Filming on location in South America with Gabriel Carratu of Vagabond Films
Gabriel entered the production industry as a PA before graduating to camera operator and then on to assistant directing on jobs that took him across the US, South America and to Europe. He met his Vagabond business partner Lorenzo Benedick on a shoot in Venezuela.
All over – I have responsibility for all Latin America. That means I follow all the projects we shoot in Latin America as a producer. Vagabond has offices in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela and Costa Rica, and I’ve shot in all those countries. The company also operates in Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
I have really enjoyed working with the productions companies I have worked with, and I tried to learn from every producer and every director because I have worked for people from all over the world and everybody brings something different. The idea is to learn and use the good tips from every production and learn from the bad things so that you don’t do it again.
What have been your hardest location filming challenges to date?
I think we have had two big challenges that we have passed with honours. One was when we needed to close the Avenida Paulista tunnel in Sao Paulo. It is the only tunnel in and out of downtown Sao Paulo and we closed that tunnel for the whole night and added fog - it was really hard to get those permits.
The second job was when we needed to close Avenida Corrientes in Buenos Aires to have a construction crane in the middle of the street for the whole day, with 400 extras running in the streets. Avenida Corrientes is one of the most popular avenues from Buenos Aires city.
Where do you most like shooting and why?
I love South America - we have beautiful locations and great crews all around. Uruguay has beautiful beaches, a great European look, no traffic and amazing landscapes.
Chile has all kinds of locations from the Atacama Desert or El Tatio Geysers to the Patagonia glaciers and mountains.
Argentina has the great Buenos Aires City, the Iguazu Falls, the salt desert and the patagonic Bariloche’s landscapes. Brazil has the beauty of Rio and Sao Paulo, and the great beaches of Bahia.
Where in your location filming experience do you consider you get the best production value?
If you need mountains and cities Santiago is the best place because you don’t have to travel. If you need good casting and great European locations then Buenos Aires is the place. If you have many company moves and you need to move fast through European looks Montevideo is the right choice. If you need paradise beaches or wild jungle locations you need Costa Rica or Venezuela, which is the only country I know where you can rent an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea for three or more days just for one shoot.
What do you do to relax after a full-on location shoot?
A great bottle of wine with good company is the best you can do to close a busy day.
To contact Gabriel click here.
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