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A lot has happened since last post ! cant believe it went so fast and here I am like a year later !??

At least it means a lot to share

The year has been pretty exciting for my movies, the ones I have directed as well as the ones that I worked on as DP.

Regarding “ON LOCATION”,  was very happy to see that its Festival career even if slowly fading still provided a couple of Days ago a SPECIAL FESTIVAL MENTION from the Delhi Shorts International Film Festival. I believe by 2018 it is going to be the time to switch to the VOD and possibly TV purchase.

For “BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE”, a lot of selections and prizes !! I am very proud about the outcome of that project, thinking it was a sort of “minor” movie ; my great producer was convinced of the opposite and she was so right. The proof ? An amazingly successful Festival career and I bet more to come.

My project “NEW LIGHTS” got postponed, if not cancelled. I like to think about it like it is postponed. The initial researches were fruitful (too fruitful ?) and gave me answers to the clues I had when starting the entire writing process. The theme is complex, the participants too fragile to not be handled with the proper support team, which in current budget didn’t make sense. I very often wrote that, when shooting a documentary, you got to give as much as you hope to get from the places and people that participate ; in this case, there was a true miss-balance on my side and I didn’t want to make anyone unhappy or suffer from opening wounds I wouldn’t be able to close.

But who knows, maybe a new upgraded version of the project will rise soon ?

 

It gave me time to focus on a photographic project called “FELT”. Making it short, I tried through Portraits of persons and items to recreate a moment of grace we all tend to look for. A moment in time where nothing and everything happens. Project is still on and it might run into Spring 2018 with an exhibition, and for sure a book later in the year.

 

Time was on my side, promoting my movies, changing mind on projects, going back to photography and …Music Videos !!

I had a great gig – 3 music videos, 2 as DP and one as Director – with the great musician Richard Pizzorno. Great time, excellent journey together on the making of his new album. Our collaboration lead to the following images and clips that I am very proud of , both in the making of the images as DP and as Director  part for the last one. That last one was the stepping back into animation and drawings… 3400 drawings later, the Music video is there…and already two Festival Selections !!

https://www.facebook.com/richardpizzornoconnections/

As DP

As Director

 

That gave me the opportunity to another gig with Jazz and Music : Francelet Moser are another great band I am very happy to have collaborated with, and their new release rocks. On the side, the double Bass player offered me a photo session with another project he works on : Wise and Young (WY). I felt back to my first love of music and fashion photography.

as DP

WY Photo sesssion

https://www.facebook.com/wiseandyoungofficial/

 

 

We re early november and I realize the year has been quite of a full and successful one. Promised I will step back into a more regular update and writing, as other projects are on the go ! yes got some extra gigs and  feel very enthusiastic about !

 

Like always, stay tuned for more !

 

It was a snowy day. At least it is what I remember. Walking back home after school in the first snow was a magic moment. I was 7 years old and I remember that quiet and peaceful atmosphere that only snow can create. All sounds are deaden and all I wanted – or pretty much wanted – was to get back home to find my cat.

All the way back, which wasn’t a very long way – perhaps a couple of kilometers – I couldn’t help looking at the sky. In those days darkness came quite early and we could see some stars very soon. So with my red hard leather backpack on the back I felt like flying above the ground, like floating in this cold but life-giving air.

I remember the feeling : I thought it was the best moment on earth. The best moment ever. And that this moment might be the last one.

Actually the days before, spying on the TV – or should I rather say listening from the corridor to the switched-on TV – I was busy paying attention to the news. Gorbachev, Reagan, nuclear power, spies, Afghanistan, if no signature or agreement the end of the world as we know it.

I think I tried to explain it to my cat, but she didn’t realize it. Well being honest my way of explaining her my fears were done in a pretty funny way : I used to lay on floor of my room, trying to not breath. I pretended to be dead after a bombing. What mattered to me was the cat’s reaction : will she find me back, ask for cuddle and show me some desperate love and a deep sadness of loosing her master ?

Years went by and that stays as a memory,  that tension I felt for a couple of weeks when going school disappeared. So did those international tensions (somehow). So did the medias in moving onto other news (yes like the Gulf wars, 9/11, etc…)

Funnily enough in Switzerland every house in those days had a nuclear shelter, obviously build underground. In most of the houses it was used – and still is –  as an extra cellar, a disposal room or quite often as the kids playroom. Toys next to food cans next to sugar next to old newspapers.I believe that nowadays the amount of toys and old newspapers totally outmatched the goods.

