Thursday, November 10, 2011

You are as good as the people you work with. Part 4

In an industry as competitive as the commercial production industry, people tend to keep their resources as close to the vest as they can. And everyday you find less people recommending others because they feel they might be giving away advantages.

I think otherwise. I recommend people because all of them will go out of their way to work with me and viceversa. It is a mutual understanding of what really matters in life: respect and loyalty.

Respect derives from professionalism and  loyalty comes from respect. You are loyal to the people who respect what you do and treat you accordingly.

This is the reason I started the series of  "You are as good as the people you work with" to praise professionals that I respect.

So today I will talk about a Location Manager from Mexico who has made our lives so much easier by looking out for our needs and interests.

His name is Juan Duran.

He gets totally involved from the beginning to the end.

Making sure that the location is used correctly and constantly overlooking the work being done on the location.
And of course he likes to participate and contribute.
In our last project in Mexico, he had to get a location that would give different looks and yet allow us to shoot a very complicated project within a day.
He did that to everybody's satisfaction, and more.

Juan has been an asset for the last five years and hopefully more to come.

And now,  a little bit of Summer:

(Yes I know it's Autumn, but  there's still an Indian Summer and the Southern Hemisphere it is almost Summer).

Cold pasta:
Soooo fresh!
And so easy to prepare.
 As usual, I will not give you specific quantities of ingredients so you can be creative about it.

The ingredients are:
Fresh sun ripe tomatoes
Coarse Sea salt
No more than a teaspoon of white vinegar or lime juice
Olive oil (lots)
Fresh basil or fresh cilantro.
Pasta (I like Linguini Fini or spaghetti)
Chop the tomatoes, the garlic and the onion and put them in a bowl.
Add salt, lime or vinegar and then top with olive oil to marinate for 2 hours.

You cook the pasta as usual and when it's done you put it in the strainer and under the cold water faucet until it's at least at room temperature.
Then you serve the pasta and put the sauce on top with either basil or cilantro (two totally different taste experiences).

Usually I combine dishes with wine but today I am going to make an exception because this dish goes great with ale, from France.
It's amber, it's delicious and it is so difficult to find. But hey, it's worth it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pep Guardiola talks about Rafa Márquez

Five minutes.
That's  all he gave us.
Enough for somebody as intelligent and articulate as Pep Guardiola to describe Rafa Márquez, from the point of view of the Manager of the best team in the world.

“Rafa Márquez is an endangered species…”

These were the first words Pep used to describe Rafa, and then he went on to make an analysis of the main characteristics of the great player.

"He is not endowed with great physical attributes, he's not very fast, but he is very, very inteligent..."

"...and in a football as simple as carrying the ball from defense to mid field and from mid field unto attack, he is one of the best, I think, in world soccer, and certainly one of the best today."


The documentary is an ongoing process, and will cover his origins in Zamora,  his early years in Atlas, Monaco and his career with the might Barcelona, including the impact he is having on the MLS today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

One of the most beautiful women I ever knew.

We always think about a our mothers as the most beautiful women in the world.

But in my case, I must say, she was one of the most beautiful women I ever knew.

But above all, she was also intelligent, and so talented.

She was one of the pioneer women in advertising in Mexico. She started her career in Colgate Palmolive and then went on to be the Head of advertising for Richard Hudnut (La Campana) and a Vice President for Romero Lennen & Newel.

At one time she was the head of an advertising department, a TV presenter and a model for Christian Dior.

A legend in her own time, she helped pave the way for women in advertising today.

And no, she was not on Face Book.

A single mother and a most wonderful mother.

That was Maryté Cueto.

The most wonderful woman I have ever known. 

Rest in Peace
October 3, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

7 “Golazos” from Rafa Márquez.

You probably know that Rafa Márquez is not only a great defender and midfield player,  he also scores goals. 

But now he plays for the New York Red Bulls and we were commissioned by Red Bull to do  the Interactive "Golazo", featuring Rafa Márquez and his unique scoring ability.

Basically what you do is to choose which way to go  and it will take you to the next Super Goal and  depending on which direction you go you will see a different goal.

In a second phase you record your own goal and upload it via internet to challenge Rafa.

