Updated: Sep 18, 2018
By Kristin Quintanilla
Over the past Summer, the previous NESA Cinema teacher, Konise Millender, turned in her resignation to take an administrative job at SAISD. Sarah Pagona, the NESA director, along with a panel of teachers, searched for somebody new to continue the legacy of NESA Cinema. The week before the beginning of school, Andrew Martinez was chosen to fill the role.
Andrew Martinez is an experienced working artist. His previous jobs include casting assistant for The Disney Channel, intern on the Ellen Degeneres Show as well as the soap opera Passions, along with other industry jobs at America’s Got Talent, The 79th Academy Awards, Universal Studios, and the El Rey Network. Martinez also has experience with acting related jobs, such as doing character/parade performances at The Walt Disney World Resort, and DJing for San Antonio’s Radio Disney. He worked as the Audio/Visual Production teacher at SAISD before taking a short break from teaching. Martinez has multiple of his own short films under his belt, working as a producer, videographer, and editor.
Q: What is your impression of NESA so far?
A: I like it so far. The students seem really passionate and like they want to succeed and do great things. Seeing that the kids are passionate makes me a better teacher, and them a better student.
Q: What do you want to improve/change about the Cinema program?
A: I want students to feel creative and proud of their projects. I know some students have expressed past frustrations, things they want to improve and topics they’d like to learn. I hope to fill the gaps of what needs to be learned to improve their overall experience, their filmmaking, and everything as a whole. I would like to improve the quality of films, everybody’s attitude, confidence, and their abilities in film so they can go out and be successful.
Q: Are there any projects you’re working on at the moment?
A: Currently, I’m working on Kimberley Sudah’s TV show called Homegrown Chef, which features local chefs and restaurants. I also do photography and acting gigs on the side.
Q: Do you believe being a working artist as well as a teacher provides a different perspective?
A: I think it helps a lot, because you can give tips and insider information. Things you may not be able to learn in a textbook or an online tutorial, but things you have to learn while you work. Coming in knowing the types of people you meet and the types of jobs you have to do really helps students understand what they have to do when they enter the industry.
Q: What are your interests besides filmmaking?
A: Besides filmmaking, I really like music, acting, photography, improv, and just hanging out with family and friends.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories from previous sets you’ve worked on?
A: Ben Affleck almost ran me over. I was on set with CBS, and I was interning. I was carrying all these heavy scripts, and he was going faster than he should have. He had to slam on his brakes. I didn’t know who it was because I dropped all my papers, but somebody got out of the car and started helping me pick them up. I looked up, and it was Ben Affleck. He was late for an ADR session. Internally, I was like ‘Oh my God, it’s Ben Affleck,’ Externally, I was like ‘you almost ran me over,’ joking with him. His eyes said ‘don’t sue me,’ but I just said it was alright because he didn’t actually hit me. It was cool.
Q: How is NESA compared to other places you’ve taught?
A: Awesome. The staff and students are more organized and focused, and it seems more positive than other places I’ve worked at, which helps take the stress away a little bit. [It] helps me feel more confident in what I do.
Martinez is excited to join the NESA Staff, and hopes everyone will welcome him with open arms.