As I commented many times, I wasn’t born here, in Europe. As a fact my ancestors – and not that long time ago (only 1870’s) are from Europe. An interesting mix of Western and Central European fellows that for many reasons left the continent to have a better life, or simply a life somewhere else. To exist, no matter what they are or came from.
If we are back to this continent, it is because our future was endangered in South America ; if that sub continent could avoid all damages from the World Wars, the legacy of colonialism carried into most of the World the same seeds that provoked those European driven conflicts.

So is it that the Eurasian continent has been seen as lifesaver for my family and for me. Deep inside I have this believe that culture, respect, open minds are the low hanging fruits in this orchard. We were the victims, like many others in what is called the Third World, of fascism, lack of freedom, single-minded doctrines, post colonialism conflicts, debate free societies – some other type of low hanging poisonous delights. I grew up in an ideal perspective where every point of view – even some disturbing – could be discussed and resulted into positioning of individuals and societies. By  agreeing or not, respect of laws and people, in many different ways. A common objective of not repeating the errors of the past. Yes I saw Western people, Euro-Asians , North Americans like the saviors of us, poor victims. Of course It never meant these places were idiots-free. There is stupidity everywhere, but I thought the wealthy and cultivated have a good way to handle them.

These days, no need to detail what’s happening, we all know too little and too much, we know all is right and wrong, every side in every conflict has good and bad reasons and both interests can be accepted or denied. Just like in an argument with your partner, no one is fully innocent, no one is fully guilty. Yes you know it. Yep hard to accept…I know I know…It makes me think that quite often, and it is the same with acting, many strategies are applied during a couple’s quarrel. Actually it is even the same when a kid asks for something and the parents say no. It shifts from seduction to pleading ignorance to cries and the most often from tyrannic anger to absolute victim outfit. Again you know what I am talking about. So do actors.

Unfortunately for me, my childhoods feeling of last day on earth came back. Not that there is a true fear in there. No I realized and understood that what was scary as a child is sad beyond its limits as an adult. And even more when I see all around me, in the civil society, nothing but people considering themselves like victims. Having a collection of all the most precious treasures that mankind ever dreamed of and they feel like the biggest victims. And all their reactions, thoughts and behaviors are excused by being “the ultimate victim”. I am a bigger victim than you so in the name of my decency – as it is all what’s remaining – I have all rights and no responsibilities.

I am free of any moral duty linked to my acts as I fight for my survival. I thought this was only the claim of uneducated hopeless oppressed  about to die poor people from what is being called the Third World – where I am from. In these days I understand when it can come from the people who had to suffer the biggest from the financial crisis. Hard to hear it when it comes from everywhere and on everything – literally from Geo-politics to personal work.

In those moments I feel discouraged and tricked. I feel like this naive dream of my parents to offer us a better world to live in, a place where you can move from being a victim into an active educated responsible person was a shadow. A concept that no one here wants to grasp any more as hope and future seem to vanish. Is it possible that all the conflicts on this part of the world, since thousand of years taught people to only react with what they know…which means lack of hope and chaotic presumed solutions ? Just like a cheap 2 € therapist would say that beaten children become abusive parents ? Did it discourage them from finding new ways and solutions and a low acceptance for what life is made of , which is uncertainties ? Did a certain comfort make a lot of people lazy and brainless on this side of the globe ? Just like a very clever man, a farmer who had a tough life told me recently for my movie : the advantage we have, us, oldies, versus the young ones , is that we had nothing when we started, and all what we have we collected it on the very late….

I know that there is something deep in human beings, in their nature, in ourselves, that pushes us to find guilty ones and dramatic fast solutions. But so many amazing things have been achieved by those same humans ! If instead of collecting whose nation have the biggest amount of poets, writers, Nobel prizes and great generals to know who’s the greatest and rightful,  we would sum up this for the mankind ? A reason to all be proud of it ?Just like the recent discovery about the Big Bang’s earliest moments ?

And not a victim of the non recognition of my personal greatness from the others. A victim of the lack of interest of our nation amazing genius from the other countries ? A victim that what my faith is not the same as yours and my uncertainties and doubts of my beliefs are actually your fault ? And the most stupid : I am a victim of the entire world not being like the way I want it to be but it freaks me out so therefore everything , everyone is guilty and let’s fix it the way it should be…that no one knows about ?

Maybe those are just the results of what our frenetic materialism drove us into : feeling like things, treating others like things…. Maybe this victimization is the voice of our souls crying in distress…

I believe that my cat understood what my little drills were about. I think she understood it far too well as she stayed by my side for almost 22 years ! She died years ago and it was to me to stand by her side on her last moments. That happened many years ago.

Since 5 years I have a new cat and it never came to my mind to play that game again. Instead of waiting for her to come and save me, I look at her and ask myself what does it take to make her a happy world to live in.

