At 12 years old, I figure out how to build a slide projector with some Legos®, a flash light, magnifying glasses and a trashed lens. I was intrigued on how an image could be projected on a wall. It all started at an innocent time, discovering how things worked. I asked my father, (a medical doctor) if he could bring me from the hospital old X-Ray’s acetates. I was able to clean them with bleach, cut them, frame them and draw each slide with India ink. Then the fun started by creating stories.
At the age of 13, my mother gave me my grandfather’s old 8-mm camera. She told me; “Your grandfather left you this camera for when you grow up”. An 8mm Spring winded Movinette from Zeiss~Ikon. It was a very special moment in my life, (treasured that camera) and started to experiment every possible shooting angle. Shot few films at different speeds. Figure out how the “magic box” captured images on a strip of film. It was fascinating! The worst part was having to wait 2 weeks for Kodak to develop the film and get it back.
Then at the age of 15, my mother allowed me to use her Super 8-mm camera and started to understand how filmmaking and animation really worked out. A few years later, I advanced to work on more sophisticated cameras. It was at that moment that I knew what to do with my life.
High School was a great testing ground for story telling, directing, and editing. I used to show my films at parties with friends. Since films were silent, we acted each scene by re-making the entire soundtrack live for all to enjoy. (From 1977 a little sample of those days, below). Andres Calamaro, a current music virtuoso and Rock N’ Roll star was one of my first actors to suffer the rigors of my directing and editing work.
Lights, camera, action!
It was time to go to Hollywood and make movies! Why not? So I went to film school to learn how to study films and how to make them. I graduated with a degree in Bachelors of Arts, in Filmmaking, from Columbia College, Hollywood, California. I Learned how to shoot 16-mm Arriflex and Eclair cameras, edited with Moviolas, marked frames with a grease pencil, cut and splice celluloid with scotch tape. Still, in film school, I discovered the world of Television by accident. A classmate needed help with some story telling. He was in the Television department. They’ve edited with videotape (tape to tape) that process caught my attention compared to film editing. The Television process was much faster. There was no need to develop film. Everything was almost instant.
A dose of reality.
After graduating, I tried to make movies and be part of the Hollywood film community, but it was next to impossible. At that time, movie studios were under a deep economical crisis. Television in the other hand, was an option and my professional destiny. I embraced the format and moved forward with T.V. Commercials. It was time for a change and say good bye to California. But before I left, I called a good friend, Andres Cantor (the famous announcer for soccer games… Goooooooooooooool!!!!) to make with him one more flick just for fun!
Finally by 1985, I closed my eyes, spin a World Globe at a Library and said, wherever my finger lands, it will be where I will set my roots. Luckily it landed in Houston, Texas. The Lone Star State welcomed me and I adopted Houston as my home. As the bumper sticker says “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I came as fast as I could”, I did!
Professional evolution. Technical revolution. From VHS to HD
Little did I knew, I was about to be embarked in a wave of technological revolutions. Since 1985, the electronic audiovisual sector went from little to brutal changes. The resolution gap between film and videotape was a way to measure advances. In 30 years I saw too many formats to list, from analog to digital to today’s High Definition… but not for long. Since the recent arrival of 4K (UHD) Ultra High Definition. The 4K-UHD format is the culmination that breaches the gap from 35-mm film resolution to video, at a fraction of the production costs. Tomorrow is here today.
Technology has changed the way we do our work, but one area still remain as original as the silent movies era, “the story.” The stories are still told with images that are in motion. The cinematic language is the same. What I love best is to “speak cinema.”
A lucky man.
Years ago, I was working for a surgeon editing a personal video. He sat next to me and as we were cutting and trimming his editing project. He told me, “You are skilled and talented in what you do, you are a very lucky man” I turned and look at him baffled and said, “…well, I know I’m good but why lucky?” He replied,”You are lucky because you do what you love! Most people can not do that!” Since that day, I realized how blessed I am to work on what I love best, to capture images and edit them.
Over the years, I’ve worked for several Advertising Agencies free lancing, producing local Television Commercials, Infomercials and special presentations. I’ve worked with corporations, medical doctors and meet great people. Currently, I work with the High Definition format at 1080-P. Use 2 cameras the Panasonic Lumix GH-2 and the Panasonic AG-AF 100 “A”. There both great HD cameras with unique capabilities. Post production is created with Sony Vegas Pro and other peripheral software like Photoshop and Sparkol’s Videoscribe. Lights, tripods, Sony professional wireless microphones and other accessories allow me to tell your story with professional results. I wish to be of service to you and your audiovisual projects, and “that’s the rest of the story”.