Speaker 1 (00:11):
Welcome to art in the raw conversations with creative people tonight, I’m excited to introduce you to Diego. Mason. Diego is a filmmaker, a still photographer, and recently started a YouTube channel called run this dish. And then there’s another version called run this drink. So he is teaching us how to make delicious cocktails and food. If this is your first time watching, first of all, thank you so very much. We really appreciate it. I’m your host and Kelly. If we’re meeting for the first time, you might be wondering who I am. In a nutshell, I’m someone that’s been fascinated with art, basically my entire life. About one years ago, I made the decision to move to Santa Fe New Mexico, to further immerse myself in the art scene and to attend art school. I’ve now been working in the professional gallery world for about 15 years now. And about halfway through 2020, I started art in the raw to keep the inspiration going. If you’d like to know more, check out the description, you’ll find a few links, including a few interviews with me, but do that later. Cause I’m excited to introduce you to Diego. Thanks for joining us today, Diego.
Speaker 2 (01:33):
Thanks for having me tonight.
Speaker 1 (01:35):
So where are you joining us from
Speaker 2 (01:37):
Santa Fe? New Mexico. And
Speaker 1 (01:39):
You’re from Peru originally? Yeah,
Speaker 2 (01:41):
I was born in Peru and I moved here when I was 22. I’m 38 now and lived in California for most of my time here in the us. Well, I was gonna say recently moved to Santa Fe, but it’s been three years and go so fast. I can’t believe it, but
Speaker 1 (02:02):
You are originally moved to San Francisco. I
Speaker 2 (02:05):
Studied traveling tourism in, in Peru. And then when I moved here, I thought I was gonna continue on that path. So I went for like a traveling tourism program in San Francisco at, at city college. I started working in restaurants because I needed to work and I learned to bar 10th. And then later on in 20 Eleven’s when I realized that I was really into visual arts. But filmmaking specifically back then
Speaker 1 (02:33):
Photography was part of your motivation for moving to Santa Fe.
Speaker 2 (02:37):
I had lived in, in Los Angeles for a year, so I knew I didn’t want to go back to LA to pursue film. And then I knew New Mexico was a, a good opportunity. So, so I moved here at that time when I moved here, I was also getting really into still photography,
Speaker 1 (02:53):
Still photography and film is pretty connected. They
Speaker 2 (02:57):
Go by hand, hand by hand when I first started studying filmmaking, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be. You know, there’s so many things you can do in filmmaking. Almost everybody goes into filmmaking thinking I’m gonna be a film director, you know, and be famous like, and you know, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun. And you know, like you have this sense of power and you know, you get your idea out, um, in the, on the screen and all, but I actually got really into cinematography. I, I thought like, oh my God, you know how, how the set is is lit, you know, and, and the camera angles and all that kind of stuff really got me. And I thought like, you know, I think I wanna be a cinema photographer. It, it really appeals me even when I was back in film school, you know, when we had the, the assignments, you know, but I always wanted to be behind the camera and lighting the scene and all that stuff. And without knowing back then kind of like, okay, maybe I’m a guitar grapher inside, but I think that led me into photography, you know, just wanting to be a cinema photographer in, in filmmaking,
Speaker 1 (04:05):
In San Francisco and arriving in Santa Fe, bartending was a good kind of day to day profession. And in, in the course of that, you became really skilled in, in the art of making cocktails
Speaker 2 (04:24):
Out of necessity in, in San Francisco. I, you know, I started in restaurants and again, like I was saying in filmmaking, it’s like, you pick what you want to be in the restaurant, you know? And I got like fascinated by, by, by being behind in the bar and like having people like, you know, one on one getting that connection. Right. And then I, I started learning first, just like bartending, like simple, right. But with the years I discovered this, like this art in, in, in making a cocktail, right. And it got into all and, and, and, you know, just got bigger and bigger. And I started working in like better restaurants, you know, more like, uh, upscale, fine dining and, and, you know, the skills started like to, to get better and better. And so I came to Santa Fe with that, uh, I thought, okay, I can offer that to a good place in Santa Fe. So I found, well, it was one restaurant first. I’m not gonna say the name, but then, but then I found this really cool place on radi and ride felt like I could really develop my skills there. You know, it was a great team and they had a great, great craft whiskey specialized in whiskey, American whiskey bourbon. I, so it was, it was a great experience. I really enjoyed it. I, I miss it sometimes, but at the same time, well, you know, so with COVID and everything, now I get to make the cocktails here
Speaker 1 (05:53):
At home, right. Within the pandemic decided you were gonna start concentrating on other things. But as part of that, you recently started a YouTube channel. That’s focused on cooking and in making cocktails, there’s run this dish and then also run this drink with
Speaker 2 (06:14):
A pandemic and like not being able to go out to eat. I was just cooking a lot. Um, my, my brother recently moved to Canada and he, he does not know how to cook at all. And so he asked me like, how do you make this? How do you make that? So I was just like, you know, texting him. And, and one, I was one day I was like, you know what, like, let’s, uh, let’s get on the video, I’ll show you how to make it. And, you know, it turned out really good, you know, not like the YouTube channel, it was out of my phone, you know, he just watched me like, and then he’s like, you know, Hey, why don’t you just like, start like uploading these recipes on a YouTube channel? Like, eh, no, but you know what, one day I was like, months laters, like, you know what, I’m, I’m, I’m kind of bored and I need to get some of these cameras, this equipment out of the closet, get the dust out.
