We had the good fortune of connecting with Sebastian Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sebastian, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
This is a fantastic question, it’s important to answer this because a lot of the times, in any industry, our clients are unaware of the process that we go through to making something for them, and I get it, when you “the client” don’t have the same area of expertise as me when it comes to creating an audiovisual product, you tend to speculate and think that what ever someone does is very easy to do. We often find it funny for example when someone sees a video that has a warmer tone to it to portray a certain feeling through out the whole time but they come with comments during your revision such as “Can you make this a little warmer but bluer?” Other than that, editing sometimes takes time, not just moving things around or placing more layers on top of the timeline but also dealing with rendering (an editor’s biggest enemy). One bad habit that I developed was the habit of editing things in such a timely manner, faster than usual actually. This gets the customer or client accustomed to receiving things so fast that it makes it look easy. So my suggestion to everyone out there in the audiovisual world. TAKE YOUR TIME at handing out the first rough cut even if you made it super fast and it was “easy”
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We all have something that sets us apart from others, it doesn’t make us any better than others, I guess what sets me apart from the newer generation that normally sells they’re product based on “the newest gear they have” therefore the “better image quality than the competition” is that I can shoot anything with any camera and still resolve the clients needs. There’s a wise saying from my country that translates to “It’s not the Arrow, it’s the Indian” so yeah… there you go, let it sink in. Today as a professional I still learn, A LOT. Technology evolves so damn fast that sometimes it’s hard to catch up because it kind of forces you sometimes to spend more money than you need to, my Old computer which is a beast at editing for example is now obsolete to some updates I made, this makes me angry because I take care of my things and I can STILL edit. I’ve learned to be very patient a long the way, sometimes there are days, weeks and months without big fish clients, but you have to learn your value and not be desperate. The problem with our industry is that clients don’t know the value and MONEY that goes into shooting a video. They just thing you push a button and POOF the film or commercial is made. They don’t know you need to hire a team of professionals, pay for their time, FEED them, pay for gas, actors, props, rentals, locations, transportation, permits. At the end of the day they expect you to charge them little because of their every day excuse of “We’re just a start up company, we don’t have a lot of funds” and they promise you exposure. Listen, you gain exposure by your self, exposure doesn’t pay your bills or puts food on your plate. This is why I stopped working with these so called “influencers”. A homie of mine Pipo (shout out to Pips) gave me an example, “If you work with Dwane “The Rock” and he offers you a shout out, that will be probably a momentary exposure, people MIGHT look at you for a bit, but they wont follow you, you’re irrelevant to them, you’re not a body builder famous actor/ex wrestler. So at the end of the day if you want to make your time and money worth the job, CHARGE THE ROCK A LOT OF MONEY. Same for any other influencer. Trust me you will thank me later. I’ve seen a lot of these goofballs not pay the people that make THEIR IMAGE better by promising such garbage.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hmmm honestly it depends on the visit, I have friends that are city people, so a morning hike to the hollywood sign to get it out of the way and get the pump going, Then coming down the hill going on fountain ave there’s this AMAZING cafe where they serve the best Acai Bowls in town called Mestizo, then I would show them around the walk of fame, grab the metro to downtown and explore a bit over there, maybe grab lunch in Little Tokyo, then maybe go to the Valley to the bars over there. My nature loving friends (my type of people) will have a more interesting itinerary. We would wake up REALLY early and drive up to Big bear or Idylwild, rent a cabin there, if we go to Big Bear I can take them to the big bear airport and we can all fly in a helicopter for a really cheap price, go hiking up the mountains or swimming in the lake. Honestly Nature is far more superior than city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is dedicated to of course my parents who despite the fact that they have been divorced since I was 3, they still managed to keep a strong love and communication between them and given me the same amount of love and attention needed as parents. They’ve always believed I’ve had a talent for anything related with art. Of course filmmaking is the mix of all arts so it’s one of the things I love doing besides traveling. Also the mentors in Colombia where I studied, my friends that stood next to me during the whole process and taught me their tips and tricks. My wife for being supportive and encouraging my present and future creative processes.
Facebook: Sebastian Ruiz
People in image: Jeremy Jones, Skipp Whitman, Andres Rivera