We had the good fortune of connecting with Martina de Alba and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Martina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
In order to make real changes in my life, I had to take big risks. I successfully changed career three times. Risks had to be taken if I wanted be happier. It’s scary but the rewards are priceless. Comfort zones are the killers of excitement and improvement.
If you want new doors to open you must take risks. The bigger the risk the bigger the change!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a visual artist from Mallorca, Spain and based in Los Angeles. I love storytelling and my passion is documentaries. I have a background in graphic design but I’ve always been obsessed with video. I like images in movement, that’s how I visualize ideas. First I became a video jockey for live music shows at Apolo theater in Barcelona and that led me to do video projections at the Primavera Sound Festival. I worked as a video jockey for five years and that’s when I developed my love for video art. That’s when I realized I wanted to become a professional video editor.
My passion is music, I play drums and sing so one of the reasons why I transitioned from graphic design to video was because I wanted to be able to pair music with image.
In 2008 I decided to move to New York City to pursue my career as a professional video editor. I didn’t speak English at the time, I didn’t know anyone in the US and I didn’t have savings so I enrolled in an Au Pair program to get to the US with a visa. I worked as an Au Pair in Brooklyn, NY for six months. I was living in the basement of a wealthy family home while I was taking care of their three kids. I got paid $200 a week for 48h of work. I didn’t feel comfortable and respected by the family so I quickly found a way to get myself out of that situation and kept focused on my goal to become a professional video editor. I put my portfolio together and I was able to get an artist visa. I was legally represented by a sponsor so I could work as a visual artist.I had to trust myself and my ability to make my new career happen. It wasn’t easy but I overcame all the challenges with effort and determination, taking action and not overthinking.
In 2010 I was hired to work as a full time video editor for VICE Media in Brooklyn, NY. During those five years working there I also hosted VICE Does America, a political exploration docu-series on the VICELAND TV Network.
In 2016 I joined The Front, a female based media company in Brooklyn. I also edited short documentaries for The New York Times, National Geographic and CBS among others.
In 2018 I moved to Los Angeles to work at Zoe Saldana’s media company, BESE. There I transitioned to directing and producing and I was able to direct, produce and edit content for the platform.
My latest work as a director/producer/editor is the ASMR food show, The Flavor of Sound, featuring Zoe Saldana.
This year I collaborated as an editor on In The Dark Of The Valley, a wonderful documentary that focuses on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a former nuclear and rocket-engine testing site near Los Angeles. It’s an exploration into the site’s history of cover-ups and negligence by site owners Boeing, NASA, and the Department of Energy.
The documentary has recently won an award for best feature documentary and for best editing at Angeles Documentaries Festival. This makes me very happy and really proud of the people I work with. Passion and hard work pays off and I’m very glad of all the risks I’ve taken to fulfill my dreams.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d take them to have a picnic at the reservoir park in Silver Lake. Then I’d love to take them to the studio where my band practices in Highland Park. I play drums in a band called Galope and we have the best time every time we go, usually on Saturdays evening. After practice, I’d take them to dance and drink cocktails at Club Tee Gee in Atwater Village. Next day, I’d take them for lunch at Dune, my favorite mediterranean restaurant. After that we’d go on a hike to Griffith Park and visit the Observatory. We’d get Mexican food for dinner at el Sauz Tacos on San Fernando Road. A must visit to the LACMA, the California Science Center and a walk to Spoke cafe on the LA river. Then dinner at Salazar and drinks at Zebulon.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to thank all my friends for their support. My friends are family.