Reel de Oro

Arturo Pereyra

Arturo Pereyra from Whisky: S torytelling is what motivates me most

08 de julio de 2019

The Venezuelan filmmaker Arturo Pereyra is founding partner and one of the most prolific directors of the production company Whisky. With more than 20 years of experience in shootings throughout Latin America, the US, and Europe, his work has been awarded in important advertising festivals like El Círculo de Oro in Mexico, El Ojo de Iberoamérica, Cannes Lions, London Advertising Awards and New York Festival, among others.

Great brands like Bacardi, Banamex, Banorte, Bellsouth, Budweiser, Bimbo, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Caracol Televisión, Ford, HSBC, Kraft, Kimberly-Clark from McDonald's, Nestlé, P & G, Sony, Verizon and Volkswagen have trusted their talent and vision to make their creative ideas a reality. They currently live in Mexico and share time between Los Angeles and the rest of the word, shooting.

1. With all your experience, what keeps you motivated when you arrive at a set?

I would say the first thing is why I got into this. There has to be. There has to be love and passion for storytelling. Storytelling is what motivates me the most. In the world of advertising, there is a chance to experience this. Of course, there are always concepts that are more suitable than others, but the point of being able to shoot, work with a team of talented people, receive an idea on paper or imagination and make it come true is always motivating. Of course, within that universe there are stories and ideas that are more challenging, where you are given more freedom to imagine and have textures. There are projects that are cinematographic challenges, others require the construction of a character, others that are the creation of a universe through art direction... The common denominator is that as long as there is a challenge and engagement with the craft, there will always be deep motivation. That is why I feel deeply privileged to do what I do and work with such diverse, committed, and dedicated people. To be able to discover things and be surprised until you are smiling, is extraordinary.

2. How would you define your visual style today?

I have gravitated a great deal towards the trend we saw a few years ago - I can exemplify it with the pleasure it was to work with "Chivo" Lubezki- woking with the light available, with a bit more naturalist textures. I´ve never been much of a post-production director. That is another universe I find fantastic. I love animation, but it is not what I do best. As a viewer, I see it with fascination because it exceeds the spectrum of my capabilities and talents. I gravitate towards characters that seem interesting to me and my visual style depends on the type of story. There are comedies I think are marvelous to which we can contribute. Above all -for me- it has to do with characters, with the emotional and close, naturalist part. If something defines my style today, it will probably be aimed there.

3. Is there a book or record that has accompanied you throughout your career?

There are many books, many films, and a lot of music that are important for me and that, undoubtedly serves as my source of inspiration. In music -and I am very auditive- there is little I don't like. I like jazz, blues, classical music, rock, country,... There are so many bands that I couldn't simply say that Dylan´s first record changed my life and is with me since then. There is a soundtrack in life and I have always believed in that. There are things that acquire relevance according to the place where you are emotionally. Maybe there is something that you have read that was very important and is not so relevant any more, whereas other things that were just there on the shelf, now have another value. The truth is that I think that as a storyteller -and as a human being- you must be nurtured and be in touch with as many things that can inspire you.

4. What projects have you worked on recently? Do you have any work in documentary or fiction?

Not in documentary. If there is something I am deeply involved in today as a director and partner of Whisky it is precisely in the world of fiction content. We are raising other projects that have to do with realities, although I am not directly involved with this. From the things I have shot recently and fill me with great pleasure there are two fiction things: one is the pilot and trailer of Pueblo Chico and the other is Proof of Concept for Mucha Mierda. We are now developing with different writers other contents I am excited about. I am very involved in the visual part of all this so that we can fully execute the package and for the idea to be sold. As a filmmaker, there is nothing that thrills me more than that, which, additionally, poses no conflict with advertising. I think it is going to be instrumental with the new challenges the market is posing for us. The pretty thing about fiction is that the dynamics is different. You no longer work for a brand with a bunch of needs, realities and people giving their opinion. Fiction is a bit more personal. You decide if you are going to take the risk or not. It is a way to project yourself and reflect personal concerns. In fact, I think that advertising is heading that way, towards branded content and other formats that are more related with consumers. I say this as a storytelling director.

5. How do you see the future of advertising?

I think that the changes we are witnessing have occurred in a more accelerated way than what people thought and expected. More and more people have a smartphone and access to the Internet, and therefore an extraordinary diversity of contents. After all, brands -and the responsibility of brands- is not to stubbornly build spaces for people to go where they are. On the contrary. You have to go to where people are. The paradigm for how brands must communicate now is entirely different. This is disturbing for everyone, because we are discovering where this is heading and it would be a lie to say with accuracy where advertising is heading. What I do know is that people are consuming increasingly more content. I think people are much less interested in brands talking to them in an invasive or impersonal way. Digital has enabled a segmentation that makes it possible to aim messages specifically. Changes are wonderful. The craft is the same, storytelling. I am fascinated by where this is heading, because it has forced us to reinvent ourselves. For many years, that map was clear to us, and now it isn´t. For me, this is extraordinarily stimulant, specially after directing for more than 20 years.

6. Where is Arturo Pereyra heading?

I hope to direct myself, and I try do it as humbly as possible, to continue surprising myself, and be able to enjoy the things I do. Years pass by, inevitably. Maybe in the past the most important thing was to stand out and be noticed in this field. Luckily, we grow more mature and fill yourself with other things that change those priorities. For me, the most important thing will always be family: my wife and my children. And my personal space, that has nothing to do with advertising and storytelling. It´s eating, traveling, living, and having the privilege to count with the presence of presence of certain people in my life. As a filmmaker, undoubtedly, to be able to assume with excitement the content challenges that we have posed in the company, and me, personally as a director. That is what has always caught my attention. My most representative projects are the most narrative ones. I think I am going where I have always tried to, getting tangled up the least I can and making the most of the opportunities the field and life offer me. To be in peace, even if it sounds a bit abstract.

Production company:
Whisky, Mexico
Contact: Roberto Rodríguez M.

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