Don’t be afraid to take a risk: Sometimes taking a risk will lead to the creation of something you didn’t think was possible.
As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ricardo Brennand-Campos.
He is a Brazilian commercial Director of Photography currently based in Los Angeles. An active member of the Brazilian Society of Cinematographers, his work focuses on hyper tailored lighting with purposeful and effective camera movement. His love for collaboration and a strong sense of team work is evident during pre production. He believes that the collective efforts of all people on a film set that turns a good project into a stunning one. Ricardo is represented by Ajay Ghosh at Zero Gravity Management.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
I grew up in Brazil then moved to Miami for college. I’ve been in LA since college. As a child I always had a creative eye. I’m so glad I get to make a career out of it now.
Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?
I think that the story that led me on this path of working in the film industry is probably not too different from most people. I had always been interested in making images since I was about 7 years old when I was in Brazil, and found a 35mm camera, and a lens. Something about looking through the viewfinder and framing people, landscapes, objects, etc was immediately interesting to me. Eventually my interest in photography evolved into moving image when I picked up my dad’s home video camera, something that I really didn’t know how to use at the time but that was still inspiring to me. From that point on I would film anything and everything that seemed interesting to me. Eventually I was fortunate enough to meet people who became invaluable mentors to me, namely Dannel Escallon who was one of the first people to really nurture my creativity in the world of moving film. I went on to work as a camera operator for Dannel and now am proud to call him a colleague and close friend. I went to Parsons School of Design for a year, and later left, realizing that what I really wanted to study at a film conservatory for a year and then begin my professional career. I’ve been working as a commercial and music video DP now for 3 years and absolutely love it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
If I substitute the word funny for embarrassing then yes I can definitely remember being on the first job that I was put on, where I hadn’t met the director till the scout, and for maybe 5 I was in detail describing the shot I had in my head to a PA, who very kindly didn’t interrupt me, only to at the end say “that’s really dope, I think you think I’m the director but I’m actually a PA, the director is standing over there in the blue hat…” I laughed externally but was crying internally and thankful that no one else saw that…
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Yes, there is a cinematography specific podcast that I really enjoy listening to called “The Wandering DP” I think the aspect of that podcast that I most appreciated other than the obviously useful insights into technique were the guests themselves. It was refreshing to see cinematographers that were very successful but relatively “up and coming” being brought onto the show as it made their accomplishments seem achievable to me if I worked hard enough and took their advice.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“To be irreplaceable, one must always be different”- CoCo Chanel. I believe that being true to yourself will help you find success.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. For the benefit of our readers, let’s define our terms. How do you define a Lifestyle Brand? How is a Lifestyle Brand different from a normal, typical brand?
A brand that creates something people can relate too. They can also be brands that have a niche client and one that has the potential to be a luxury product.
What are the benefits of creating a lifestyle brand?
There are many. However, if you do it correctly you can really attract a niche client based which will help any lifestyle brand find success. If they keep coming back, you are doing something right.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved Lifestyle Brand? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
I love Sequential Body by Emilie Perz. Her trendy and unique approach to yoga combines fitness and relaxation which I love. She also creates a community through her offering and I love that as well.
Can you share your ideas about how to create a lifestyle brand that people really love and are ‘crazy about’?
Find a niche. Create a special kind of yoga wear for Moms per say. If you target the correct audiences using your creative thinking.
What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a lifestyle brand? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Making sure your branding is on point. Also, be sure to make sure you are able to scale if you find success. If you don’t have the correct infrastructure internally you find success early it might be a challenge to grow.
Let’s imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a lifestyle brand that they would like to develop. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?
Do something that you are passionate about. Simply put.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand” and why?
- Create something with a niche: do something that will target a specific audience.
- Don’t Overcomplicate: Make sure your offering is able to be understood
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk: Sometimes taking a risk will lead to the creation of something you didn’t think was possible.
- Do something you’re passionate about: Doing something that makes you feel good will help you be more comfortable and able to innovate better.
- Do something that reaches an elevated consumer: An elevated consumer will be a repeat customer so having an elevated product is important.
Super. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
If I could effect change in any way in the industry it would be to break down the barriers of entry into the work field in which ever way possible. Something that I’m striving to do moving forward is to put out a call through social media looking for someone to shadow me on set. I would want to hear from folks in the BIPOC community and anyone in general who feels like they don’t have the tools and connections at their disposal to get their foot in the door. My plan would be to work with producers in order to pay whomever would be shadowing me, as many people don’t have the ability to drop what they are doing and come shadow on a film set for free. If producers can’t or simply don’t want to be part of the process, then I would happily cover that cost myself.
I think about all of the opportunities that I had/have due to my privileged background and if I can help someone who didn’t have that to introduce them to the industry and potentially spark interest and the desire to work hard, I would love to do that.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
This is an easy question for me to answer. The person who I most admire and try to actively take their advice that I read or see in interviews is Jon Favreau. He is the definition of a visionary to me. His ability to adapt with new trends and technology, and then use that in an impactful manner to create his films is inspiring and so important to me. Additionally his tact for bringing together the best people for a job in order to elevate a project to its true potential is indicative of his love for the craft and complete lack of ego. Jon, if you’re reading this and happen to have a craving for a chicken and waffles brunch, hit my line!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.