Christmas, New year’s, travels , vacations, work….a bit of everything and there we are in Feb, Olympics are coming (actually starting tomorrow) and I have the feeling I was publishing my last note yesterday !

So what’s new on this bright snowy 2014 ? Well time to finish the shooting of the documentary and to move onto the editing. A lot of images have been collected and I realized how much work it has been and how much will be needed to finalize the movie ; and do you believe me if I say I feel calm about it ? Most of what I imagined about the shooting turned out to be wrong and the concept of the movie I had on paper is far away from…what the movie is going to be ! I can feel , somehow, that the deep meaning is still there, but the form totally changed. And still will ! A great lesson for my nerves , as I am someone who likes to work fast and efficiently, in a sort of urge for the result, in a race for success ?

Meantime I came back to a forgotten and neglected passion : mountaineering. As I mentioned I grew up – despite my origin and birth place in south america – in what a lot of people would call altitude pastures / mountain surroundings / cow paradise / Heidi set ! and because of not being from there…my only wish was to escape and to go and embrace the big world. Large cities, urban life and concrete were synonyms of elegance and refinement : the true success and a nice replacement of the countryside farmers barns, a “no future” place for me.

So these last months I’ve been – to sort of quote Jon Krakauer – like a former alcoholic that wouldn’t have been drinking for 20 years that a sudden one week binge drinking brought back to an advance use of his “elbow raising abilities”. All this in a less dangerous way ? Maybe, so far…

This comeback to a beloved activity helped me to find again an inner peace, a certain connection with some important roots to those green pastures I wanted to escape from. It taught me once again things a knowledge and behaviours I knew and actually the most important these days : I never cared about the goal and always have been more interested by the journey. Mountain tops will always be there. I might not. If I focus only in achieving – just like when I escaped from this little closed and preserved green area to chase my ” bestself a sort of master of the world”- even when reaching my goal I am not satisfied. No change, no living the moment of the journey. Just sucking it up until making it and then needing more…

I believe things come naturally to you by a wonderful power that anyone can call chance, wisdom, belief or faith. I started that movie at the right time, when a call hit me. Where did it come from…I don’t know. I just believe I was strong enough to hear it. It reshuffled and broke my “selfbuilt thirsty for success” instincts and helped me in finding some older instincts, more genuine, stronger,  that a very important place and community of my life taught me once. A way of doing that doesn’t stop you from being succesful. Just in another way. A better way.

I  was close from loosing it all. Close from stretching that bond to the rupture point.

Good it didn’t happen. Good for me. For my work. For today. For my future pace.

So let’s go and enjoy this 2014 ! What else can I wish you all ?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

These last days I spent pretty much of my days in shootings and editing. To keep a healthy “work-life balance” – yes even when you work in the field of Art a balance is required – I literally escape to the country and go for a 3-4h hike around. I am lucky to live in Switzerland, and mountains are just half an hour away from my place. On top , I am even luckier to go during “working hours”, when most of the people are at work. Beautiful moments of solitude surrounded by the inspiring nature.

I realized that those tours make me  feel more confident in front of Final Cut or with an eye locked on my camera’s viewfinder. All my nervousness and stress goes away onto the right channel, giving me the freedom of feeling more than comfortable when the camera rolls. It inspires me as well and feeds my work more than a lot of movies/exhibitions/essays do !

So I am realizing that…this is to me the perfect frame !…now what’s yours ?

 

 

 

 

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned a real tv show called “Trepadores”, produced by the Chilean broadcast company Mega. The final aim of that program was to reach the top of the Aconcagua, the tallest mountain of the American continent. They had 4 months to get prepared and trained to face the challenge.

Less than 2 months after the start and because of low ratings, the show is cancelled. Actually not the show, but the aim of reaching America’s top. No audience, despite all scandals, semi-naked showers, alcoholized parties and some little sex action. Of course in between you had the usual two teams fights, eliminations, nominations, and believe it or not, some true mountaineering training, provided by the most important figures of the Chilean mountaineering.

I thought, by the time I wrote my earlier note, that I would watch one episode, maybe two and then give up…and I was wrong. like my dad told me : ” indeed they’re taking the show off the air because of low audience, actually only one guy in Switzerland seemed to be watching it”…

For me watching such was a bet ; the one you might be making when totally drunk at 4am, that makes you finish with bruises, half-naked with the bunny ears. I was curious on how a real tv show would be able to turn semi-forgotten B lists local stars (and some average joe) into experienced trekkers / hikers / mountaineers within a tight 4 months. Climbing the Aconcagua via the normal road doesn’t require any true 50 years mountaineering experience. It is more on how fit you are and how you react on the high altitude and low oxygen. This means 4 months of training , good weather and no health issue could make you achieve such challenge. And if on top you ll be guided by the most experienced people ever, well all odds seem to be on your side.