Speaker 2 (07:04):
And just also that I don’t get rusty, so I can like try to make a good video. And at the same time I can cook some good recipes, raving cook the American Italian, uh, recipes from, from when I was a, a kid growing up. And through that I learned or things that I’ve seen in restaurants that I worked before. I, I worked in a, a couple of Italian restaurants and, or great recipes there. So it’s like, you know what, I’m gonna make a, I’m gonna try to make it simple. So people can just like follow the recipe and do it at home for fun, you know, thought this is gonna be for friends, family, but you know, if it’s shared and other people can get something out of it. Great. And then I was like, you know, you can also make drinks. I recently uploaded the first cocktail in the, in the channel, which was Manhattan, God, like a lot of messages, like, oh my God, this is great. You know, <laugh> so it’s fun. My intention is not to monetize with the channel, but to have fun and share in the end art in any way, it’s about sharing. It’s not about ego or monetizing. And in this case, at least, you know, I, I, it’s not intention. It’s also
Speaker 1 (08:17):
Just a great opportunity to, like you said, break, break out the cameras and, um, exercise those muscles and to be able to share your skills with other people, usually it’s the cases where people are just doing things, because for the reasons that you’ve described that they actually do end up becoming successful,
Speaker 2 (08:39):
Think success in, in, in that matter, a number of people that I haven’t talked to in so long, like years that have sent me a message saying like, I made your pistol or I made your Manhattan, you know, it’s great. And that, I mean, that’s like, oh, you made my day, you know, that’s, that’s great. How did it turn out? Great. You know? Perfect. Um, so yeah, I measure success by someone did my recipe. Okay. You know, that’s great. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I, I mean, I don’t care about the likes or all the views or anything. And like you say, you know, I, I it’s like mixing two things, you know, I, I get to use my cameras again and my lighting set up and my audio and also, I mean, the editing process, it’s intense making a dish sometimes could take an hour. So if it takes an hour with the video, it takes two hours. And then the editing pro is another four or five hours. I think I’m a little rusty that I used to edit a lot faster than that. But lately, cuz I I’m also doing subtitles, it’s in Spanish for the food and in English for drinks mm-hmm <affirmative> so I’m doing subtitles on both, you know, <laugh>
Speaker 1 (09:51):
Right. Well, and you also do a good job of distilling down that hours worth of cooking into usually a say 10 minute episode or something like that. And
Speaker 2 (10:02):
Yeah, I, I wanna make it short leave. The first one was 10 minutes and, and then I thought like I could actually make it even shorter and being precise on, on what I wanna say. So I’ve been doing 4, 5, 6 minutes and that’s like my, my range right now.
Speaker 1 (10:23):
I think shorter is actually harder or in my experience anyways.
Speaker 2 (10:28):
Yeah. No making it shorter. It’s challenging in an editor’s is just like a, being a magician. I’ve seen it working in film and working in television as well. Uh, sometimes I would be handed like a, an hour, uh, piece of footage and they would like, the producer would be like, I want this down to two minutes.
Speaker 1 (10:51):
Oh my gosh. How?
Speaker 2 (10:53):
But you have to do magic and then you ended up doing two minutes in know and, and you know, it has to make sense and everything. So it’s like good practice.
Speaker 1 (11:01):
Wow. That’s that’s impressive. So you, you mentioned you recently aired the first episode of run this drink and it was a Manhattan. Yeah. And tonight on art and the raw, you’re gonna teach us how to make another whiskey based cocktail. Correct. So should we, should we jump in and, and make that?
Speaker 2 (11:23):
Yes. So for tonight we have a V of idea and I always struggle pronouncing that <laugh> but that’s the name of the drink? So this consists on whiskey, bourbon, Orry, it’s your preference? I like ride myself Campari and with remove, it’s a Negron with whiskey Negron, with gin, full OFS with, uh, with, with American whiskey.
Speaker 1 (11:51):
The drink we’re making tonight is kind of similar to a Manhattan. It seems like, um, other than the, the Campari yeah. Is a major difference. And you said it was more of a rocks drink than a,
Speaker 2 (12:07):
You could. Yeah. It’s usually I usually drink it on, on the rocks, but it could is served up. And the difference here is you have Campari and in the Manhattan you have bitters and the measurements different as well. So we’re gonna take our jigger. So you’re gonna take your Ry whiskey. So you’re gonna go all the way to the top and then into your mixing glass. So, so one ounce of rye, whiskey or bourbon for those who like bourbon a little better, and one ounce of kimari is an Italian, a per made out of herbs, very automatic, very her and then one ounce of sweeter move.
Speaker 1 (13:08):
So one ounce, one ounce and one ounce,
Speaker 2 (13:10):
Then you’re gonna add the ice and then you’re gonna stare with your bar spoon. If you don’t have a bar spoon, you can use any kind of spoon. It’s gonna be
Speaker 1 (13:40):
Origin of the bar spoon. Do you know that story?
Speaker 2 (13:44):
No, I don’t think so. I don’t either. Let me know that you have the spoon on this side and you have also, you have this other end that you can also use so you can use both size, but I don’t know the story of the bar spoon it’s long because you, you wanna get the handle of, of getting the, the alcohol, your spirits all mixed together. Anyway, once you have it all mixed in your glass, you are gonna take your glass with a, with a piece of ice. I have a sphere tonight
Speaker 1 (14:26):
And I do too.
