Moving forward, the art of freelancing

Freelancing is to lose your job and recover it again constantly. That’s the reality of all the photographers and filmmakers out there that tries to make a living by what they love: to stories. After the last film in Norway and the time in Sweden I spent a well deserved time in Spain, at home figuring out what was the next step. People just see the final result, great movies and pictures of someone that travels the world. It looks romantic, and it is, it makes you feel alive every second, it makes you feel that you live your life fully as an adventure, but is not easy at all. You have to have an endless energy to figure out constantly what’s next, what now? It has been a period of reflecting and thinking. After all that happened since two years ago in Asia and Norway, after getting some so called success now you are almost at the same point, you have to keep on searching, keep on exploring and moving. Enrique Meneses, one of the most important photojournalists in Spain said in his memories that in this world it doesnt matter what you did yesterday, what counts is what you do now, and it cant be more true, if you stop you are dead. Get ready to get a normal job, pay a house and all that. He also said he encouraged everyone to take a one way ticket,to get out and see the world and for me that has always been the most profitable investment. So after two months wondering “what now?” Thats my final decision, to take another one way ticket and move forward, blindly, no fear. In the end is what I have been doing all this time and is the only thing I know how to do, get out in the world and survive doing what I love.

Filmmaking life III

I stopped writing this blog last February. Where anyone could think anything could grow, where there wasn’t any posibilities for a spanish inmigrant, I created the first filmmaking company in Nordfjord, a region in west Norway making nine movies for nine different companies in less than three months. Since then, as always many things happened, too many, even to my own surprise. So I will simply enumerate them and illustrate them, mostly to keep updated some people and because google seems to like quite much websites with blogs.
After a while in Spain I started to discover that the success of Agape Story of a dream in the first film festivals was not just by chance. It seemed not true that a movie that I made totally by myself without any help was competing with all the rest of the movies with big budgets and whole teams behind. But Agape continued to be selected: Marocco, Buenos Aires, Myanmar, Mexico, Bolivia, Estonia… I decided to start following the trip of Agape, first in Marocco, then to Italy and then also about to go to Myanmar, but I had to abandon this idea as I had to start with another project in Norway.

So in June I went back to my second (or is it the third, the fourth?) home. Then I was assigned to make a film about a rehabilitation center for teenagers with drugs problems. What it was supposed to be another promotional movie, it became my first fiction-documentary film, and it took me a whole month to finish just the production and it will be ready in the end of the August. The story and the location were absolutely incredible and it was a very intense time in one place that now it really belongs to my heart.

After that I came to Sweden, to give to my life the monthly 360 degrees turn. I was going to be a farmer and help Ebba to restore an old family house in an idilic location in front of a lake, and build a retreat, an exciting long term project, another incredible adventure to face togheter with my freedom fighter partner in crime.
In a few days I will be flying to Kenya where I will film a part for the last movie of the rehabilitation center in Norway, as some of the students goes to Kenya after their first year of rehabilitation.

So basically the odissey continued… film festivals, crazy imposible projects, countless flights, Italy, Marocco, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Kenya… and many more projects and dreams knocking on the door.

“This is the crazyest life I’ve ever lived.” Jim Morrison.

End of the winter season in Norway

Nine promotional movies for nine different clients in four months. Landscape, people, skiing, boats, everyday something different. COnsidering that five months ago I was hammering and cutting concrete with my four rumanian pals is not a bad balance. It has been an amaizing time living in maybe the strangest place in my life, a towing tank. A tank to test all kinds of boats with some pretty good cabins with an amazing view in front of the fjord, one the times I felt closer to what it means to have a home. Is amazing how everything has changed since I arrived in Norway in September as an inmigrant, with my flip flops and my thai pants. Nowadays these movies has got really popular, thousands of visits, articles in the newspaper and in really little time I got to stablish myself as the only filming company in the region of Nordfjord. Now is time to leave, or maybe is not the right time, but I am living, I got to the limit of the two months without travelling. I wonder if I will spend the rest of my life with this sickness that pushes me to go away from anywere every two months. I go back to Spain and get ready for another travel somewhere, maybe Africa, back to Asia, let’s see.
I will be back here in Norway in the summer to continue with some more projects.By now I can just say that this time in Norway has been the biggest challenge in my life, for all that it meant, and I am terribly happy to have overcome it, and to have been able to enjoy this tough, raw and authentic place. I got to love the bad weather, the cold, it’s dramatic landscape… c’mon not everyone lives next to the stormiest place in Norway, this is totally unique and I hope that soon I will be able to produce my first fiction film here.

Anyway, with or without job, with or whitout sucess, anywhere, anyhow, in the end everything is about the same, enjoy every single moment. Life goes fast, and today it can be the last day, so it’s no more choice to live being aware of that. Pura Vida

Nueve promocionales para nueve clientes diferentes en cuatro meses. Teniendo en cuenta que hace cinco meses que estaba dando martillazos y cortando hormigón con mis cuatro compis rumanos no está mal. Estos ultimos meses han sido increibles en Noruega, el tiempo respetó y fueron muchos los dias despejados y con un frio polar que se agradece, sin lluvia ni viento. Vivía en un tanque de pruebas para barcos que tenía unas cabinas cojonudas frente al fiordo. Después de dos meses he llegado a sentir este lugar como mi hogar, uno mas en el mundo. Y si no fuera porque me vuelvo a España a hartarme a tapas, pensaría que lo voy a echar de menos.

