I had to get involved in executive production, that is, in the search for resources, which taught me how it is essential to have everything under control, and more so the economy, before taking the first step in any business.
I have never practiced law, but these studies have helped me to value enormously what is just and to always act with rectitude and respect for work, intelligence and honesty.
Insurance & Warranties
Practically all my personal and professional life has been linked to Barcelona. A wonderful place for me where I was born, developed my primary and secondary education, and then went on to university and started working, in other words, the same thing:
1963. ESCOLAPIOS, INSTITUTO AUSIAS MARCH and UNIVERSIDAD AUTÓNOMA DE BARCELONA.
I also started studying CINEMATOGRAPHY at the EMAV (ESCUELA DE MEDIOS AUDIOVISUALES) although I left them parked to give priority to those of LAW at the UAB.
Curiously enough, chance and necessity led me later to develop an important activity in the cinema, and for quite some time.
Before that, in order to support myself while I was a student, I was coordinator of all the fieldwork carried out by SIGMA DOS in Catalonia, a market research and demoscopy company that was very important at the time and from which I learned a lot about logistics (there were 120 pollsters under my attention), as well as sociology thanks to the hundreds and hundreds of surveys of all kinds that passed through my hands.
When I finished my studies I continued to be linked to the company, but under the new brand it created (CLAU CONSULTORS) giving continuity to the work and as a means to grow in the Catalan market.
My love of cinema has been a constant and, at the age of 25, I had the opportunity to join IXIA FILMS, a young production company with director IGNASI P. FARRE. There, I learned the trade from the basics to the most complex.
The first decision I took was to strengthen my English, going to TORQUAY, a small town on the south coast of England, which was known as the English Riviera, and where I made a total immersion that helped me for life. A very friendly public school in which I received a great education and which made me believe that public, well oriented and well executed, can be better than many private trainings. On an anecdotal level, but which brings back very good memories for me, and for those who are already of a certain age, we must remember that this was the town where, imaginatively, FAWLTY HOTEL was located, a series written by JOHN CLEESE (member of the MONTY PYTHON or, what is the same, intelligent humor), and considered by the British Institute of Cinema as the first of a list with the hundred best television programs of all times.
On my return to IXIA, after a year and a half of learning and development, we shot two feature films (UN SUBMARINO EN EL MANTEL, 1991 and UN PLACER INDESCRIPTIBLE, 1993). The experience was very intense, since I was not only in control of the production, but I had to get involved in the executive production, that is, in the search for resources, which taught me how it is essential to have everything under control, and more so the economy, before taking the first step in any business.
I had to take on many and varied responsibilities, and often without any support other than my own problem-solving ability, something that makes you stronger in character and more challenging, although it's also hard, especially when you first find yourself inexperienced in what are supposed to be professional and deficits. Fortunately, I learned to produce benefits, even in this adverse situation. Common situations in the exploitation model in Spanish cinema and what I don't recommend, because you always have the feeling of being at the expense of something good happening, and that's not always the case. For example, you can find yourself with difficulties in distribution, or in exhibition, as it happened, and despite the fact that everything had gone well in our own productions. The first thing was the suspension of payments of CB FILMS, even though it was the most reputable independent distributor at the time, or seeing as the first Spanish film distributed by DISNEY, through CINEVISTA, and which we knew for sure, did not obtain the expected results.
I've always believed in the Anglo-Saxon model that considers a film not only as a creation but also as a commercial and financial product, where pre-sales, insurance, taxation and investors come into play through a very well thought-out business plan; instead of the Spanish model where subsidies and public aid are essential. That's why I've always been committed to co-productions between countries, international production services and sales on the world market. Production line promoted by the EU with the Community's MEDIA programmes in their multiple versions, but all focused on transnationality.
For many years I attended, assiduously, the INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF CANNES and the MIP TV and MIP COM markets, as well as other meetings in BERLINALE or in category A festivals, as is the case of the INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF SAN SEBASTIAN, as well as participating in high level seminars such as those organized by the FILM BUSINESS SCHOOL.
The final point in IXIA came after seeing how a co-production with France, which had been approved by the CNC, the institution attached to the FRENCH MINISTRY OF CULTURE that regulates cinema, was boycotted. It was not subsidized and the company's economic viability was assumed, despite the commitments made. The activity in the production company ceased. Sometimes these things happen and we have to learn from them.
Don't throw in the towel. On the contrary. I created a new company, PALM TREE PRODUCTIONS, and I was fully committed to trying to make the international model a common practice in the local industry, taking advantage of all the contacts and relationships woven during these intense years.
Together with PARAGRAPH PICTURES, a young English production company located in PINEWOOD STUDIOS, I set up INTERVIEW WITH A DEAD MAN and had to deal with the day-to-day running of the financial system in our country, which was not mature enough to accept such necessary guarantees, so common in other countries, as the Completion Bond, a goodwill insurance that covers 100% of the investment in case there was a problem in the production or the film could not be finished in the way or with the elements designed for it. They just didn't understand it.
After two years and all kinds of financial formulas, I had to give up my position to FILMAYER INTERNACIONAL.
For 11 years I had started projects with different audiovisual formats, and with functions of all kinds, but I understood that it was necessary to reconvert so I moved to the world of insurance, entering in CATALANA OCCIDENTE.
My contact and knowledge of the audiovisual industry allowed me to work closely with DOLORES GUTIERREZ, the main broker in Spain, through CINEVENT ONLINE, and to get fully involved in film insurance (All Risk, Erros & Omissions and Completion Bond). I have made this compatible with my work at CATALANA, now the fifth largest insurance company in Spain and with an added bonus, as it is not linked to any banking group. I currently manage a portfolio of more than 1,000 of my own clients and I am a director, with my own office.
I am still a member of the ACADEMY OF THE ARTS AND CINEMATOGRAPHIC SCIENCES OF SPAIN.
And yet, the most important project for me, and one that I will continue to pursue, began 14 years ago when I started a family with my wife, with whom I have been fortunate enough to have two daughters. That is my main life goal.
Almost since I was a kid, I've been interested in two things mostly: The first, education, and more so when you're worried about the world that awaits your people in the future. The second is closely linked to the first: international relations and the political reality of the world.
I have never developed anything publicly around it, but it has been a constant from my privacy. I am sure that if we were all more educated and informed we would be able to better understand what is going on around us and understand reality.
I have never practiced as a lawyer, but these studies have helped me to value enormously what is fair and to always act from the rectitude and respect for work, intelligence and honesty, and in the proposal to enter the collaborators of SENSEI are two people who I consider as such: CECILIO CHAVES and DAVID V. MORA. If they are there, EDUARDO MEDINA is also in the group.
As I often say: "We are few and we all know each other". I'm sure we'll enjoy the experience.