to be here. my sister Ximena, my nephew Leonardo, my brother in law Eder, my stepmom Jenny and little siblings Zoe, Camila & Max, my best friend Lizette, my aunts Isabel & Adela. Big shoutout to Cortázar-Abbiati Casting. All my family in Mexico especially my Grandmother. And last but not least all my people here in LA that helped me a lot with all this process: Paola, Kenia, Annabel, Angela, Tori, Carlo, Rome & Freddie.
Paola Menacho, Annabel Lavkraft, Freddie Lopez, Zach Garcia, Larry Walker, Aaron Arteaga, Karla Avila, Micah J., “Chronicles of a Douchebag” Crew & Helena Cortázar