Speaker 2 (14:27):
Okay, great. Yeah. All right. I usually use, uh, a big, but tonight I felt like I want a sphere and Hey, you have a sphere swell. So
Speaker 1 (14:38):
Apparently we were just both feeling the Spears collective consciousness.
Speaker 2 (14:43):
So now you, you just gonna take an orange, you’re gonna peel a little bit of the orange. I don’t have an orange tonight, so you can do a cherry it’s valid it’s okay. But if you wanna know the classic waste with orange peel,
Speaker 1 (14:59):
Would you like the orange peel on fire? If you had one
Speaker 2 (15:03):
It’s just for fun really? Doesn’t uh, well actually does. Um, if you, if you, if you add the, uh, low fire on the twist, when you bend the orange twist and you light it with, uh, with, with a lighter, it’s gonna change the, the flavor I’ll tell you. So I don’t usually do it. I, I prefer it. Like just bend it and you get the oils from the, from the citrus, from the, from the peel. And that’s gonna give, give a really nice aromatic profile to the cocktail. So you get the first thing you do when you put your, when you are about to drink it, you, you first, you always, you always gonna smell it first. You gonna get that orange, the citrusy twist on the drink and they just salute. All right. Well,
Speaker 1 (16:03):
That is good.
Speaker 2 (16:04):
Good. Isn’t it? Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1 (16:06):
Yeah. As you know, I’m a Manhattan fan and I’ve, I don’t think I’ve ever had one of these. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (16:11):
Manhattan’s probably my, a classic cocktail is the sounds of the city series. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I started that back in 2017 and this was months away from, from moving to Santa Fe. I have to, to short films on, uh, people that I found on this streets who have great talents in music and music is one of my biggest passions as well. I’m an amateur musician playing the conga drums. It’s one of those things. Like I went out and saw someone playing and like, oh my gosh, that sounds so amazing. What a delicious sound. And can I film you? I don’t want to put like an end to it. I think I, I feel like I want to keep doing it as I found people. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> talented people who not necessarily that I found on the streets, but it could be people that I know that are like really good musicians that have played like an instrument and be like, Hey, you know, like you’re, you’re from Santa Fe.
Speaker 2 (17:20):
Okay. Let’s, let’s go somewhere nice in Santa Fe, play your instrument, just be yourself. And I’ll, I’ll just capture you, uh, doing your, your art and yeah, that’s the idea. Um, I did two only one of, of them is my, my, my cousin’s husband playing the guitar. He plays the guitar or actually Indian music in the guitar. And then the second person played the hand pan. Amazing that it’s not easy to see on the street, you know, but he was playing in the park. I just approached him. So then the idea was to keep going and as I go to different places, then try to find people. I haven’t done it in Santa Fe yet. At some point I want to go back to it. I, it it’s been on hold for, for a few years now, but it’s, it’s thing that I want to keep doing. Like a photography series. You, you, sometimes you take a long break and you go back. So
Speaker 1 (18:14):
In terms of the person you filmed in the park that you didn’t know, did you just happen to have professional gear on you?
Speaker 2 (18:23):
I mean, I went out so many times and came back home with nothing and at one day and you know, it was, it was great because it was a typical San Francisco late afternoon. It was very cloudy. It was blew me and the guy was playing the park. He was teaching the hand pan to a, to a student. And I, yeah, I was carrying my, my, I think camera and audio equipment.
Speaker 1 (18:51):
So you were, you were searching for something like that? Yeah,
Speaker 2 (18:54):
I was searching.
Speaker 1 (18:56):
Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that’s a really amazing instrument. I don’t know that I’ve seen it or, or heard it before.
Speaker 2 (19:02):
I honestly heard it that time for the first time in my life. And, and I thought it was, it blew my
Speaker 1 (19:08):
Mind. It sounds almost similar to other instruments I’ve heard, but not exactly. It’s, it’s, it’s very, it’s a very unique sound.
Speaker 2 (19:15):
Well, I, I have another project when I was in Peru. Last time I, I went to a cemetery that, you know, brings me a lot of memories from my childhood. My grandfather is buried there of those things that you go, you go there after almost 20 years. And you know, all the memories come back to you when you were a kid and this cemetery is just so different from what you would imagine in the United States. This cemetery is called Elan in, in Lima, in Peru. And I just went there once, um, out of curiosity and I was always carrying my camera. So I, I started shooting there. I, I shot the first day and then I thought I have to come back for more, the very earliest stage, although it’s on my website, I want to keep going. You, you see interesting things there, the workers in that place, they have amazing stories to tell, you know, especially old people that have worked there for 30, 40 years in that cemetery and you just stop and talk to them and they tell you stories, even like they tell you about ghosts and stuff.
Speaker 2 (20:29):
It’s very challenging. I’ll tell you because I’m never scared of approaching people and ask for a portrait, but in, in a cemetery’s different, it, it is still, you know, it’s one of those things that you have to find the right moment and kinda read the situation, mean like maybe it could be someone that’s been there for a long time and just have, you know, approach and have a conversation and explain your project. And they, they might let you take a photo. You know, I saw this, uh, I think it was brother and sister and they had, they were in front of the niche with, for hours and they had a big case of beer and they had like a radio of music and they would drink if they were drunk. I mean, they were really drunk and like talking to the dad who was dead, I believe I have a photo that I took from far away, but, you know, that’s one of those things, you know, like I wanna like approach and like, know a little me more about you.
