The greatest of swords are forged in the deepest of fires and, sometimes, the same can be said of films. This project for Don Julio Tequila wasn't the easiest of productions but, emerging on the other side, it's become one of the more satisfying.
Teaming again with cinematographer Jeff Kim, a master of light and shadow, editor Eric Wais, an impassioned advocate for pure narrative, and producer Jason Haymond, our level-headed, good natured ambassador, we were able to organically weave the idealized life story of the real Don Julio and his obsessive pursuit of the perfect premium tequila into an unusual film.
Shooting amongst fertile fields of blue agave and in repurposed mud brick barns, our production team succumbed to the magic (and the food) permeating Jalisco, Mexico, resulting in a piece that feels more cinematic than commercial, more passion than propaganda.
I learned that the best taco stands are the ones open until 3am and tequila distilled outside of Jalisco is simply called mezcal.
I learned that pipe tobacco is non-existent and the policia are admirably entrepreneurial.
And I learned that the indigenous peoples loved circles and that, sometimes, every so often, the best-laid plans really do yield the best results.