I was born in Chile but spent most of my life abroad, in Europe. Instead of the life at sea level I lived and still do between 550m for now and 850m for my childhood times. Against all expectations I grew up surrounded by mountains, just like people do in Santiago, with the difference that here you do something out of it. A mind-set ? a tradition ? well a mix of all. Watching the show has been an interesting sociological study of some south american specimen of contemporary fame addicted characters. Big mouths, shouty people, humongous egos, laziness, lack of commitment, back stabbers ; in other words, nothing that makes you the ideal candidate for the initial challenge of the climb. The production had to invite some handicapped people to show them what a sport commitment means….sad, very sad, as such specimen seem to have a faster rate of reproduction worldwide…

I think I had hope for something more ; I expected the show to collapse, but not for a rating reason. No I wanted to see some of those guinea pigs to be truly motivated by this amazing opportunity that was given to them. That some would truly commit themself and give a twist to the show : serious learners that could damage this big manipulation game and prove you that Big Brother can’t offer a tangible challenge.

At the end it is what happened, not by virtue but by trash related events. In the last episode I watched, the participants have been asked to keep their commitment untouched for the next 10 days, as the show is over and no one will ever see how it feels to be around 7000m.

Their new target is a big amount of money instead. For most of them their eyes started to finally shine when hearing that….

A good trade….

Seems like  gold fever moves people far more than any self accomplishment dream….

ps :

this being said if some more about gold digging and instantaneous fame ….check those movies :

– The Ring Bling, by Sofia Coppola

– Spring Breakers, by Harmony Korine

– Reality, by Matteo Garrone

Not all the same quality, I would even say that some of them are as empty and poor as the metaphysics of the characters…but well…make a mix of all three and it becomes quite interesting 😉

Capture d’écran 2013-10-03 à 16.18.15

I remember starting a note not that long time ago, trying to find the link between a radio documentary about foreigners in Switzerland, a TV one on some forgotten tradition in Sardinia – actually a beautiful horse race that celebrate Saint Constantin – the fact our brain works mostly on the unconscious, that our eyes only screen portions of “sight” and all is then recomposed including the idea of the movement, that TV is still the main channel for support when you want to share something widely, that adding ice cubes to a dumpling’s stuffing makes is lighter or that climbing the Everest kills a little amount of brain cells….

Well the link, never obvious, was partly revealed to me when I took part, last weekend, to a Masterclass on Transmedia. I went there pretty openly, having the intuition that some answers about the power of versatility could be revealed to me.

By the way, if you ask yourself what is Transmedia :

Transmedia is “the vanguard process of conveying messages, themes or storylines to a mass audience through the artful and well-planned use of multiple media platforms and brand extension that creates intense audience loyalty and long-term engagement, enriches the value of creative content and generates multiple revenue streams.” (Jeff Gomez, 2013)

When I look at my resume, I realize I studied Economics, became an expert in Product Supply, worked in Market Intelligence, developed my knowledge in luxury goods, FMCG and sportswear, that I am as well graduated from an Art College, speak 5 different languages and got 2 nationalities, and make photography and movies now with an ongoing project linked to a company I try to developp….And believe it or not, I very often feel like I don’t have an interesting profile. Actually I would say the right profile.

In a pretty structured society as is the continental western european , being a bit of everything is a hard concept to grasp. It even intimidates and cuts off some possibilities  We recall the people who climb the highest peak or run the fastest….which most of the time requires an entire life of training and efforts to achieve it. Expert in a silo, easy to locate on the life’s game board. Or maybe just the post WWII mindset –  that needed strong certainties – still being the major influence…?

So what about the average – or above average in many of those silos ?

Over that weekend I understood how much the future is about versatility !! And on how the articulation between ultimate experts and broad thinkers works : just like a sword , some have the prestige to be the tip and others are the sides. The most important is that both are sharp ,efficient…and needed for a long-lasting success !

The weekend really offered interesting perspectives on how we can move on, and even if the aim of it was to get highly pragmatic solutions to business cases, for me it reinforced the need of always seeing the big picture first.

In my days at Procter, one of my line managers told me once – helped with a  nice drawing – that sometimes you are climbing a mountain – it was a triangle shape, like those famous chocolates – but it isn’t the right one and so you must start over. I always consider it as a strange lesson : the mountain was far too big on the sheet, and personally even if I am climbing the wrong mountain, it will always be a good training for next one, and in my case another piece of experience for the future.

So what ? Well there is no right or wrong profile but what is sure is that the future requires ideas and a lot of imagination, rather than solution on how to keep on with what we know.

One clue….: TRANSMEDIA !!!!