Speaker 2 (21:28):
And, and, and then the cemetery itself tells a story. You know, it tells a very nostalgic story for so many people. For me, for instance, you know, I, I went to see my grandfather after, oh gosh, like 25 years or so finally found it. Cemetery is huge. And it’s like, Larin, you know, it’s just so crazy. And I finally found that I got in flowers, I took a photo of his niche and it just came out black. The only photo of my whole thing just came out black. I don’t know why is weird. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m pretty sure there was no reason why it came completely unexposed. But maybe because you’re supposed to go back, maybe. Yeah. You know, there’s so many things that I’ve been thinking about that, but again, like the sounds of the city thing I wanna take my time next time to when I go to Peru as a very old cemetery, there’s this cemetery.
Speaker 2 (22:33):
And then you have the main road and then you have another cemetery that’s older, 17 hundreds and 18 hundreds. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah. And then they, they build this other one in GU, cuz it got really full, it’s very different parts of the cemetery that are very, very creepy. You’ll find places that are big MAs of like rich people. Mm-hmm <affirmative> where, you know, you know, Margo and like you go in, well fam like family members can go in and it’s all like beautiful filled with flowers and they bury the whole family ma then you get their like regular people, those who are not forgotten, like they still get flowers, but they have a nice niche, you know? And then you have the, you have the forgotten people who have no resources to get a niche. And then you have like a black writing on, on it, on concrete. And then you have the, those who didn’t have that, they’re like empty holes and it’s, there’s not even grass around. It’s all like, um, you’ll find some that are like question marks. They literally write question marks on it, like unknown. So there’s like a mix of everything. You can see a society buried there, the social classes. And it’s, it’s super interesting.
Speaker 1 (24:01):
I know you can’t, you can’t probably can’t really show and images from it, but, but there was a documentary project that you were working on in the past few years. I don’t know if you can really talk about it at all.
Speaker 2 (24:17):
I can, I have permission. Okay, cool. About it. And also, um, I have permission for anybody who’s interested. I can provide the, uh, link and password to it cause it’s a private video, but if someone’s interesting, definitely this is a, a project that I was hired for, from a nonprofit here in Santa Fe or New Mexico. They’re located in Santa Fe, TAs Espanola and the projects called San. We went to, we went down to, uh, El Paso, Texas and border city, uh Juez to provide for mental and basically support for immigrant families down in the border when the border crisis was in its very, very difficult time. Back in, uh, 2019, this organization would go and through our therapy, make the, the children, the immigrant children from central America and Mexico who were in a shelter in jus SU jus even a, a very nice time with our therapy and games.
Speaker 2 (25:36):
And um, also some, some, some help for the adults, the parents like some support, you know, cause they struggle a lot. Also the organization did its part on the other side, on, in El Paso with other organizations down there that get into the, you know, how the immigrant families, when they cross to the United States and their trials and like all that kind of stuff, not expert on the subject, but you know, I, I, I, I really had a, um, an amazing experience there just filming and, and photographing these, this, these immigrants, you know, um, I’m an immigrant myself, but I, I, I was lucky enough to come on a, on a visa at the time and now just to be a citizen, but these people is this complete different story. You know, we still have some empathy and like, okay, this could have been me documentary it’s for like an hour and it’s divided in five parts.
Speaker 2 (26:45):
So like explanation of what the shelters do and what is, and what do they provide to the immigrant families. Then there’s like a part of the actual children doing art. You have to see the documentary to, to really, I cannot go into it too much as well for reasons. But, um, it was also during a, uh, the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas in a Walmart that happened around there. So there’s also a section that’s dedicated to that. A lot of people who were in that shoot who died or where in that shooting and didn’t die crossed, you know, from, from El Juez to El Paso, there’s a lot of people who work that live in Juarez and work in El Paso and just go shopping and, or work in El Paso and then go back to QAs. So there’s a section of the, the documentary that’s dedicated to of that. And there’s also a part where like, you know, we decided that we wanted to show the, how these two cities are bonded, you know, and, and the culture that was created in El Paso that has so much in common, what is, but then there’s like different, completely different reality in the, in the other side of the border. So, um, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a beautiful piece. I, I gotta say, and it really touched me. You gotta be one of my most meaningful projects that I’ve ever done and you took
Speaker 1 (28:22):
Three or four trips
Speaker 2 (28:24):
Seven or, or
Speaker 1 (28:25):
Eight, seven or eight. Okay. Okay. So, I mean, you took quite a few trips and how long were you there? Each
Speaker 2 (28:31):
Trip we go for five days go one or two days to QAs to the shelters. And then the other days in El Paso, like the organization would do their, their things there. I mean, that
Speaker 1 (28:44):
Was a, in, in important but rewarding, but, but also kind of difficult project, I would imagine.
Speaker 2 (28:53):
Yeah. It wasn’t easy, you know, you have to, sometimes you have to detach yourself from, from some things, you know, I don’t even, I don’t know if I ever mentioned this to you, but sometimes I will be there. And then three, four days I’ll be back in Santa Fe, working at my bar, getting people drunk and like, you know, it was such a shocking reality right. At, you know, it, it, it got me a few times, you know, I, I had to learn how to deal with that and not just get it under my skin because it’s not healthy. I mean, you have to, you know, just keep it in your, in your senses and be like, I’m doing a job and yeah, you can have empathy and you can, mm-hmm, <affirmative> give all the support you can. Cuz sometimes I will have to put my camera down and play with the kids as well, you know?
