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How La Cocina Studios Made Their Kitchen a Door to Opportunities

People would say that creativity happens in the kitchen, that it provides them the outlet to express themselves uniquely. Being able to cook your ideas in a space that prompts you to learn, explore, make mistakes, and discover new things makes life more delectable.

The Kitchen

Life happens in the kitchen, an old cliche that perfectly describes how La Cocina Studios started. La Cocina Studios is a production house based in the Philippines with wide-range expertise in production services for commercials, feature and short films, music videos, corporate videos, and documentaries. The small company started in 2018, where the team, Gabriel Foulc, Alyssa Bustamante, Ronnie Gamboa, and Mai I got lived in a house where they transformed their kitchen into a studio. Bustamante: It was a happy accident. She elaborated that they wanted to do their creative projects in the house, and the dirty kitchen provided them a space to put their visions into work. Thus, the reason behind the Spanish production name La Cocina. Foulc expressed that even if they started with a few pieces of equipment that did not limit their capabilities as artists, that pushed them to reach their fullest potential as a team. They created a series of documentaries called One Afternoon that led them to great opportunities to direct videos and shoot product photos for notable brands. La Cocina has worked with more than a dozen clients from local to international agencies. A few of their significant clients were Asmara Urban Resort, MSD Singapore, Voda Krasna, and more. The team has also worked with BBC Storyworks, a creative studio of BBC Global News, for their segment shot in the Philippines.

The Secret Ingredients

What makes a good food is the ingredients added. They are essential components that make up any great meal. And putting the right ingredients together creates a masterpiece. La Cocina is a collective of young and talented freelancers that began to work together as a company. Gabriel Foulc, 22-year-old French-Filipino, is the director and cinematographer of the team. He worked on productions for several agencies and companies such as National Geographic, The Ritz Carlton in Koh Samui and St. Regis in Hong Kong, and more. The 25-year-old in-house director, Alyssa Bustamante, who grew up in Honduras, is behind the creative concepts of La Cocina. She has written and directed multiple commercials and ad campaigns for clients. Ronnie Gamboa, the local Cebuano, is the editor and cinematographer for La Cocina. He began working on various production projects in 2013. And Mai I got, who was then the producer of La Cocina Studios. Foulc: We all have different styles, and each style complements the other. We do everything to learn everyone’s work and try to put out something new to be different. He shared that the team gets concepts from exchanging ideas of filmmaking styles from their travel experiences. The team mentioned that it was easier for them to land jobs and get opportunities when working together.

Providing the Right Flavors

The secret to a flavorful meal is providing the right ingredients. And just like in filmmaking, it takes skills, constant practice, and understanding what works to make the work right. Bustamante: We aim that whatever we put into our creations can create a visual impact on whoever is consuming it. People buy with their eyes. Any businesses need to incorporate art to stand out, yet they do not realize how important it is. She conveyed that aside from conceptualizing artistic content, the team researches and provides suggestions to improve the brand. Gamboa: We are always cooking something different. Chefs and La Cocina have something in common. There is no meal that a chef cannot do in a kitchen, and there is no project that La Cocina can not handle. We add the best ingredients to spice up the brand.

Thoughts to Digest

La Cocina, like any other film production studio, started from humble beginnings. Despite the challenges they have been through, they continue to help businesses provide a buffet of visual masterpieces and strive to inspire aspiring artists. Foulc: There is no limit to creativity. Whatever you think, you can make it happen. You have to do it. Bustamante: A lot of things would not happen to us if we did not just do it. Just continue to make art. Gamboa: Find the right people to work with and be open to collaborating. With those, there is a lot that you can do. It leads you to take a risk and grow into whatever art you are pursuing.