Es increíble cómo todo ha cambiado desde que llegó a Noruega en septiembre como un inmigrante, con mis chanclas y mis pantalones tailandeses. Desde que empecé a hacer videos se han vuelto muy populares, miles de visitas, artículos en el periódico y en un periodo corto de tiempo me han permitido afianzarme como la unica productora de video en todo Nordfjord. Sin embargo, llegué al límite de los dos meses sin viajar, asi que toque largarse, no importa lo bien que vaya el trabajo, cuando empieza a picar el gusanillo no hay nada que hacer, solo cambiar de lugar, ver otras personas, vivir otras vidas. Me pregunto si voy a pasar el resto de mi vida con esta enfermedad que me empuja a largarme de donde esté cada dos meses. Vuelvo a España a prepararme para otro viaje en alguna parte, tal vez África, Asia, veremos.

Estaré de vuelta aquí en Noruega en el verano para continuar con otros proyectos. Por ahora sólo puedo decir que esta vez en Noruega ha sido el reto más grande de mi vida, por todo lo que significaba, era ponerme a prueba de verdad y lo superé el reto con creces. Al final hasta he podido disfrutar de este lugar duro, crudo y auténtico. Llegué a amar el mal tiempo, el frío, el paisaje tan dramatico y espectacular… que coño, no todos los meses se vive en el lugar con mas tormentas de Noruega. Esto es totalmente único y espero poder producir mi primera película de ficción aqui, al fin y al cabo para eso me sirven todos estos proyectos comerciales, para no ir en busca de subvenciones ni nada por el estilo, yo me lo guiso, nosotros nos lo comemos.

EN cualquier caso con o sin trabajo, con o sin exito, sea donde sea y como sea, al final todo se resume a lo mismo, disfrutar cada momento. La vida siguen siendo dos dias y hoy puede ser el ultimo, y al menos a mi no me queda mas remedio que vivir siendo consciente de ello. Pura Vida

I make movies, you want one?

2012 was the most successfull year on my career. Two documentaries in Thailand and Indonesia, extreme sports spots, luxury resorts and even a super pirate yacht. I traveled to seven countries in three different continents, many adventures people and experience. But still wasn’t enough, I wanted more, let’s go for something more, let’s keep the challenge, let’s go to Norway.

Norway was the gold mine, I wanted to stop from filming and do something completely different. I wanted to make a tough job, get well paid for it and not have to be searching constantly for new clients for my films. I wanted a fix salary at the end of the month. In Norway it was supposed to be easy to have a job and be very well paid for it. The reality was very different.

I arrived with my girlfriend from Sweden and after 16 hours of trip through the fjords and some amazing landscapes, we arrived to Maloy, what seemed to be the end of the world. It was raining and cold, and I was with my thai pants and flip flops. The first welcome was from an ugly, fat, disgusting guy that we were asking to rent us a bungalow. He looked at me several times up and down as if he wouldn’t believe what he was seeing. He just said he didn’t want to rent us any bungalows. That was the first time in my life I really felt what it was to be an inmigrant, to be exclused and refused. I was not anymore a filmmaker travelling around in fancy places, I was going to suffer and I really liked it.

I spent one month asking for jobs everywhere. It was raining everyday, the people were tough and rude and it seemed to be no signs of light. I asked every single day for a job. To live here without a job is extremely expensive, a coffee is three euro, the money was flying and I realized that I made a high bid coming here. Or I find a job or I find a job. I was asking to work in bars, construction, fishing boats, fish factories, cleaning factories, everything and everywhere and the response was always NO. One day one door opened. A construction company were looking for a commercial diver. I had a professional certification from Spain, I know it was not valid in Norway but they didn’t say anything so after some days they called me and I said yes. That was the happiest moment until then.

The days passed by and no sign of diving, I was a construction worker. Everyday hammering and bringing heavy stuff from one place to another under the wind and the rain with my four rumanian partners. That was the dream of a tough and fix paid job. Did I like it? NO.

The first day I was really happy hammering, I took it as a good workout. I was happy not thinking of anything. The first week I was totally fed up with the world. After the first month I couldn’t stand it anymore, I felt the proof had been enough. The best teaching in life in the last years. Much more valuable than all the rest of the time I have spent travelling. I wanted to do what I really love, I realized that I wanted to change life because I didn’t trust myself enough to do just what I love no matter the prize. I’m good at making films and pictures and I am going to do it no matter how much it costs.

So I quit the job. I was again unemployed and alone facing the reality. I spent days and days sitting in the computer, writing mails and calling to everyone and everywhere, again. I was the same guy that before was asking for a shit job but this time it was me who had something to offer. Do you want a film? Boatbuilders, hotels, restaurants, everyone might need a film, why not? I sent a mail to a commercial diving company that couldn’t employ me for my spanish certification telling them I had underwater camera and bla bla and that if they needed a film they could tell me. I didn’t lose the hope but it was very dificult to keep the energy everyday. One day, without expecting anything I received a call from the diving company, they needed a film. They fucking needed a film!!! I went absolutely crazy, screaming, calling my girlfriend, telling everyone, I got my first assignment in the end of the world, where everybody told me: “You want to make films? Here? In Maloy? Ha!”

(will continue next week)