Speaker 2 (29:45):
Right. So much from, from you. I mean, they, they see you and you know, they obviously know you’re not one of them. They, they know you’re, you’re coming from the other side of the, the border. Right. Uh, but, and I, and I wanna say this, not all of the, the documentaries negative, like in fact we wanted to give like a very positive approach. There is a section in the video where we, we went to see that QS. We went into a Plaza and saw this amazing people, dancing, American music, like rock and roll from the, from the sixties, you know, or seventies. And they’re just dancing with like their customs and the hats and you know, and they’re just dancing and having a great time. It’s not all bad on the other side as people think. So we want like to portray that as well in, in the video, that’s,
Speaker 1 (30:45):
That’s an important part of the story as well. You could have definitely portrayed it in different ways. Do, do you think you would do other projects like that in the future?
Speaker 2 (30:58):
I’m open to it. If, if the opportunity comes I’m, I’m very open to it. If you ask me, what’s your main interest, if you work in a, the photography, I would pick documentary photography, but like visual arts in general, you know, like, you know, video to me is what like comes out of my, my pores, you know, my skin, you know, it’s like what drives me right away? And I don’t wanna put photography second. You know, there you go by hand by hand things that you like, this, this, this gotta be on video or this gotta be, you know, in a, you know, this gotta be a portrait. So, or sometimes you can combine them too. You know, that’s one of the things that I like to do. I like combining things I wanna, like, I like you in hybrid kind of like work experience. And, but documentary definitely like appeals me work with people in need, like for sure. So if the opportunity comes, I’ll take it. I, I wouldn’t think it twice.
Speaker 1 (32:02):
One of the amazing things about visual art is just being able to maybe tell a story that’s kind of hard potentially, but to film it in, in a beautiful way that that’s been done over the years, where, where difficult subjects have been recorded in a visual way to encourage people to take notice, because then you see this image and the way it’s captured sucks you in it’s, it’s a powerful tool.
Speaker 2 (32:32):
It is. And, and, and one, one of the things that I’ve learned along the way is that you have to, You have to say something, you have to say something with your work, but you have to be ambiguous. You know, you cannot take a side or just like nail into something. So like, you are like, Hey, look, look how these people are so poor and like how they suffer now. No, that’s, that’s not art.
Speaker 1 (33:02):
Speaker 2 (33:04):
But you, you definitely want to tell something. I think, you know, you just wanna tell a story. Filmmaking is storytelling. Most of the times, you know, there was a time where I, I mean, when I started in filmmaking, I was doing experimental film. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, like you don’t necessarily wanna say anything. Sometimes people just wanna be like, Hey, look at my crazy abstract thing, you know, take some mushrooms and like, enjoy <laugh>. I dunno. As, as you go, you start like fi opening different doors. Right. And, and, and finding really great, great things on the way. And then like, you are like, okay, I can use my skills to say something either if this real in documentary, or like, if it’s fiction and narrative, you know, as well. Sure. That’s that’s, uh, that’s, uh, real, I have not yet touched, but I would love to some, sometime in the future, in the art filmmaking, I’m not a good writer. I’ve tried, but I wish it could happen. Yeah. I mean, you have to like Polish your
Speaker 1 (34:11):
Skills. You, you said you like a challenge.
Speaker 2 (34:14):
Yeah. That’s true. That’s true. I’m still waiting for the person. Who’s like, Hey, I have a script, you know, <laugh>, let’s shoot it at the
Speaker 1 (34:21):
Beginning of our, you had mentioned when you first arrived in San Francisco had other intentions and, and film just kind of, so what is that story?
Speaker 2 (34:33):
When I, when I was finishing high school in Peru, they would come to you and be like, Hey, what do you, what do you wanna be? What do you wanna study? Right. And most people, I don’t know if most people, but a lot of people, they knew what they wanted to do. Like they, they came in in the last year of high school knowing like I’m going to college to do this. Right. I, I have no idea. I have no idea because I, I was told since very early in, in when I was a kid that I sucked at art, I remember a, a, um, a teacher who, who, who actually told me that to my face when I was, I don’t know, I was 12, you know, um, it was like sculpt and, and, and drawing and, you know, painting. And I mean, I, I thought she was like a witch, you know, and really mean person.
Speaker 2 (35:34):
So maybe she didn’t, I agree, motivating me to get into it. But anyway, she told, she told to my face, like, you, you suck at this, you better like, try something else for your future, but you’re not an artist. And she told me that. And, and, and I, you know, I thought, I mean, that stayed with me. The problem is that I believed her. I believed her. So by, by the end of high school, like I did not know what I wanted to be. And the only thing I knew back then was that I liked traveling. I loved traveling. I was already traveling when I was 6, 15, 16 years old. I was traveling all over Peru. So I knew I liked traveling what I new, but I didn’t know at the same time is that since I was a kid, since I was seven or eight years old, I was always with a camera on my hand, always recording, like baptisms, like family reunions later on when I was a teenager, going to my friends on my little trip, I would have my camp quarter or have like a point in shoot.
