Full Interview with Marialyse Martiney '15, Walt Disney Studios
Marialyse Martiney '15
Why did you choose to attend Connecticut College?
I knew I wanted to attend Connecticut College when I visited the campus during one of their open houses. Yes it was a beautiful campus and all the tour guides raved about all the fun facts, but it was Professor Morin that sold me on studying there when we met in the editing lab where he could show me some of the facilities and talk more about the department. There, Professor Morin answered all my questions, concerns, and got me excited to study film with him. Little did I realize how many hours I would spend in that Editing Lab. Little did I know that the individual attention he gave me that day, he would also give me for the next 4 years of my education to help me grow and become the filmmaker that I am today.
How/why did you major in Film Studies?
I got a camcorder for Christmas when I was in middle school, made cheesy homemade videos, and decided to make a career out of it. I also always loved movies and behind the scenes content on DVDs and none of the other subjects in high school held my attention or interest.
What happened after Connecticut College and are you up to now?
After I graduated I packed up all my stuff and moved out to Los Angeles right away. I spent the first month reaching out to past employers and people in my network, and I was also meeting people in the industry to learn about what they do and how the industry works. Through that networking I got a job as a temporary Assistant Post Production Coordinator at Sony Pictures Entertainment before landing a role The Walt Disney Studios. After 2 years of taking care of post productions crews such as Solo: A Star Wars Story, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ralph Breaks the Internet, I moved into Digital Distribution and currently work in Studio Operations as a Digital Operator working exclusively on Disney+ content.
How did Film Studies at Connecticut College influence you in choosing your field of work?
Professor Morin structured the curriculum so that each course explored all aspects of filmmaking rather than focusing on just one element of the craft. Some schools teach specialized courses in editing, lighting, sound, etc., but at Conn, I was able to develop as a filmmaker in each of my courses. And furthermore, I was quickly able to figure out that post production was my favorite part of the process. I was able to hone my skills as an editor through the rest of Professor Morin’s classes. I also discovered that I loved the meticulous work involved in being a producer and assistant editor that we were taught in the higher-level classes which is why I’ve also started down the career path of being a coordinator.
In what ways did being a Film Studies major at Connecticut College prepare you for your career?
Through Dr. Martin’s theory classes I learned a lot about film representation (in particular, the representation of women and femininity) and why it matters to have a voice regarding representation. The Walt Disney Company is hyper aware of these many representation issues, both in their films and internally throughout the company. I am a member of the Women in Post group sponsored by Hollywood Professional Association, Disney’s Knowledge Network of Women (KNOW), and Women in Animation where I can contribute to these conversations and be an advocate in bringing change.
Through Professor Morin’s production classes, I was able to learn a great deal about the structure and hierarchy in the film industry as well as how a lot of the practical processes are done. Professor Morin did an extraordinary job in teaching a very solid base of these structures and processes so that when I had to use them in the real world I was able to recognize and adapt to how the company handles them. At Conn, we learned things like shooting schedules, script notes, organizing dailies, rolling schedules, etc.
What is the best piece of advice you were given for succeeding in your current field of work?
As Professor Morin always says, “Filmmaking is problem solving.” I deal with problems everyday for my job at Disney and it’s how I handle and solve those problems that help me succeed in my job and get people to notice me in a good way. Being able to stay calm and think rationally while utilizing what resources I have is vital and I’ve definitely developed these skills through my productions classes and last-minute fixes on student films!
What are your best memories of being a Film Studies major at Connecticut College?
I’ve had a lot of great moments majoring in Film Studies. Seeing my finished film along with everyone else’s screened at the Student Film Exhibition is definitely top on the list but there’s also all those fun class moments when the Professors just break that Professor-Student relationship and make you laugh with personal perspectives. Film Studies at Conn is such a creative and emotionally revealing major and we form bonds with our Professors and peers. These bonds are very strong and unique compared to other majors because we all create the films together by either actually being there on set helping each other film or giving feedback in class.