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Adil Schindler and his partner, Camilla Fuchs, first visited Sayulita approximately seven years ago while living in Puerto Vallarta for a few months. They both fell in love with the pueblo and had a desire to settle here one day, which happened in the summer of 2014 after a move from Cabo San Lucas. His business, Waterproof Video, was founded in 2006 during a one year stay in Egypt. He has since used and developed his business and skill set while traveling extensively and working in a number of different countries and locations.
First off, tell me a little about your business. What type of promotional videos do you shoot?
Waterproof Video specializes in promoting businesses or services by creating audio-visual content to be used for web pages, social media sites, exhibits, TV adds, etc. Our strengths are that we combine an ample spectrum of professional equipment, techniques, and experience, which in return enables us to shoot and edit high quality cinematic images on land, underwater, and in the air using the latest imaging technology for both, motion picture, as well as still photography. Promotional videos are suitable for just about any business or service that relies on visual marketing, which is the case for most, I would say. It could be an outdoor adventure provider, it could be a vacation home, it could be a wedding planner, it could be a private yacht - the list goes on…
Why the name Waterproof Video?
I have my roots in the scuba diving industry where I started out as a dive instructor in 2002. I quickly discovered my passion for the ocean and I wanted to share its beauty and importance with everybody out there. So I picked up a camera and started shooting underwater without knowing much what I was doing. I managed to make a living out of it and improved my skill set step by step. Back then having a waterproof camera was not as common as today with all the low cost action cameras available. Those days it was still exotic to shoot underwater, so I came up with the name “Waterproof Video” as a label explaining very easily what I was doing.
You have a lot of experience filming underwater. How did you get your start?
After touching a camera for the first time in 2004, I’ve produced more then 1000 edited videos. In the beginning, I mostly shot student divers taking their first steps underwater. Six years ago, I made big step forward when I was offered a job on one of the most prestigious scuba dive liveaboards in the world - the SOLMAR V based in Cabo San Lucas. The diving at the Socorro Islands 350 miles off the coast of Sayulita is nothing short of mind boggling because encounters with big pelagic animals such as sharks, dolphins, giant manta rays, and even whales, are very common. Long story short, I made myself a name as an underwater cinematographer with the highlight being the release of a documentary called “Shark Junction,” which was sold to TV channels worldwide including National Geographic.
When creating a video for a client, what is your process?
First we meet with the client in person to talk about the project, the idea, and the message they want to transmit to their target audience. Some clients have a very precise idea already, while others need guiding and inspiration which we help them with. With that established, we create a story board, script, search for the perfect music, audio effects, talents or voice over, if needed. Then we start the actual filming. That’s the fun part! In the end comes post processing, putting it all together, adding text, music, special effects, graphics, and whatever is necessary to give the video the final touch. We then send a demo version of the video to the client for them to see it and if needed, make adjustments until the client is 100% satisfied with the result.
Will you tell me about one of your favorite videos you’ve shot in Sayulita?
SInce we are just starting out in Sayulita with our service, we haven’t shot much here yet. However, I quit my job aboard the SolmarV in June and all our efforts have been focused on getting ready for kick off with a new homepage, buying new equipment, and a few jobs here and there. One project that I like a lot was the rental home shot of Casa Mar Azul Dos. It is a perfect example of how a vacation rental can dramatically enhance its presentation. The owner, who herself is involved in the filming and marketing industry, was blown away by what we’ve created and immediately used our video as the center element of her front page. She also hired us for her second house which we will shot in November. (This is the video. My favorite video of all times I’ve produced, which is not directly related to Sayulita, but generally to the area of the Mexican Pacific has to be “Celebrating Life”. Check it out on our website under sample work. What I had the pleasure of capturing there is simply jaw dropping…
You also have a drone. What are the benefits of using a drone in Sayulita?
Drones have become an essential part of our work. They can capture angles which you normally wouldn’t be able to get. At Waterproof Video we use three different drones, the Phantom 2 with Gopro cameras, the versatile Phantom 3 with a nice rectangular wide angle image, and the outstanding Inspire 5xr for higher end work and cinematic effects. Especially the Inspire drone is what makes us stand out, as it is a rather expensive system which delivers outstanding results. –Not only for video, but for stills just as well.
How can hiring you benefit a Sayulita business or homeowner?
The concept is not new - THE FIRST IMPRESSION ALWAYS COUNTS. This is a rule almost as old as human kind itself and can be applied to many things in life, not only to business presentations. What is new though in today’s world is the amount and importance of social media in the vast sea of competition. We are over saturated and flooded by all kinds of images. As a direct consequence, the attention span of people has become very small when it comes to choosing from a broad selection of online offers. If you do not present your business in the most eye catching way possible, you will be clicked away in an instant and the potential client looks elsewhere - because somebody else will have a more professional presentation. Just observe yourself next time you are online and are looking to purchase something and you will see it is true. If the product or service is not presented in an interesting AND professional manner, chances are you won’t buy it. Simple as that. Independent studies have proven that promotional videos are much more likely to attract potential clients., check the following numbers here (they are not invented by us):
Some business owners tend to be satisfied with the minimal effort to attract clients. Let’s take vacation rentals as an example. It strikes me as odd that someone who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house to use it as a rental business tries to save a few hundred dollars by not getting professional promotional material to present it well. To not invest in professional imaging may save you from spending money once, but it makes you lose money in the long run by not getting the desired business volume. Of course you can use your iPhone or point and shoot camera to promote your business, but it is needless to say that the final result differs greatly and cannot be compared to a shoot where expensive and specialized equipment, plus years of experience is being used. In the end you get what you pay for. I myself tried to cheat this rule many times, but every time I came to the same conclusion: it just doesn’t work.
You have a business partner. Will you share a little about her?
Camilla Fuchs (Camilla Fuchs Real Estate Photography) is my partner in life and has also become my partner in business, as she completes my work in many ways. In my honest opinion, she is by far the best real estate photographer in town, and her knowledge and expertise is greatly needed for that field of work in video as well. She has an amazing eye for detail and composition, which may not seem that important in the beginning, but when you see the finished product it makes all the difference. With her on the team I can offer with confidence a more complete and aesthetic product. Plus, with her general expertise in still photography she rounds up our services to a very high standard, which I proudly believe makes us the number 1 of promotional imaging providers in the area.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If you decide to get a promotional video for your business, you won’t be disappointed. Rather than seeing it as an expense, it really is an investment into a more profitable future of your business. At Waterproof Video we are confident enough to offer a “you don’t like it - you don’t pay it” policy!