Q: Where are you from?
A: I'm from Tegucigalpa, Honduras but moved to Los Angeles when I was 6 years old.
Q: Where in the country do you primarily work?
A: I primarily work in LA. We recently built a mobile set for the show I work on (Jeff’s Barbershop) that’s gonna give us the freedom to travel anywhere in the country.
Q: What was your first camera?
A: My first camera was a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 that my dad got me for Christmas. The first camera I ever bought for myself when I was old enough to have a job was a Canon T3i.
Q: Tell us about your journey to becoming a filmmaker?
A: I originally was really into photography. I always wanted to photograph people but never really had people to practice with so I started doing street photography. Instagram had just started and I began to post my pictures there. On the side I started photographing concerts and nightlife to make some money. To get to these events I would normally take an Uber pool because it was cheaper. One night I hopped in an Uber, camera in hand, on my way to a show and we picked up a guy named Jae who I ended up joking around with and having a good time. Jae saw my camera and I told him what I was doing that night and he asked for my instagram, then said he liked my pictures. This was around 2014/2015 and the app Vine was one of the biggest social media apps out at the time. It was kind of a known thing that a lot of the big Viners lived in this building on Vine st in Hollywood, which is where Jae was dropped off. I asked him about the building before he got out and he said his brother was actually a Viner and that he was gonna show him my stuff. Fast forward a few months and I got a DM from Jae’s brother (@JoJoe) who said he liked my pictures and would like to get together and shoot some time. So we met a few weeks later and instantly clicked and became really good friends. I was still only shooting pictures but I’ve always liked youtube and the idea of making fun videos with my friends so I asked JoJoe if I could help him shoot some of his videos. We end up making a few videos a week, he introduced me to some other creators who asked me to start helping them with their videos too. Eventually I met Jeff (@Jeff) who asked me to help him film. We started out making semi-scripted vlogs but we were trying to figure out how to do something better. Jeff used to be a barber and was friends with all the creators in the building who would always ask him for haircuts so we came up with the idea of doing a podcast / talk show while giving haircuts. We wanted to just put the best, most funny parts into each episode and it ended up becoming a big show on Youtube (Jeff’s Barbershop) and it’s what I’ve been working on for the past 4 years.
Q: What are some challenges that you’ve faced working in that fast paced environment?
A: The biggest challenge working in a fast paced environment for me would be that things are always moving and you have to be quick on your feet to improvise. A lot of things happen so fast that you don’t get time to plan shots ahead of time and a lot of the shots you have to get the first try. For example there are bits that are unexpected surprises and we need to get the guests genuine reactions.
Q: What have been some of your favorite shoots/ videos you’ve worked on?
A: Our show is very chaotic and what I love about it is that there aren’t any rules to the content we make. One of my favorite thing about shooting the videos is that one day we are making a parody of Fight Club (in a halloween themed episode) and the next we are jumping out of planes and learning how to skydive, or recording a song and music video about going to Burning man (even though we’ve never been). The variety of stuff that we are able to do is the fun part.
Q: Tell us a bit about how you shot “Jeffs Barber Shop.” What gear did you use and why?
A: Like I mentioned before we only have one chance of getting a reaction so I like to shoot with around 7 cameras from different angles. Not only does it help get the shots but it keeps the show moving with fast cuts to different angles and keeps you engaged. We used to film with just the cameras we had around which were a Canon 5D, a few 80Ds, and a Sony A7SII. The issue we had with those cameras was that most DSLRs stop recording after 30 minutes so when we would film I would always have that in the back of my mind and would be running around restarting the cameras. Now we film with BlackMagic Pocket 4Ks and a Canon C200 with a Canon 18-80 zoom lens. The lens has a servo built into it that gives us really smooth crash zooms. For audio we just started using the Tentacle Track E lav mics because they record in 32 bit and have timecode built into them so syncing 7 cameras is a lot easier and we never have to worry about signal drops. We also use a Zoom H6N and Sennheiser G4’s whenever we need extra mics.
Q: Tell us a bit about your post production process. How do you organize all of the footage you capture?
A: After filming I import as soon as I get home. I import all the camera footage into one folder and the audio files into their own folder. After importing I sync everything and make proxies overnight. The next morning I start to edit and work on the video for the next few days.
Q: What does your editing space look like? Is there a specific way that you’ve set it up to help with your editing process?
A: My editing space is kind of all over the place. Sometimes I’ll edit from home, or I’ll edit at Jeff’s house, or I'll work from my computer when it’s set up in the podcast room or edit off my laptop on the road. So I’m never fully in one place when I’m editing.
Q: How does the SanDisk Pro 24TB Shuttle fit into your workflow? What are you using it for?
A: The Sandisk Pro 24TB Shuttle has helped out with storing all the files we have. We film in 4K so we go through storage pretty fast. Working off the drive is great because it gives us a massive amount of storage but at the same time it has really fast read/write speeds so transferring all our footage on to it is pretty fast. The speed it has is also really helpful when we have 7 streams of multi cam video coming into our editing program. Like I said I’m always editing from anywhere so it has a pretty convenient top handle that makes it easy to carry.
Q: Has COVID effected your day to day on set?
A: It did in the beginning, we ended up not filming much of the barbershop. Eventually, we started working on a documentary about an accident Jeff had in 2020.
Q: What’s an undervalued piece of gear that you wish more people knew about?
A: The Aputure MC RGBWW LED Light. It’s a small led panel that’s about half the size of a cell phone but it packs a punch and when you’re running and gunning and need light it does the job!
Q: Any interesting shoots coming up for you that you can tell us about? Can you tell us about the new direction of “Jeff’s Barber Shop?"
A: We just shot an episode with the UFC HeavyWeight Champ out in the middle of the desert. It’s a good example of the direction we want to take the show this season!