The Barcelona/Berlin-based director and photographer feeds off movement, fashion, music and feminine stories for inspiration
Laura Martinova is a fashion and commercial director and photographer based in Barcelona and Berlin with a love for dance, fashion, music videos, cinematographic stories and also comedy scripts – with a touch of black humour. The clients she has worked for so far include VICE, Metal Magazine, VEIN, C-Heads Magazine, Esquire, Paco Rabanne, Banca March, Vanity Fair, Four Roses, Etnia Barcelona, Stradivarius or Giada.
Laura loves to tell stories in a unique and profound way that connects with her visual universe like movement, fashion, music and feminine stories.
- Name: Laura Martinova
- Location: Berlin / Barcelona
- Repped by/in: Soup Film, Garage Films, Olympique, Satellite My Love
Q> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?
Laura> I love scripts that connect with my visual universe and help me develop a story in an unique or profound way. Movement, fashion, music and feminine stories are my main source of inspiration.
Q> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?
Laura> First of all I think of any kind of film or pictures that connect me with the topic. It could be a ‘70s film or a photography exhibition that I went to recently. I also look for new references and try to investigate about the subject as much as possible. Then I think about the people I want to work with to build something in that direction. When I have all the references and the crew in my mind, it’s just about writing more precise information about each part of the film: tone, cinematography, styling, set design, choreography…
Q> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with, don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad?
Laura> I think research is always very important. Getting to understand other people works helps us learn about mistakes that we don’t want to make or the results that we would love to reach. It’s a way of learning without having a personal real life experience.
Q> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad?
Laura> For me the most important is to work with passion and honesty. I couldn’t work on a project that I don’t feel that I’m doing what I love most in life. I also need to connect with other people with the heart and work in harmony to reach the best result.
Q> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?
Laura> I am more passionate about dance, fashion, music videos, cinematographic stories and also comedy scripts – with a touch of black humour.
Q> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter?
Laura> My work is sometimes seen as “too feminine” because I like to work with women a lot. It’s funny because I never think about gender when making decisions of working with a certain model or director of photography. I never avoided working with men, and I enjoy working with them most of the time. I just like to work with people without thinking about gender. But for some reason I am very inspired by women (in front and behind the camera) and this is why you can find a lot of girls in my productions. I think that in general, they are very empathetic and professional – as much as some men are, of course.
Q> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?
Laura> My set designer left a project four days before the shoot. It was a very big project and we had to reach for a new set designer and work together without any sleep so we can have everything ready on time. It was a nightmare, but at the end we made it work and the result was amazing.
Q> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?
Laura> I try to be as empathetic as possible and let out my ego, so I can make the best decisions as a director to make the creative directors ideas shine and make clients happy about what they want.
Q> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?
Laura> It took a long time until I was able to work in big productions, and I was also very happy when someone gave me advice or opportunities to improve in my work. This is why I am always happy to open up the production world to new talent and help them improve with my advice.
Q> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time?
Laura>I hate remote shooting and directing with the mask on, because it’s harder to communicate with actors and my crew. I really hope we can go back to “normal” life as soon as possible.
Q> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you're working?
Laura> I always try to think at the time, when possible. First of all, I think of 16:9 or 4:3 formats, and then I think of 9:16 ones. But sometimes it is not possible to have time to take different shots for each format, then I always think in both formats at the same time (using 8K so it’s possible to reframe).
Q> What’s your relationship with new technology and how do you incorporate future facing tech into your work?
Laura> My relationship with new technology is the minimum relationship necessary to be able to work without becoming obsolete. I am more an “ideas" person, not a “technology” one. I like to use technology (cameras, computers, etc.) to reach a good result, more than use ideas to make myself present in a technological format.
Q> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why?
Laura> These are my favourite pieces, because they best show my audiovisual universe: neon lights, feminine universe, movement, beauty, fashion, music, transgression and black humour.