Speaker 2 (36:42):
I was always documenting, always documenting like parties. And I didn’t know that, like, I, I had that, but I didn’t know it. So when, when I, when I, it was time to decide what I was gonna do with my life, because I like traveling. I decided to go to hospitality, traveling tourism, and, and, and I spent all this four or five years studying that. So I had to wait until I was 28 years old. And I’m going back to my friend here. He was going to the academy of arts in San Francisco for a fine arts photography. So at the very beginning, I was his model for his assignments. And I did that for a long time for him. And then by the end of his, uh, studies, he had, he, he did his first photography series in the city of Richmond, California.
Speaker 2 (37:40):
And I would go with him a lot of times. Sometimes he went by me by himself. But a lot of times I went with him and, and when I was with him, I remember I had this little cannon point and shoot, you know, very simple camera. And I thought as he was like doing his work <affirmative> and like taking photos in the city, I thought like, I want to take photos of him taking photos. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I started doing that. And then I didn’t tell him, I, I, I, I was like, I’m, this is gonna be a surprise <laugh>. So I was taking photos of him taking photos, but, you know, as project was evolving, we, we were seeing like crazy things there and really, really interesting things that I was like, okay, this cannot be just in photo. I have to record this.
Speaker 2 (38:35):
You know? So I would like record, I take little clips on this, like cheap, simple camera, little, little clips and <laugh> and yeah, it was just funny how, like, that started to be in a thing for me, like taking videos, documenting him and the situations happening. I accumulated a hundred clips and I finally put them together. I didn’t know how to edit. I didn’t know anything about film making, so I wanted to edit. So I was like, I’m gonna go to iMovie and learn how to edit. And so I put this thing together and I gave it to him. And that, that I can say is my first short film. It’s very amateur. It’s very rustic, but I still keep it in my portfolio. Like when I, when, if you see my VMI profile, that’s, that’s still gonna be there. That’s always gonna be there because that every time I see it, it reminds me how I started what got me driven to filmmaking every time I see it’s like, always think, have that fire in, you don’t give up. So that’s why I keep it. That’s, that’s basically the story, how it started. He saw it and he was like, Hey, man, this is really good. You know, this comes from your, from your heart. And, and it has a lot of potential. Why don’t you just like sign up for, for film school at city college? And I did, I, I started learning technique. The rest is just history.
Speaker 1 (40:16):
Well, that that’s great. And I also think it’s just crazy. Just the whole idea of anybody expecting anybody to come outta high school, knowing exactly what, what they wanna do. Like you said, everybody knew what they wanted to do, but, you know, I, I bet a lot of ’em were just faking it. Uh,
Speaker 2 (40:35):
It it’s, it’s how it is. And
Speaker 1 (40:37):
So, in terms of, of other films, do you have a few favorite movies or directors?
Speaker 2 (40:46):
I, I know some smaller filmmakers. I can reference one person who has like really influenced my work as this French filmmaker lives in moon. I actually got in touch with him and just by watching his films, I learned a lot. And by talking to him as well, gave me a lot of good advice. He has a very unique technique. His again, his name is Vincent Moon. Look it up. You you’re gonna, you’re gonna feel lie. My favorite directors are Corick Woody Allen, who I made a cocktail to once.
Speaker 1 (41:28):
Oh, nice. Yeah. What did he drink? Do you remember? He had a,
Speaker 2 (41:33):
Just a vodka martini. Oh, Martin Scorsese. Of course. Those three are directors. That to me are to follow, you know, just follow them. And you gonna like, keep, you’re gonna keep film, making alive. I like Queens. Tarin a lot, but I like him. I like him a lot more as a screenwriter, more than director. I he’s an terrific director. Don’t get me wrong. But I think his, his writing is superb. It’s it’s just amazing. Speaking of Tarantino, I think Tarantino would not be the same without his cinematographer. He’s cinema photographer, his director of photography, Robert Richardson. He’s a compliment. Tarantino would not be the same without him. He’s still great, but he makes a difference. You know, he, he adds that plus to it. And like I said, early on, I really, when I, when I watch a film, the first thing that gets me is the cinema photography, the lighting, the mood, the texture, even if, if it’s shot in film, even better. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I’m not against digital, but I mean,
Speaker 1 (42:45):
Well, and you, and you don’t really see as much of that anymore.
Speaker 2 (42:50):
Yeah. It’s rare
Speaker 1 (42:51):
Films actually being shot with film, which sounds weird, but, but it is rare and it’s something I don’t think people think about as much like a digital versus analog photography, a little more kind of in the forefront. But when you go to it’s rare, when you go to the movie theater or watch a film, people say, oh, this is a, this is shot with, so, and so say the, the general consumer doesn’t really think about that or no,
Speaker 2 (43:18):
Of course. And when it comes to photography, I prefer shooting F uh, film. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, that’s my preference, but that’s for my personal work. Right. I can do digital. Sure. But you, I think there’s a place for each kind of photography. I think I, I, I did quote, head shots last year for, for organization. Of course, I’m gonna shoot digital. I’m not gonna shoot film for that, you know, but when it comes to my, my personal work, yeah. I’m gonna go with film. So I’m now one of those who’s like films better than digital. I think that’s, you know, it’s, you decide what you like best, what what’s best for you and that’s it. But when it comes to motion film, yes, I am always gonna be like films much better. And I don’t know why filmmakers with big budgets are not doing it more. Right. Because it’s, I, I would hate that that disappears. I have a 60 millimeter camera and I have film in the fridge, but it’s so expensive to, to shoot one can of film. It’s like two, two and a half, two and a half minutes only. And it’s super expensive to, to, to process. And you have to digitalize it later. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a whole process. So, you know, I think big, big, big productions should, should still shoot in film. It’s such a different feeling, you
Speaker 1 (44:45):
Know, would they put that in the credits?
