Real People, Real Stories

Our job as photographers, directors, and narrators is to tell a story.

There are 2 key elements to storytelling in my opinion.

  1. A story is only as good as it’s characters.
  2. A story can only have meaning if it comes through in an authentic way.

 

During my time working with Beef Loving Texans, I came across Vianney Rodriguez. Vianney is a food blogger, recipe developer, a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur, a teacher and a carpooler. She is also a first generation Mexican-American.

It was our job as the production team to tell Vianney’s story.
During the making of this video, Vianney’s true stories came through. She talked about the importance of taco night – a seemingly normal tradition, but it came through to be so much more than just that.  For her, taco night is a time to bring the family together and to really transcend her stories, memories, and traditions to her children. It’s a sacred time to get together and let everything else fade away.

Vianney says, “Eating dinner as a family, to me, is one of the most important things – It’s a great way to stay connected … Once taco night comes and everybody is in the house – ya no eres mama, ya no eres wife, no estas trabajando – you’re just Vianney.”

You are no longer just a mom or a wife and you are not working. You are just there, being.

You’re enjoying food with family. Everybody’s at the table and everybody’s having a great time.

 

 

It’s a pleasure to work alongside people that you can connect with on a personal level. The producer for the set was a good friend of mine, Mando Rayo. Mando has a way of attracting and connect with real individuals to bring them together to tell compelling and authentic stories.

For me, that makes all of the difference: real people, real stories.
Take a look into the story of Vianney Rodriguez.

Patillo’s Bar-B-Q & Production Process

 

Telling stories is truly a balancing act. The more elements that you have to juggle, the more challenging it can be to create a finished product that satisfies all involved. The goal is always to exceed the client’s expectations, tell the characters’ story with intention and grit, and walk away with your team full of pride and satisfaction. That is the all encompassing challenge.

During the production of our last Texas Beef campaign, the team rose to the occasion. We drove down to Beaumont, Texas ready to make big things happen. The idea and mission of our friends at Texas Beef was fully engrained as we stepped into Patillos, a small BBQ joint that would surely impress just about anybody. This “small BBQ joint” turned out to be much more.

 

 

 

When you walk into the space, you can feel the history and smell the 100 year old recipes. Patillos is the oldest family owned barbecue in state of Texas. It is a family, a culture, and a tradition for everybody from the customers, to the wait staff, all the way to the 4th generation owner, Robert Patillo.

 

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We walked in with a small crew ready to go full speed but quickly realized that we needed to meet the pace of the restaurant happening around us.

 

“Patillos has given our community remembrance of a time that has passed … You can sit down at a table and eat a plate of BBQ, a pickle and onions. You just sit back and listen to the jukebox, drink a little tea and relax. Not be so fast..”

 

Patillos has brought the people of Beaumont together since 1912. Not only are they known for their great barbecue, but Patillos has been a symbol of community for the last four generations. It brings people out of their fast paced everyday life down to sit at a table and engage in conversation.

 

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It was quite a task to fully capture what we wanted to make happen in the midst of a fully functioning restaurant, but we did it and I truly learned a lot. I learned that sometimes you just need to slow down and let the story unfold. I learned that it takes a meticulous effort to place the pieces of the puzzle together and it takes an impeccable team to make that happen. It was such a pleasure to meet all of the people and hear the stories of those who call this place home. If you are ever in Beaumont, Texas, Patillos Barbecue is a must.

 

 

 

Film: Dennis Burnett & Mando Rayo

Client: Beef Loving Texans

Still images: Robert G Gomez

Camera Op: Cory Cross

Sound: Nik Worten

For the Love of Pasta

 

Pasta is something that we all know and love, but there are few who appreciate the beauty more than Matteo Gallizio. I recently had the privilege of meeting Matteo, the owner of La Dolda Artisanal Pasta, a gourmet pasta boutique here in in Austin, Texas. Matteo tells a compelling story about how his business came to be. He grew up in Italy, learning the pasta making process from his mother, but continued on to open a gelato shop in his hometown. Many years down the road, Matteo and his wife work each day to preserve the traditions and ingredients of his family’s legacy here in Austin, Texas. There is nothing more inspiring to me than somebody who follows their passion to make their dreams come true. Take a look at the care and consideration that goes into each piece of pasta and hear more about Matteo’s story.

Saturdays in the South

If you’ve been to the south you know how big college football is, it’s everything especially the SEC. The summer lead up to the fall season is always a buzz with talk of starting players, coaching staff changes, and of course tailgating. Tailgating is an honored tradition in Southern Saturday football, dating back to over a hundred years. Saturday college football without tailgating is an afternoon worth skipping, it shouldn’t be allowed. For those few uninitiated here’s the basic premiss; get drunk while screaming whatever respective college chant your team has and eating copious amounts of ribs, brisket, sausage, and every other southern comfort food you can think of. This combo of course brings out the most interesting of people which I had the pleasure of documenting. This is the most recent game between The Alabama Crimson Tide and The Texas A&M Aggies.

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