Cinema UFM: How to create your Ópera Prima

Estefanía Campos  | 02 de abril de 2019  | Vistas: 49

Art Cine Cinema UFM Cortometraje

Justin Lerner, independent filmmaker, shared with students on his last visit to UFM some advice on how to create their Opera Prima, referring to their first featured film, based on his experience writing and directing Girlfriend, his own first film.

Amanda del Valle and Ines Starry moderate the panel with Justin and discuss several interesting topics, such as his biggest challenges in the creation of his film. Justin explains getting people to collaborate with him, because he had a reduced budget and it was his first film; also working with Evan, who has Down Syndrome and this made his take different roles while shooting, to get the final product.

I think honestly that this film was designed to be made small and quickly (...) it was more about convincing people to give me the money”.

Then he advices to do something that nobody has ever seen before because you will immediately stand out. Lerner then describes the aspects of the movie that he related to, or were a representation of something in his life.

You have to find a personal way into the movie (...) It doesn’t have to be autobiographical, you find a truth in it and then make a metaphor for it ”.

Later Justin talks about the locations and cast of the film, how he got to work with Jackson Rathbone, who became a co producer of Girlfriend. Also Lerner gave advice on how to make your first movie in a cheap way, considering that getting a budget is a huge challenge and how to use commercial music in films.

Finally, he describes his journey as a script writer and some final advice on how to construct your first film around the available resources that you have.


Writer and Director

Moderadora y estudiante, Escuela de Cine y Artes Visuales



Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín