We had the good fortune of connecting with Bernie Aniciete, Rodrigo Rodrigo, Zane Kupper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bernie Aniciete, Rodrigo Rodrigo, Zane Kupper, why did you pursue a creative career?
We pursue an artistic and creative career because we have to. Too many people let the creative part of them atrophy, and at one point each of the three of us has been there. We all served in the military (different times and branches) but each of us buried our creativity with responsibility, and looked at it as a frivolous waste of time.
Because of that, when we got out, each of us looked for creative outlets, and practiced them in our own way. It was like learning to walk again. To remember how to work AND play. When we all started working together, it was like something clicked. Not that everything’s always smooth, but because we share artistic vision and grant each other creative license, we can critique and take notes without bumping egos.
Long story short, we pursue creative endeavors because deep down we believe it’s what we’re meant to do. Without art and creativity, life would be pretty damn boring.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One of the things we’ve learned over the past few years was that we were undervaluing ourselves and what we create. We spent a lot time apologizing for our pricing, rather than explaining to our customers that it doesn’t just cover the shooting and editing, but also the planning, knowledge and skills that we bring to every project. Our price covers the experience we’ve earned to get where we’re at today.
When someone says the price is too high, we find ways to work with them, without compromising our costs and/or undercharging and stealing from ourselves. It’s tough, but I’d tell entrepreneurial artists that they don’t need to apologize for charging for their work. Until we reach a point as a society where we value art for arts sake, stand by your prices, creatives. You’re worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Day 1: Take them to Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori in Gardena, followed by Kansha Creamery right next door for some amazing ice cream (We recommend Midnight Mugi Cha or Mr. Universal, but all of them are good).
Day 2: Go canyon carving at Angeles Crest, followed by a hike at Portuguese Bend in Palos Verdes. Eat at Wild Chive, and munch on the left overs the rest of the day.
Day 3: Film something at the office, and split some buckets of Jollibee (and some of those dope Taro and Mango Pies).
Day 4: BOBA DAY! Hit up The Alley and Dave’s Hot Chicken. Later in the day go to Loose Leaf for some of their boba concoctions and grab a snack over at Dog Haus, followed by Pie Bar.
Day 5: Film some miniature photography and play games at Lost Planet in Torrance, and grab some Curry Katsu from Coco Ichibaniya.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Angel Cortes and his company, OG Pumpkin. He sells cool apparel and designs, and uses the profit from that to build an inclusive Veteran community. He puts together events on a regular basis that bring people together, and promotes community bonds and mental wellness.
Picture 1: Stephanie Ma Picture 3: Mike Silva (@mrsilva3) and JV Bernard (@jvbernardtv)