Carballar, CEO of DinamitaPost: We are focused on trying to be one piece of the gear

Paulo Carballar of DinamitaPost at #PRODUprimetime: Post-production must begin in pre-production
30 de julio de 2021

“Post-production begins with pre-production, from how we are going to capture the content, what codec we will use, which camera, how much money we have for our project, to planning the shoot, the scope that we can or cannot have with the VFX. All this is planned, priced and organized from the pre,” said Paulo Carballar, CEO of DinamitaPost, one of the most important, responsible and innovative Mexican post-production houses in Mexico, in an interview on #PRODUprimetime with Ríchard Izarra.


The first international series made by Netflix, Club de Cuervos (2015-2019), was post-produced by DinamitaPost. Previously, the company had already stood out with series for Canal Once, Azteca and several feature films. “When we present the Club de Cuervos project, Netflix realizes that we have the same creative and disruptive ideology; always looking for new ways of doing things, and we also had a workflow that was approved by Netflix. By then the international Netflix area or any protocol did not exist. We had a great experience with Cuervos because the bar was too high. In Mexico there was no such challenge. Each season had between 500 to 600 VFX (visual effects) that no one has ever talked about. Our specialty is making VFX shots that look natural,” Carballar expressed.


“Today I have the pleasure of being with a pioneer in editing and post-production whose career story is so beautiful and inspiring that he tells it like this: 'Two friends since childhood, one rocker who made music and the other the audio, always creative, disruptive; they worked on so many things in so many ways. Over the years we went through the transition from analog to digital, and became experts in the new digital technology. We were among the first users of Avid and ProTools in Mexico. We worked so much on that that we started an editing and post-production company.' And since then they have not stopped. This is the basis of our conversation with the great Paulo Carballar (the rocker), founder and CEO of DinamitaPost, along with Paco Guerrero (the sound engineer),” said Ríchard to introduce them.


That passion since childhood for music, audio and image has not only continued, but they have made it a life purpose, evolving and putting it together in protocols and industry statements. This is how ‘Lean Postproduction’ was born, a kind of guideline, with three main axes: One, post-production begins with pre-production. Two, the consolidation of material and information for order and security. Three, everything works with protocols, but flexible protocols. Paulo explained it like this: “The first concept is that post-production begins with pre-production. If you skip this step in the project, you can't help the production to be more efficient.”


“Point number two is the consolidation that gives us order: all the material in one place, and from there people in all departments work with the portion of the material they need. Not everyone has access to everything. That is a very important security, and it gives us order to do the rest of all the work, since our model is comprehensive. And the third, very important: everything is done through protocols, but these protocols are flexible, because there is no post-production equal to the other. Each project is different.”


RI: Paulo, due to your experience, we know that you have also distinguished in advising executives in making final decisions on projects, especially young executives.

PC: “It is a very cool communication. Rather than calling it an advice, I would call it an involvement. We get involved in the project as soon as possible, even before the green light. There are projects that we work on for years before they are approved. Here we make jokes about the time it takes us to close a project because we participate in some from its conception. With executives, the result is based on our experience, we try to give them the time they need, because the executive has the final say always, and although the production company hires us, we are all looking for the final say, the final approval.”


On the production boom that Mexico is experiencing and the new associations of publishers, of colorists that have emerged, he indicated:

“Mexico is in an unprecedented situation, moving at a forced march to achieve an ecosystem that manages to serve everything that is coming, and it is a lot! We constantly have to work with people who are opening their business, because they are new production houses, new areas of the big studios themselves. At Dynamite we are focused on trying to be one piece of the gear. We are in constant communication with other friendly houses of pos. Also in communication with our freelance people, with the new associations of freelancers that are being formed very wisely. We have an alliance project to provide even bigger VFX services.”


He continued: “We are excited and we participate from our trench. They are our friends with whom we have worked for a long time. We are close to all these associations that seem super healthy to me. I think they can help us a lot to increase quality, to participate in education, in certification, in formality, in the creation of a healthy ecosystem, which goes hand in hand with what the universities are teaching, with the type of knowledge that is required at this time, while working on the creative side.”


“All the numbers indicate a very important exponential growth, and judging by the amount of work we all have, this is going to be the case. This boom is likely to be long-term, but we have a great challenge ahead: little by little a new editor has to come in, a new editor, a new assistant, yet another colorist. The junior composer VFX, is now the base of the senior. You have to get a new Visual VFX supervisor on set because there are more productions. They are needed, and they don't need to make their debut like crazy. They are covered by a system, by a protocol, by a company. This is how progress is being made, only here we have the urgency that we have to do it by ‘yesterday’. It is a big challenge.”


RI: How do you balance speed with quality?

PC: “It is workflow, it is planning, it is the work in the pre. How long will we have to do these processes? If we are not going to have the necessary time, then what is the appropriate codec to avoid having to convert? When you have a television series that has not three episodes in a year, but 62, you have to find a methodology that allows you to go much faster, and try to give the editor as much time as possible. It also comes from the set: how you film on the set; how much material you get; how neat it comes. We always work hand in hand with the script, with the script person and all that information that they must take into account; how they should give us the issues. We give them our protocols. Same with the DPs, with the camera assistants. It is not the post-producer who is at his house waiting for the material to arrive ..."

View interview here