 Do not be deceived by the word "Interactive".

The cost is the same as a piece meant for theatrical release and, in fact, the client wanted to keep that option open. So figure the same cost as a regular TV spot.

The project had a double challenge.

He had to score 6 goals in 6 hours in Mexico City, and we had to shoot it in the alloted time since he had to report back with the team in New York.

Goal 1.
In fact he won 1 million US in a shooting tournament in Houston.

Goal 2.
And of course, there are all those goals he scored for Barcelona and the Mexican National Team.

Goal 3.

These are not your typical goals. They were urban goals that combined ingenuity and ability.

Of course we were counting on his incredible eye - muscle coordination that allows him to make many difficult shots. But above all, we were counting on the incredible preparation we did from the moment we were awarded the job. Basically, we pre-shot the whole project before the pre production meeting.

The questions to be answered:

Is he that good ?

Were the goals really difficult ?

Can you score a better goal?

Goal 4.

Goal 5.

Goal 6.

In the end, we were able to shoot 7 goals!
Which is like having shot 7- 20" to 30" spots plus the Intro.

Goal 7.

The team:

Two new faces that deserve a post in the series of "You are as good as the people you work with" :

Alejandro Guzmán AD and Dani Valdes DP
Both dedicated completely to the project, devoting an unsual time to the preparation of the job.

And of course Andrea was there to make sure the production ran like clockwork. 

Hey! I can do that!

Alejandro trying to be Rafa

Dani also took a crack at it. Of course, he's from Barcelona!

Graphic Design and Art Direction:

Gogo and his company Lagartija Lab were in charge of Art Direction and post production of all graphics.

The importance of the graphics will be obvious once you see the way the Interactive works because by clicking on the arrows you go through the different goals.

On shooting again in Mexico City.

It was a great experience.

The crew was as always, superb, and there are some things that have been changed for the better, specially the location permits. We were pleasantly surprised with the speed with which they were granted, and the support of the local "Delegación' (borough).

All in all it was a great experience for everybody, specially for Rafa as you can tell from the video we made of the "Making Of"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You're as good as the people you work with. Part 3

The Line Producer.

They make the engines go. Working out the deals with suppliers and in many cases with the talent.

They are like Scotty on the Enterprise.

When you're shooting abroad,  they are your local allies. They have to be local because they need to know the rules of the place where you're shooting. And believe me, the rules change in every country, and for that matter, in every state.

Today I am going to tell you about 2 great Production Coordinators: One in Spain and one in the USA.

Phillip Lozevski.

We met Phillip in Phoenix, Az. Where he coordinated the FIrestone shoot for us.

It was such a complicated shoot and yet, he made it always look feasible.

We liked his work so much that we started hiring him for projects in Houston  and New York.

He also happens to be a great AD and as you can tell from these pictures, he is not shy about doing anything that is needed.

Phillip loves soccer and basketball. And he also seems to love having children: 4 thus far.

Javier San Juan.

Lives an works out of Madrid. He also coordinates in Barcelona.

He was our first Line Producer in Spain, and to this day he remains our first choice whenever we shoot there.

He goes out of his way to make thinks work for you and he looks after the project as if it was his own business.
He is a wonderful human being who makes you feel at home.

Besides working in production, there several things I have in common with him:

1. He loves good food and wine.

2. He cooks. (A lot more than me because he's the official cook in his home and he has three children).

3. He likes soccer. (Although he is a fan of Real Madrid and I'm not).

Javier is also an expert on olive oil and with a good reason: his family owns olive groves in Jaen, Spain, and they produce what has to be one of the best tasting olive oils I have ever had. (And I thought that came from the Peloponese in Greece)

If you want to know more about the olive oil that Javier's family produces go to Facebook and look it up under Huerto del Conde.


So easy and so fast to make.

You need flounder filets, guajillo dry chile, garlic, salt and olive oil (you know which one).

Soak the guajillo in water until it's soft.

Cut in small slices.

On a pan with olive oil you press the garlic and add slices of guajillo and salt.

As soon as the garlic is brown, put the flounder on the pan and cook for a minute.

Serve with white rice.