Marina Viscun is an award-winning Moldovan-American filmmaker. As a producer, she has been honored with two Telly Awards (Big Voice documentary, 2018; Journey to Safety PSA, 2012), multiple Best Documentary awards (Big Voice), and Grand Jury and Audience Awards (Ode to Los Angeles). Marina Viscun’s notable screenwriting credits are her feature Seeds (semi-finalist, Athena List 2018; shortlist, Sundance Screenwriting Lab 2016) and pilot Dress Blues (quarter-finalist of Final Draft’s Big Break 2017). Marina also writes sci-fi, period, and romantic comedies, and enjoys writing short films that she also directs.
Marina Viscun directorial debut was the experimental music video Nuke City (2014), followed by the military short scratch on metal (2016). She is currently in post-production on her LGBTQ+ short Last Night and in pre-production on her sexual violence short Reverse. Marina is the President of Pingvin Productions, Founder of the #WeAreWITI collective, and former Head of Production at Pulse Films US and Producer at Caviar LA. She was nominated by the LABJ’s Women’s Summit Awards (2013-2018) for her contributions to the LA area’s women empowerment. Marina is the member of the PGA, AWD, and VME, and is a US Navy veteran.
Be a good human being. Every day.
Life is what you make it. I’m making it.
Laughing, it reduces the stress of the day.
I liked all “Happy Birthdays” on my Facebook page!
Talk through things; communication is how we understand each other.
Someone told me a long time ago that New York is a city that finds you, while Los Angeles is a city that you discover. And it’s so true. While in NY, the theaters, parks, restaurants, etc. are there beckoning you to them, but in LA it takes commitment to find what you like, to discover what you connect with, and to fall in love with the little mom-and-pop places spread throughout. Los Angeles is about connections, not just on a superficial level – there’s plenty of that here, as well – but of a deeper, stronger kind, because there’s passion ready to be discovered around every corner of this city.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I always start my day with a little square of Trader Joe’s organic dark chocolate bar with almonds. It’s a requirement for medicinal purposes. I also won’t refuse bacon, but that’s really the extent of my breakfast.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – definitely sleeping, probably because I went to bed just a few hours prior. Unless I’m shooting. Then I’m in the shower, planning the day and coming up with new weird stories.
10:00 AM – this is when I officially start my workday. I am at my computer reading or re-reading the pages I wrote the day prior, handling my email and social media communication, and drinking my tea made by my brew-master husband Jonathon Michals. I, probably, also get distracted and head to Instagram to repost entertainment related photos by the members of #WeAreWITI (We Are Women In The Industry) collective I founded a few years ago.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
The one were I don’t pay? I don’t like loud or stuffy places. I like to hear the other person and I don’t like dressing up. I sound like a cheap date. But not really, because I would prefer Malbec for a good steak or Modan for an amazing ramen. However, it wouldn’t happen at noon, as I would only then get into my work. So how about we shift this lunch to 2:00pm, maybe even 3:00pm?
7:00 PM – is when it gets dark outside, and that’s when my creative juices really start to flow. At this time, I’m hunkered down with my earphones (over the ear, never in) playing something very low volume in the mood of the piece I’m working on. I have a few playlist matching my work: my TV pilot “Dress Blues” has some Lana Del Rey and Fennesz, my foreign language feature “Seeds” is set to Bon Iver, Alt-J, Amadou & Mariam, and DJ Shadow, while other unnamed as of yet projects have Stars of the Lid, Beck, Groove Armada, Buena Vista Social Club, Daft Punk, Kylie Minogue, Andrew Bird, and, of course, Radiohead.
11:00 PM – did I say my juices flow at 7:00pm? Well they are gushing at 11pm for sure. At this time, I’m definitely slouched in my chair, with my desk light on and a candle burning nearby (never during summer, makes me feel too hot), and I’m either writing, developing shot lists, working on a treatment, researching a topic, or scanning the thesaurus for that one exactly right word.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I usually have at least three teas during the day: a black tea from the proprietary mix by my husband, a green tea, an oolong tea, and a night cap of a chamomile tea. My teas don’t have milk in them. Never. I also have a coffee around 5pm to boost my spirit, which always has milk in it. Always. I’m not a big alcohol drinker, but if I’m at an event with a full bar, I’d ask for a caipirinha, which, unfortunately, rarely gets made right.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
I guest Final Draft is the most used creative app, outside of the email, which is constantly in use. My favorite Instagram is #WeAreWITI because I love seeing what talented women do on a daily basis.
What should everyone try at least once?
Food from other cultures say so much about the people, about their societies, about their priorities. Trying something new and exciting while visiting a different culture is a must.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In my own imagination. It’s just so much fun!