Pandemic Production, One Year Later: Aaron Arizpe, Director of Photography / Editor / Production Assistant

Then: "I have a mask, and 70% ethanol to wipe everything down."
Now: "I am extremely anxious to get back into it."


Screengrab courtesy of E H Films on YouTube

While grocery stores lift their mask requirements, restaurants open up their dining rooms, and the streets begin to swell with crowds, Austin's film industry is still not back to 100%.

Most shoots Aaron Arizpe knows of, if they happen at all, usually require masks, social distancing, and a negative COVID test. "There still doesn't seem to be a huge push yet to being completely back," he said.

While Arizpe is happy that safety precautions are being taken and would turn down what he considered to be unsafe work, it has made it difficult for him to find freelance work. On top of that, projects he had been working on pre-pandemic were completed remotely without his assistance. To support himself, he secured a full-time job at Authentic Details, a high-end car detailing shop, as their videographer/photographer. He stopped actively searching for freelance work until he became fully vaccinated in March 2021, and since then he's noticed more freelancing opportunities. He's taken on some of those gigs, but not as much as he had before the production shutdowns. Fortunately, his new full-time position allowed him to work in a safe environment without worrying about his next paycheck.

He's also had time to set up his own YouTube channel, E H Films, where he reviews filmmaking hardware, mostly camera lenses, and creates short films that exemplify the capabilities of the equipment. Often, he said, review channels use B-roll as example footage, but he believes that showing how a lens can effectively propel the narrative is far more engaging.

Quarantine also allowed him to make forays into another field: nature photography. At an estate sale in early 2021, he picked up a rare telephoto lens designed specifically for nature shots. He has been using the lens to practice his filmmaking techniques and hopes to use his newfound lens and skills on a future project.

The pandemic did delay Arizpe's plans to move to Los Angeles. The past year, and the stability of his full-time gig, has allowed him to build his savings account back up. While he's still cautious about health and safety, he hopes to commit to that goal for real very soon and focus on "the real stuff. ... I am extremely anxious to get back into it.".


Read our original 2020 interview with Aaron Arizpe here

See Aaron’s video reviews at E H Films on YouTube.

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