Let’s Make Media in Costa Rica…
Right at the start, I want to say that you would be joining up with a fledgling production company (composed of artists) that has laid a TON of groundwork in an incredible place, but has done it totally through bootstrap effort and is not working with much capital, currently. This experience could be a 1-3 month, inexpensive vacation where you get to work on some fun projects with great people, or it could be the start of something totally life-changing and very profitable (I strongly believe that is not hyperbole.) If you’re motivated by new experiences, creating awesomely beautiful things and adventure; more than you are by money, read on.
My best friend Michael Zoz and I came to Costa Rica on a backpacking trip for two months in 2012 after I turned 30. We fell in love with the place, especially the gateway to the Osa Peninsula, in the southern zone on the Pacific coast. At that time we knew we needed to make a huge change in our lives–we were totally burnt out producing and performing shows in Cincinnati–and moved ourselves and our production company down to Central America.
The area itself is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The mountains crash right into the ocean resulting in about six epic waterfalls within 20 minutes of our house (google Nauyaca Falls, it’s in our backyard) as well as miles and miles of beach, each playa with it’s own unique character (a lot of great surf spots, the closest perfect for beginners). By the fall of 2013 we moved down permanently and set up shop in a three bedroom house, with access to a pool, that’s a five minute drive up the mountainside called Escaleras. The view of the ocean is incredible and, remarkably, it’s only a few hundred yards from a Steeler’s backer sports bar (Bar Jolly Roger) that serves ridiculously delicious wings and burgers and has quite a tequila selection (I can’t make this stuff up, I’m a huge Browns fan). Our location is almost exactly in the middle of the two coastal towns of Dominical–a laid-back surf town that is starting to explode with nightlife and new businesses–and Uvita–an epicenter for permaculture farms, great hostels and retreat centers–and there is a burgeoning expat community and support system that we’ve become a part of over the last two years. We’ve also added transport in the form of a big Mitsubishi Montero, a Suzuki quad and Honda Bushlander dirtbike (and surfboards!).
I graduated from e-media in 2005 focused on audio engineering and graphic and web design. While I’ve done a bit of freelance design over the years, I’ve mostly been a professional musician since 2007, producing live shows for myself and with other acts. Knowing that I wanted to get more into photography and videography after the move, we starting putting together what we could, considering we also had the cost of moving ourselves and our PA and recording gear down as well. We ended up checking 25 pieces of luggage on our flight in 2013. It was an insane trek. I’m putting together a full list of the studio gear, but to give you a feel of what we’re currently working with, we have 2 GoPro Hero 3 black edition cameras and one 3 silver, a Canon t2i with 4 lenses, a 5 light green-screen studio, a high-end project recording studio with some killer monitors and mics (including a Neumann tlm103), many different midi controllers, a set of Roland TD-12 V-drums, Focusrite Sapphire Pro 24 and 40 audio interfaces, and Mackie and QSC PA speakers. It’s pretty limited for most state-side production companies, but insane for one on a mountain in CR, especially considering it was all personal investment, no financing or trust funds backing us up.
Over the last two years, we’ve made ourselves an essential and beneficial part of the community here with both Costa Ricans and Expats. There are so many incredible, interesting people that have grown up here as well as been called to this place. Our relationships have allowed us to support our life here by performing at different bars, restaurants and resorts and by taking on a few small outside projects. I’ve also been returning to the States for about 4 to 5 months in the summer to perform on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. Fortunately, it is possible to live a lot more inexpensively (and so much more healthily!) here than in the U.S.
Over the last two years, we’ve also worked at and performed at Envision music festival (definitely check out www.envisionfestival.com) and will be involved again in this 7000 person transformational festival this year (it’s less than 10 minutes from our house on the mountain!). Pre and post-festival, there are a lot of great gatherings and parties that we’ll be a part of and performing at as well.
To really boil it down, this area is gaining incredible, energetic people from all over and there is something really beautiful happening with music, art, surf, food and festivals. We need to increase our human bandwidth with someone that can shoot and edit more proficiently than myself, or my partner can. It’s going to take the right person with the right aesthetic and attitude. Life here is extremely rewarding but it’s also a significant change of pace from the States and brings with it it’s own frustrations (so worth it, but that’s me!). High season starts rocking from Christmas and goes through the end of March and there will be a huge influx of people in the area. We’d like to find the right person for at least that time and hopefully much more.
We have the power here to wake up, ask ourselves what we want to do, and then go do it! In an insanely gorgeous place! What backdrop do you want for that? Jungle? Beach? Sunset? Waterfall? It’s a really great place to create and it’s time to produce a lot more beautiful, postive content of our own imaginations.
We’ve laid so much groundwork all while surviving from show to show. We’re looking to level up and create product that allows us to thrive. To view some of the content we’ve created so far, please check out MoreThanOrganic Productions and Drew LaPlante & Friends on Facebook.
If you’re still reading and interested, there’s so much more to share about life here, our vision and upcoming projects (including a surf-style clothing brand launch that already has financial backing). Let me know what questions you have and whether you feel compelled to make this a reality for yourself. Pura vida!!