Sergio Miranda & Michael Boidy Take On The World Of Documentaries

By Avery Zendejas

Sergio Miranda and Michael Boidy are both very accomplished filmmakers. 

Boidy is a leading cinematographer, having worked with some of the top producers, directors and fellow cinematographers in the business. He has shot and provided stunning images for National Geographic’s “Great Migrations” documentary, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, plus the Ecuador, Israel, and Mexico episodes of “The Royal Tour” documentary series, among other shows and films.

Miranda comes largely from an editing background, having worked on a number of major TV programs. He has transitioned to also producing projects in the last few years and is at work on several films.

The two have teamed up on an exciting new feature-length documentary, “Heart Beat,” which explores the roots of music, our emotional bond to music, and the therapeutic benefits of music. The documentary is not finished yet and Miranda and Boidy are hard at work getting it across the finish line and to the next step of distribution.

Hollywood Blvd Magazine spoke with them about the film and the unique world of documentaries.

HB: How did you two meet?

MB: Sergio and I met through a mutual friend while working on Fostered Productions projects together. All three of us had been working for “The Bachelor” TV show and that ultimately brought us together in 2011. 

SM: Ever since then, we have been working on various productions together. 

HB: Sergio, you come from primarily an editing background. Why the move into producing?

SM: The main reason is that I did not see content out there that was speaking to me. I work mostly in unscripted TV, not much of that stuff is cinematic and I felt shows like “Anthony Bourdain” captured cinematic images while telling amazing stories. If you watch any opening intro to that show you know exactly what I mean.  So, in my recent years, I have been producing more cinematic unscripted ideas and documentaries.

HB: Do you still do editing jobs?

SM: Yes, I am currently working full-time as an editor for a TV development production company during the day and at night I do freelance for various production companies and networks.

HB: Which do you like better?

SM: I like both very much, I think producing documentaries is something I like better than producing unscripted TV shows. For editing, it doesn’t really matter which project I am working on. I just love the process of being a creative editor.  

HB: Michael, your background is cinematography. How did you get into that?

MB: After taking a few photography courses I quickly realized that I wanted to make a career as a Cinematographer for movies and Television. I attended SDSU’s film & communications program in 1999 and graduated with a Bachelors of Science and Arts in 2001.

I specialized in Cinematography and thankfully SDSU had a really great program with quality equipment and professors.

HB: Is that still your main love?  Filming compelling images and telling stories?

MB: I have several main loves that I’ve been able to marry together in my life. Music, science, and film. I’ve been working with film and music my entire life and really love cinematic storytelling with compelling images, depth, and creativity as well as quality sound, authentic soulful non-commercial music, and movies with really great sound design.

HB: So how did the idea to form a documentary production company come about? 

MB: The idea to form a documentary production company came from the need to protect our project and assets for “Heart Beat,” our documentary currently in production. The idea came to me in the form of an epiphany in 2013. I pitched the idea I had to Sergio to see if he would want to work on this with me. He agreed thankfully and after planting some seeds and doing some research we began filming on January 1, 2014.

HB: Documentaries don’t often get the love they should in terms of major recognition but that seems to be changing a bit with so many cable outlets these days and the growth of companies like Netflix. Do you agree? 

MB: I completely agree with you. Documentaries are making a huge come back mainly because mainstream films have not been doing well and lacking creativity. Hence people are seeking more intellectual and interesting subjects to follow and learn from. Documentaries can offer fascinating views and perspectives of other cultures, worlds, and people’s lives. Documentaries can make big changes and inspire many when created with the right intentions. 

SM: Netflix has definitely changed the game with their long list of original documentaries and I think a big reason why we are so attracted to these documentaries is that they are true stories about real people in extraordinary situations. Personally, I have been a big fan of true crime docs like “The Staircase” and also social injustice awareness documentaries like “Strong Island” or “13th.”

HB: So tell us about “Heart Beat.”

MB: “Heart Beat” has been my entire world since August of 2013. A year and a half earlier in April 2012, I had survived a horrible helicopter crash while filming aerials in Guatemala. I suffered from memory loss, depression, weight gain and a broken back. After intensive surgery, physical therapy and work on myself, I recovered. But I still had major pain, stiffness, depression, and weight gain. 

In 2013 my best friend brought me to my first Burning Man. That experience changed my energy and gave me life again, so to speak. Most of my back pain and stiffness had gone away, I felt happy, stronger and in a better place. I had witnessed a true sense of community there that week. I was inspired and had an epiphany which was how “Heart Beat” was created. It was originally going to be titled “House of DJs,” showing the evolution of electronic music and its highly creative community. This story became so much more and evolved after filming many interviews that dug deep into the lives of DJs, world music composers, sound healers, sound engineers, sound researchers, scientists and survivors like myself that used music to heal themselves in some form or fashion. It drove me to look deeper and deeper into the science of music, sound, and vibration.

The fun part about documentaries is they surprise you the whole way through as to how they want their story to be told. Like peeling back the layers of an onion and not knowing what each layer is going to contain.

HB: How far along is it and when do you expect to wrap it up?

MB: Here we are in 2018 and “Heart Beat” has come a very long way. We have accumulated a ton of 4k footage with incredible interviews, b-roll, cinematic aerials, time lapses, slow-motion material that requires a lot of time in post and several editors working weekly for months. 

Sergio has been a committed partner in this from the beginning and helped with all post-related materials. He organizes and lays out all of the interviews, selects, transcriptions, manages hard drives, all post including syncing audio, making promos, trailers, and graphics when needed.

When we get the funding or small investment funds we are looking for, between $200-300k, we can finish the film and prepare it for distribution, marketing, advertising and film festivals all over the world. Our goal is to finish it this year and ready for release early in 2019. 

HB: What other films are you planning to do?

MB: We have a series called “House of DJs” we’d like to get picked up as a weekly series. Also, we have other projects and film ideas we’d like to get financing to create that are geared towards uplifting, positive, inspirational content.