I try to carry with me phrases or mottos acquired during my career and education, some of them embedded in me by whom I consider my early mentors Andrew Speller and Alan Bernstein; and, some others that I have added to my bag of tricks during my work as a DP or cameraman either from talented crew, filmmakers and friends; or simply from the best of sources: films. One that I carry with a lot of esteem has become my motto whenever shooting something that I really care about with people that I really care for: You are only as good as your crew. I believe this more than ever after the past three-four years of work for what I believe has been the launch of my profesional career. You really are only as good as your crew, in any role, in any crew, in any set.
I feel very fortunate and lucky to be in a position where I can benefit and take credit for the talent, effort and work of my fellow crew-members. By this I mean the rest of the film crew who is actually executing and doing all the heavy lifting for me, this meaning everyone else except myself. If your crew sucks, your work will too… If your crew is talented, passionate, collaborative and fun… your work will reflect that too.
Another motto that I try and embebed in my junior crew-members is: The thing you don´t check is the thing that fails. This has happened to anyone working in the camera department, at least once… he who says it has never happened to him is lying. It is infuriating and frustrating. It happens. You literally feel stupid. The tiniest of things or details, a screw, a piece of metal or even the slightest detail unchecked, unverified on the prep and what can seem the most insignificant thing, can prevent you from shooting. In camera, as in life, I believe, attention to detail matters… a LOT. (I sure hope there´s not typos in this post)
Recently I have added a new phrase to my filmmaking bag of tricks that I feel is very inspiring. It´s the MANGO thinking: Let´s do something chingón #hazlochingon #doitchingón It´s a simple but very powerful motto. It reminds us that no matter what you are shooting, you should strive to make it the very best you can, as this not only reflects your work ethic, but also yourself as a professional that I believe we all strive to be. This motto, as with others, will stay with me for the rest of my career.
And speaking about phrases and mottos for filmmaking, one of the best ones that is actually a full length speech which always gets my spirit up is the finest of speeches by Tony D’Amato, INCH BY INCH from Any Given Sunday… (remember to change every *football for *filmmaking) when in doubt about filmmaking, or life… just listen to this master speech and…. keep on shooting. It will sure get your spirit up and filming. Coincidentally, this one marries perfectly with #onlyasgoodasyourcrew