By Jorge Muñoz
Over the last 15 years Gravity Cam has been creating incredible CGI and 3D campaigns for brands, such as Visa, MasterCard, DHL, Absolut, and much more. Their ingenuity and ability to innovate has brought them to the top of Latin American’s CGI studios. It’s Co-founder and director Manuel Santos has shared with us his insights about their work and experiences all the way from Mexico.
Production Paradise: What is the background of Gravity Cam, how it came to be and who were your first clients?
Manuel Santos: In search of my professional development, I began my studies in Engineering in computing in order to perform computer graphics. During a summer course at University of CA- San Diego, I was directed to study photography and I was able to combine both studies, and this is where I found my passion for graphic images related to advertising.
I met my partner Elisa at the Photography School “ Escuela Activa de Fotografia “ and we decided to work together and open our own photography Studio. Elisa and I married in 1999, and we formally opened Gravity Cam, me as a CGI artist and Elisa in Production
Since then I have devoted my career to advertising. I have had the opportunity to teach classes, courses and workshops related to the language of the image, photography, lighting, impact of campaigns on the consumer, generation of 3D images, CGI and video workflow. During the last 15 years Gravity Cam has worked freelance with major advertising agencies and direct clients in Mexico City.
Our first Clients were direct clients; basically focussed on Architecture Photography and Jewellery, which led to the opportunity to meet our first advertising agency BBDO, since then I’m proud to say I have worked with the most important agencies in Mexico.
Production Paradise: Gravity Cam has worked with many well known brands, which have been the most challenging campaigns to work on and the most rewarding?
Manuel Santos: We had 2 Challenging campaigns, the first was Visa GO, where we developed a series of ads for the brand. The prehispanic version was very challenging in the production and also for the research to do this add.
And the 2nd was American Express where we were working for 6 different locations to produce a worldwide campaign (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, New York, London, and Singapore). The challenge for this campaign was that everyone made one version and then they decided that everyone has to be aligned with Mexico, so we were the reference for the worldwide campaign.
Production Paradise: The company’s portfolio is full of incredible CGI and Post Production, yet you also shoot a lot with drones, how are these two related?
Manuel Santos: From an early age, I have being linked to radio controlled flight. Taking advantage of this, I decided to use several Drones in order to shoot photography and aerial video, so I could bring together my expertise in the photographic area and my passion for the radio control flight.
Production Paradise: Gravity Cam is based in Mexico, but how much of your work is based outside of Mexico and which markets do you see as the most important for you?
Manuel Santos: We haven’t worked a lot outside of Mexico, but I see a lot of potential. Gravity Cam is always developing new techniques and we are always studying in order to satisfy the needs of our clients. We look forward to working with more international clients abroad so we can show our work to the world.
Production Paradise: The photography industry of Latin America is growing very fast, especially in the most developing countries of the continent. Do you think the Mexican photography industry is one of the most creative innovators of the sector?
Manuel Santos: I won’t say Mexico is one of the most creative innovators, as there are a lot of great talents all over the world, but what I can say is that we are very important part of the industry and personally I think that we have the potential to work worldwide.
Production Paradise: What is the key to the talent behind Gravity Cam?
Manuel Santos: I think the key of the talent behind us is to work as a team, giving points of view and understanding the needs of our clients, it is not only to have talent, it’s the way you use it to create an image.
Production Paradise: How has Production Paradise helped you to commercialise Gravity Cam?
Manuel Santos: This is our first time that we go further to show our work and Production Paradise is a perfect way to spread our work and to have people all over the world see it. We are very excited to be part of it. We hope in the future that we will reach the international market and that we can collaborate with ads all over the world, and I think Gravity Cam has a lot to offer in the industry. We we will keep working to do our best to satisfy the world market and we are glad to be on Production Paradise.
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