Hederr Perez Collaborates with Diane Brache and Telekinetic Walrus on Your Life Is a Movie

Hederr Perez with Albert Manduca (sound engineer)
Hederr Perez with Albert Manduca (sound engineer)

Hederr Perez has traversed quite a few roads to get where she is today. The Miami native claims to have taken "a stroll through the arts" before finding her current passion, filmmaking. Perez pursued music, choreographed modern dance routines, and took on a few university creative writing classes all prior to realizing her destiny one night at the 2009 Borscht Film Festival.

Surprised that Miami had such a reputable filmmaking scene, Perez embarked on a journey with her camera to tell a story that includes life, love, and a lot of North Miami -- a neighborhood not exactly known for inspiring much art.

Perez spent the past year brainstorming ideas and working on her

first short film with the goal of directing "a project that meant

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something." The result, Your Life Is a Movie, includes a

series of short, didactic short film installments. Each one introspectively examines

the life of a character created by Perez. The first episode of the series

explores two lovers, specifically Hazel Sanchez's desire to win back her lost

love Ernesto. 

The installment, "Your Life is a Movie: Hazel,"

portrays a woman known for her bright imagination but

plagued by her inadequate social skills. Hazel, who is a self-proclaimed

"credulous romantic," is a raw artist who has difficulty coping

with the realities of the outside world.

"Hazel is an interesting paradox when you consider her talents. She

performs well on stage, she commands in the bedroom but can't readily

express herself in regular settings," states Perez. The below trailer gives us

a small glimpse into Hazel's life and love troubles, with scenes at

Churchill's Pub and other familiar North Miami neighborhoods. 

The Your Life Is a Movie

series incorporates DIY, including raw, documentary

style camera work, a small budget, and a low-fi approach to editing.

Most of the crew, production team, and actors consisted of local friends

such as Diane Brache,

music group Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions, and set designer

Jenny Cavallo.

Through DIY ethos, Perez worked on teaching herself

how to use a camera and edit scenes. She gave herself a year to complete

the project -- from writing the script to editing the film. During

the process, Perez became extremely involved with each character. "My

creative process required for me to be isolated a great majority of the

year. I can't help but become the characters I write about, long enough

to understand and emphasize with their personal hell," explains Perez. 

Though strenuous and burdened with obstacles, Perez considers the week shooting  "Your Life Is a Movie: Hazel" to have been a highlight of her life. And while she cites Miami filmmakers

such as Peter Glanz and Barry Jenkins as inspirations, Perez is most

drawn to Parisian Vincent Moon's

experimental and poetic films.

"He makes his films all over the world,

working with extraordinary talent, without a budget and on his own

terms," states Perez. Although she might not be on Moon's level, yet, the young filmmaker hopes to screen her short films at a festival like Borscht someday.


the Mumblecore-influenced "Your Life Is a Movie" will travel to Barcelona to tell the

story of Cassandra, who also happens to be a friend of Hazel's. Once the

short film is complete, Perez plans to make her way around the states to

introduce and screen her films.

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