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Finding the right stories to tell with Mariana Mendez
When, Mariana Mendez comes across a compelling, untold story, her insides burn with passion and excitement until she finds herself a platform to tell it. As a film producer, this is what her profession is all about.

She thrives on the knowledge that her job allows her to bring the visions and ideas of other creative minds like her own to life before the eyes of eager audiences. She understands better than most that some stories simply need to be told to the world and she will stop at just short of nothing to make sure that she never lets an important message go unshared. With that, her unprecedented ability to uncover stories with meaningful messages and a place in our society's narrative is undoubtedly the reason that she is excelling as a producer in one of the toughest, most competitive industries known to man.

"In this day and age, anyone can grab a camera, some friends, and make a movie. So you're competing for visibility — not just with your peers, but with anyone with access to a camera. You really need to make sure, then, that you have a great story in order for it to stand out. Finding great scripts can be challenging; however, once you find the right people to work with or if you're open to reading scripts from first time writers, you'll find out that great, original scripts do exist. For that reason, I feel more determined than ever to find those stories and to share them with the world around me," told Mendez.

In this quest to find view worthy scripts and craft them into masterpieces, Mendez has managed to produce a number of highly esteemed films such as Viva El Rey and Zero Hour. In addition, her skills and expertise as a producer have contributed to the number of awards her work has received. For instance, in 2013, Mendez earned herself a role as Executive Producer for the film Zero Hour. Her financial contributions helped compensate for the lead actress' salary and in turn, she managed to help save the script from remaining in the dark forever. She later beamed with more pride when it screened at over 30 festivals worldwide, including prestigious festivals like Cannes International Film Festival in France and HollyShorts International Festival in the USA.

Zero Hour was written by legendary Mexican screenwriter and Oscar Nominee, Guillermo Arriaga, and starred Jaime Camil and Camila Belle as they depict the lives of lovers Paula and Lorenzo. As the two travel along a long and desolate road, something unexpected happens, leaving them with no choice but to make a decision that could either bring them closer together than ever before, or rip them apart forever. It was shot in the Californian desert and for Mendez it was a learning experience unlike any other she had ever encountered. 

"I loved working on this project so much because it was my first experience on a big set working with very accomplished people like Arriaga, Camil, and Belle. I got into the zone and began to notice how people behave on set, what sort of mistakes to avoid, what tricks to do to solve unexpected issues and ultimately, how to treat people in a fast-paced, large scale environment. It was definitely a huge learning experience for me creatively, personally, and financially," she said.

Even though she originally agreed to involve herself in Zero Hour because of the other prestigious industry favourites working on it, she found so many more exciting elements along the way. It was an extremely fast-paced shoot and she was working under a strict schedule. In addition, shooting in the Californian desert meant that Mendez had to plan and account for uncontrollable factors such as power loss, scarce water supplies, heat, and more. Managing to complete the project on time and within their budget is a testament to just how skilled Mendez really is at what she does.

Beyond the responsibilities associated with executive producing this film, Mendez was powered by the idea that the script reflects a story that shows just how easily bent society's moral code can be. She felt humbled knowing that allowing viewers to watch her work would help them to gain perspective and prevent history repeating itself in future. For her as a person, and as a career professional in the film industry, she felt that there is a prospect for societal growth buried within the script and she is glad to be able to say that her heart, soul, and talent went into making the world around her a better place to live in.

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