Rarely have I been offered the opportunity to explore something so unique, so specialized and so beautiful. Traveling to Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala with the only objective being to capture the process of growing, harvesting, and processing the best coffee from the region was intimidating to say the least. I knew it was going to be fast paced and full of off the cuff decisions about how to cover different scenes and locations. I traveled with world class coffee buyer, Oliver Stormshak, one the owners of Olympia Coffee Roasters. Though he was a huge help to me with gear, I really wanted to be as little of a distraction as possible while he did the work he was there to do. In the hotels we would talk and strategize for the next day's events, and while on location I would often disappear in search for content and shots. Several times I found myself alone with people who did not speak english and I (ashamed to admit) speak close to NO spanish. Though I did learn one phrase that led to me capturing many of the portrait shots, "¿Puedo grabar" means "Can I record?" I think I said that phrase an average of 100 times a day. I learned a lot of phrases on the spot when it came to ordering food or asking general questions, but I forgot them immediately after saying them. I would get SO excited when I was understood trying to speak spansih.
I have 100s of shots that did not make this first film, not because I didn’t like them, but perhaps they didn’t have the right content to tell the story. I plan to edit together 3 more short pieces about each country specifically in the months to come. Stay tuned, and if you’d like to learn more about Olympia Coffee Roasters visit their website.