A VIDEO clip of Atoy Martinez, a local Cagay-anon cinematographer, was exhibited in Miss Asia Pacific 2017 last week at Resorts World, Manila. With the pageant’s audience composed of bigwigs from all over Asia, Atoy was able to make connections, leave his mark, and share his work/ideas with an international market. His accomplishment brings honor to us Filipinos because it both illustrates and affirms that we have a lot of world class talents in our developing little country.
Aside from this recent stint in Luzon, Atoy Martinez is also rapidly making a name for himself in the key cities of Visayas and Mindanao; including the international arena. With his friendly demeanor and strong work ethic, it is not surprising that he and his team have been commissioned to do photo shoots, pre-nups, and/or wedding photography in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Australia, the USA, and New Zealand.
Preserving memories, telling a heartrending story using the language of cinema, and doing it all with flair and style are the key components that set apart Atoy Martinez Cinematography. On top of that, he strives hard to make his services affordable for his clients while never compromising on quality.
He told me: “It is actually very normal for clients to always ask for a discount. I understand that everyone has a budget to work with. I really try my best to offer lower packages while still continuing to render extraordinary services.”
Interestingly enough, Atoy started out as the one in front of the camera. Not surprising at all because of his Tisoy good looks! When he was 5 years old, an American got him as an actor for a short film. Atoy shared: "When I saw the output, I said to myself I also wanted to make films. But I only started taking pictures as a hobby when I was in high school and worked on my 1st video in college."
He was candid enough to admit that he took a boring business course for college. However, the call of the arts was strong and he eventually set out to do film-making, which is what he has always been passionate about.
Atoy said: “I learned on the job, with a lot of trial and error. I also did a lot of self-studying, experimenting, and research. I wasn't afraid to make mistakes along the way. It was one of the best ways I could learn." He is indeed a living proof that this adage—if you love your job, you will never have to work a day in your life—is TRUE!
I asked him to tell me about his favorite shoot, but he said that he has none. He expounded: “There is no favorite since every shoot is different; and the place and weather is a big factor. So far, my shoots abroad have been more than rewarding. The benefits are: all expenses paid trip, you get to visit other places, eat different kinds of food, experience new activities, and meet new people and friends. See it doesn’t really feel like a job because it’s fun!”
This master cinematographer encourages those who are interested in photography or filmography to just give it a try. There would be challenges along the way of course, such as: not enough equipment, short on manpower, or nerve-wracking deadlines. But the benefits and creative rush one feels amidst setting someone’s precious moment into a tangible, lasting artifact more than make up for all of it!
His advice: “For those who want to engage in this business or any other businesses for that matter is to always have faith in God. Problems always come but everything will turn out okay in the end because of faith. I know because I've been through it…never giving up and all these abroad trips are rewards after overcoming that one giant trial that my team and I went through.”
I asked him to elaborate on the trial, but he bashfully says that he prefers not to get into the details. Suffice it to say, he and his team learned many things from that episode. Mistakes indeed aren’t signs of failure but opportunities which people ought to utilize to help them grow. It’s akin to being a diamond in the rough that needs to be buffed and to go through fire in order to sparkle.
Atoy noted that he understands why others may seem hesitant to pursue this kind of career path—“Starting out with your own equipment, studio, and team are all expensive. On top of that, there are many other people in this line of business to compete with. But my advice is to never talk negatively about your competitors. Just be yourself and do your best for your clients!”
He also said that the most important element is to always work for passion and not for money. “The equipment may be expensive but creativity /passion is the key. The expensive camera becomes useless if the person himself has no talent and passion,” he concluded with a warm, friendly smile.
To see more of his work, please check his Facebook page: Atoy Martinez Cinematography; his Vimeo: Atoy Martinez; or his website www.atoymartinez.com
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Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 09, 2017.