Speaker 2 (44:47):
The very end, you’ll see, uh, this was shot in 35 millimeter or 70 millimeter film. You you’ll see that. And, and, and it’s one of those things. I, I got like a better with time, you know, to just see like, okay, that this is shorting film. And then I confirm it at the very end of the credits. When I see that 10 vision, 35 millimeter or 17 millimeter film, I was like, I was right. And what a lot of people do now is also try to, uh, simulate film with digital. And that’s, that’s a good practice. It’s not the same though. It’s never gonna be the same,
Speaker 1 (45:25):
Like with filters or like that type of thing. Like how, so there, there,
Speaker 2 (45:30):
There are a few ways you can do that. Filters is one way, and also playing with your ISO, you know, ISOs. If you bring it up, you’re gonna give more noise, right. Although, you know, noise looks bad as opposed to grain, but if you do it right, if you don’t overdo it, I had this camera, it was like a icon camera, a digital and I for a whole year, I was like, really trying to get that look. And of course, it’s not gonna look like film, but it gets close mm-hmm <affirmative> and I got it and I got it and I nailed it and it looked great. You know, it’s, you have to play with your, with your ISO and your shot speed pretty much. I, you see my, uh, Rhus dish series, you’ll find some shots, some closeups that simulate that a little bit. You you’ll feel it has a different texture, cuz that when I do the closeups, I, I use that cam quarter as opposed to the rest of the shots that I use, uh, 4k camera.
Speaker 1 (46:33):
Well, I know I’ve talked to still photographers that get annoyed with, you know, maybe they shot a specific Polaroid film and then all of a sudden Instagram or whatever has some new app where you can just like add the border. And sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s just kind of cheesy, but that’s kind
Speaker 2 (46:53):
Of a, Instagram is tricky. Yeah. Instagram is tricky. Really? I don’t know. I have I’m on the right on the edge of like, I don’t know where to go with that, but I post on Instagram, but I don’t wanna put my best on Instagram. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I put like what’s okay. Cuz when you work, when you have photos, you’d be like, do I put this on my website? No, this is not website material. I don’t want this to be in my portfolio. I don’t want people to hire me because of this, but this is like a good enough photo to go on Instagram. It’s like nice. You know? So I have my, um, my Instagram, uh, I call it the backyard, you know, <laugh> I send, I send all that stuff to the backyard and you know, it’s, it’s just like that, but I don’t wanna, I, I, I know there are photographers who based their work, their art on Instagram personally.
Speaker 2 (47:49):
I think that’s the wrong route. Although for some of them it works, but I don’t know. I think there are other ways people are forgetting about scenes or photo books, you know, that’s more like tangible and like promote that, you know, it’s like we’re becoming so digital these days with everything music, for instance. Yeah. I cannot listen to MP3s anymore. I can’t, I like my old good vinyl record and my good sound system where I can actually listen to details. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it’s like listening to the album for the first time. So a good album that you like, you put it on a record. Oh my gosh. I never listened to this song before. It’s a whole different experience.
Speaker 1 (48:41):
Right. And you’ve been collecting records.
Speaker 2 (48:44):
Yeah. Right. Over a hundred. And it’s like one of my favorite new hobbies <affirmative> but it’s dangerous. <laugh> like it costs money, you know, but sometimes you cannot stop. It’s like, oh they there there’s a very good, uh, for those who live in Santa Fe, there’s this really amazing record store called the guy in the roof on Guadalupe. Mm mm-hmm <affirmative> right. Across bumblebee. They have really amazing records and for a really good price, I have to say, you have, you can find first press second, press records for like $30, you know? And then you look up online and they’re, they’re like 60 bucks, $30, $60. Wow. But yeah, that’s my new favorite hobby. I, I really enjoy it. So in
Speaker 1 (49:33):
Terms of recent records, you’ve added to your collection. Do you have favorite new records in the collection?
Speaker 2 (49:42):
Yeah, so, um, <laugh> one of the things when, when I went to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, I went to, uh, my favorite record store that used to be around the corner from where I used to live in San Francisco on hate street. Uh MEbA music. I had that store like two blocks away and I had to like travel the way there to go back. Um, so yeah, we, my friend and I, who also collects records and we just had our little tour in ameba music and we picked a few records. Um, so let’s see, I got be Sebastian. I got carpenters. I got Interpol arcade, fire, uh, record for miles Davis.
Speaker 1 (50:40):
You, you were going for it. You were shopping
Speaker 2 (50:43):
<laugh> yeah, I, yeah, definitely. And, and, and that was just in a music. Um, we also went to a few more records stores in, uh, in San Jose where he lives and I got more records there and carry on just for records <laugh> so I brought 10 records with me so we can listen at his house. And then I came back with another 10 records, Santa Fe. I went back to the record store. I got a Johnny Mitchell record. I got a George Michael record. I got the verb. I don’t know. Some people don’t know them. The room Australia, the bitter sweet symphony, 19 98, 1
Speaker 1 (51:25):
Of the first cassette tapes I ever owned was George Michael,
Speaker 2 (51:29):
Speaker 1 (51:30):
Whatever one was popular in 1980, probably six.
