Q&A with Producer Mariana Wahrhaftig

Creating art about art can be a tricky thing. Making a music video that accurately reflects the emotion and integrity of the music is not easy. Directing them in a style that conveys the meaning of the song is art itself, and very different than directing a television program or film. Mariana Wahrhaftig knows this well.

Wahrhaftig is extremely versatile. Not only has she worked with many rising artists on music videos, and ventured into the world of video games. Fans of the games can be extremely critical of the score that accompanies it, and Wahrhaftig, being a fan herself, knows how to deliver.

Wahrhaftig’s lifelong appreciation of music and film have shaped her talents in the combination of the two, which is expressed in the interview below.

In the last year, Wahrhaftig had the opportunity to direct and produce music videos with musical talents such as Chandler Juliet and RVLS, as well as produced The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses third season, working with the world renown gaming franchise Nintendo.

Wahrhaftig is a name to look out for, and you can find out more by reading our exclusive interview.

Where are you from? When and how did you get into producing and directing music videos?

MW: I was born and raised in Curitiba, in Brazil. Growing up. I used to love watching music videos on MTV, it was the perfect way to learn about who the people behind the music were. I moved to Canada when I was 16 to pursue my studies and career in film and video, and the first job I got was as working on a music video for Eric Speed, a violin player. And after that I was hooked. I worked with the same director for a while until I moved to Los Angeles when I started directing and producing them. I love everything about them, the productions are short, fun and you get to be creative with what you do.

Can you tell us a little bit about the projects you’ve done?

MW: My first video as director/producer was for the band RVLS, and a few others were for Chandler Juliet. Before I moved on to work at The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, where I was a producer for season three, where I got to work with another passion of mine: video games.

What makes you pick one project over another?

MW: I try to work with things that I’m interested on, because that’s how I know I’ll give my best work. I like the artists I worked with, I enjoy their music, and that way I feel confident that I am able to put out a good piece of work. With Zelda it was no different. I grew up playing the Majora’s Mask game, I had the game’s soundtrack and arrangement album by Koji Kondo, the composer, and so to have the opportunity to create a piece that encompasses the feeling of the game, and have it approved by Mr. Kondo himself is truly something I’ll keep in my heart for the rest of my life.

What is your favorite project you have worked on, and why?

MW: I love every project I worked on, I get attached to them on personal level. But producing the Zelda symphony was special to me. I got to produce the new musical arrangement and video from the Majora’s Mask game, which is a dream come true. I also got to write the script and direction for the videos that we recorded with the Zelda creators themselves. I wrote something for my childhood idols! I don’t think I can top that off!

What would you consider your strongest qualities in your field?

MW: My wild imagination? (laughs). I like to push things beyond what’s normally possible, and so it does help a lot. On my first video, A Get Away Plan for RVLS, I don’t think any of the band members knew what they were in for when we started. They told me their idea, what they wanted to do for the video, and what was originally supposed to be a confetti fight in a desert turned into a giant confetti party at the Sepulveda dam – complete with confetti guns! It was really cool for me take their idea and go crazy with it. I’d say they were very happy with the end result.

Who have you worked with that has inspired you and why?

MW: Both RVLS and Chandler Juliet are phenomenal artists that I have a lot of respect for. But I think what had a great impact in my career was the music video director I worked with in Canada – Pierre-Luc Bucher. He was the person that took a risk in hiring someone new to the industry as his production manager and assistant director, and he respected me in my position to do my job. Having someone believe in you at the beginning goes a long way to that person’s career, and I’m thankful for having that.

What projects are you currently working on or have coming up?

MW: Chandler and I are putting the last touches on her upcoming video The World’s Not Ending and we’re pretty excited to release it. I also will be running a video competition for an NGO on water awareness, which I’m really excited about.

What are your plans for the future?

MW: Hopefully more music, video games, and music videos.  I can’t have enough of it in my life. I hope I get to do more projects and collaborate with some awesome artists.

Why music videos instead of films or television programs?

MW: It’s the perfect place for me to work with my passions. I get to mix music with visual productions, and I love everything about that. It’s also the fact that the productions are so short, that you have the flexibility to constantly do different projects, and work with different artists. It’s the perfect balance!

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