Speaker 2 (51:35):
Uh, I got a record from Beck mm-hmm <affirmative>. Oh, Beck. That sounds that record sounds amazing. Really, really amazing. Actually I do have some of my records like right there. Um, oh, nice. They’re my printer. The other ones are in the, in the living room with a, um, with a record player, but I don’t have more space. So I just put like records on this little shelf and I have them like sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties. Nice. <inaudible> um, so you know, the rest of the records, like the good records are in the living room. Yeah. I have them well organized alphabetically and all like, I’m a little crazy about that. I watch my records.
Speaker 1 (52:25):
You wanna, you wanna take good care of things, but you, yeah.
Speaker 2 (52:28):
Yeah. These little things that are meant to last. So, so
Speaker 1 (52:32):
You got to go to San Francisco recently, as we had talked about, are there any other places that you’re aspiring to go to?
Speaker 2 (52:42):
Well, I’m going on a road trip in, um, three weeks. Cool. Where are you going, Indiana? Stacy’s my girlfriend’s from her dad is turning 80. And so we’re, we wanna spend some time with them. We haven’t seen them in two years. And so it’s gonna be really, really exciting to go see them again and spend some time with them. So far I’m taking two cameras, maybe three, I don’t know, but I’m, I’m, I’m packing like, uh, um, like 10 to 12 were also film <laugh>. Well, medium format, 12 per parole, not too crazy. That part of the country. I’ve never been like through, uh, the, the, the center. Right. I know all the west coast I’ve been through all the west coast, but I’ve never driven through the middle, the, the center. So that’s gonna be exciting if
Speaker 1 (53:33):
Money was not a thing and you could just go anywhere anywhere you want.
Speaker 2 (53:38):
Well, if I, if I’m gonna go with Stacy, she hasn’t been to Peru yet a lot have to go to Peru with her. First cousin is my travel buddy. So if either, if it’s with my, my cousin, Morocco and you know, Egypt, Northern Africa, I think is like on my radar.
Speaker 1 (54:00):
What is it about those places?
Speaker 2 (54:02):
That culture really, um, attracts me a lot because it’s it’s Africa, but it’s not the Africa that you would think right away, pyramids and camels. And like mm-hmm, <affirmative> sand. I, I don’t know. I, I, I picture that, that north Northern Africa with like red and yellow and brown colors and it’s just in my mind, I think it’s a culture that I really wanna explore. Mm-hmm <affirmative> just like, like middle Eastern culture. I, I really wanna explore at some point. I, I, I don’t know. I think that’s my next thing on my bucket list. So here
Speaker 1 (54:42):
Here’s one of my new favorite questions, time, travel, time, travel. If you could time travel to a certain era place, and obviously this doesn’t involve money and it could be anything you want. So it could be like one of the places you mentioned, but a certain time,
Speaker 2 (55:02):
I, I, I have this conversation with a friend, not, not too long ago. And he said like, where would you like to go? You know, same question. Right. And I said like, well, I would like to go to like the area, you know, like the Jesus Christ time. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I would like to be in the Inka time in south America. I like to be in the middle age and, you know, and so on. But I, I will always tell him, like, I would like to go there, but like have a, like a capsule that nothing happens to me. Right. I could just watch, but nothing happens to me because it, I wanna see, I would love to see the middle age. I would love to go to the, you know, castles and see like the, the, the Kings, the Queens, and like how all that, you know, society worked back then. But if you said something wrong, you would be burned alive. Right. Or like, be headed <laugh>. But I would like, I would love to see that, but like having like a, a capsule. So, so
Speaker 1 (56:13):
You wanna go there through like VR or something,
Speaker 2 (56:16):
Uh, right. Something. But if, if, but, but, but to be, that’s like cheating though. But if, if, if I wanna be more fair to your question, I would like to try and travel to the seventies in the us. Mm-hmm <affirmative>
Speaker 1 (56:34):
Yeah. That would be fun. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (56:36):
That’s where I would like to be, give me the whole seventies and the eighties to be old, but let me give me my twenties and thirties in the sixties and seventies, or maybe seventies and eighties, and maybe let, let me get old in the nineties and two thousands. Right. I think, I think that will be my choice.
Speaker 1 (56:57):
Actually. It’s been great talking to you. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about or any plug shoutouts?
Speaker 2 (57:04):
Thank you for the opportunity to have me on your show. I think it’s great. It’s great conversation. I think what you’re doing is, uh, very inspiring.
Speaker 1 (57:14):
Well, thank you for joining. Really appreciate it.
Speaker 2 (57:18):
Look forward to keep watching your episodes and keeping, meeting new artists. Super exciting. Thanks for having
Speaker 1 (57:25):
Me kept me inspired. I’m gonna keep doing it.
Speaker 2 (57:29):
Yes, please do. And again, like, if anybody wants a drink or food recipe, just like, uh, write a comment. Um, I’ll try to make it and mention you. And also, uh, I think I mentioned the documentary about the border. Um, uh, just let Anne know, and I’ll be really happy to contact you. And have you give you the access to the, to the film?
Speaker 1 (57:59):
Yes. So let us know in the comments below what sort of food or drink you wanna see Diego make, and if there’s anything you wanna see on this show, many thanks for watching. And thank you, Diego. Are you thanks for watching art in the raw, if you’ve enjoyed this episode, which I hope you have, please like comment, subscribe. And as we mentioned, if you have any requests from Diego in terms of dishes or cocktails, you’d like to see him make on run. This dish also drop those in the comments below. Thank you and have a good night.
Speaker 3 (58:55):
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