As Camera With No Name, Carolina and Augusto have been producing promotional videos and documentaries since 2018 for different clients in Germany, Spain and Portugal. They are music and nature lovers and want to help convey that it is possible to do much more for the planet and to act in a more sustainable and responsible way. A perfect team for Barbeau's first brand video. But there's more to their work, so read along!
Q: How did Camera with No Name start, and what is the story behind your name?
A: It is always hard when you want to come up with a name for a new project. And it is even harder for people to connect the name with what you are doing, because there are so many names! When people try to remember the name of some new project they just found out, usually they ask themselves: “What was the name…?” We believe that with “Camera With No Name” we got rid of that problem being very easy to remember and at the same time we are making a statement: the name is not that important.
Q: How was the passion for photography and filming born?
A: Augusto studied graphic design and for two years he studied film and photography, but the passion came first, as a kid, while making videos of his favourite songs and animations with star wars miniatures.
Carolina found in video the best way to participate in several environmental projects, while learning something totally new.
Q: For those who do not know you, how would you describe yourself and your work?
A: We love what we are doing right now, and that includes also our work that defines a part of who we are. We are much more into environmental projects now than in the beginning when we started. Attending Stixcamp back in 2019 changed a lot of our thinking in terms of who we could reach with our work. Carolina, as an Environmental Engineer, just pushed even further the idea of dedicating ourselves to environmental documentaries.
Q: When a project starts, there are always objectives outlined. Which gratifies you more? The ones that you accomplish like planned, or the ones that get you out of the line and change initial directions?
A: There was no real plan in the beginning. We met and we went filming together one day at a Peruvian Restaurant in Hannover. It was as random as that. That evening we installed another editing software in a second laptop and things just started working. Now we have much better plans for sure!
Q: Of all the projects that you have already been able to be part of, which one has marked you the most and why?
A: We can’t think of one in specific, each project has something different from which we can learn. But The Plastic Hike is a big one. It is our first long documentary and by far the most complex one to put together, for many reasons. But there were others that we cannot forget and that brought us here like Stix Camp, Quinta do Tedo, Marmeu and Europarques.
Q: You’re about to release a documentary about the Plastic Hike of Andreas Noe aka The Trash Traveler, in which you actively participate. What led you to participate in this particular project? And what did you learn throughout the process? Did anything change in your life since then?
A: We came to know Andreas through an improbable sequence of events and funny coincidences. Right at the beginning of the pandemic we were faced with a decision: staying at home not doing much, since we thought we wouldn't have more clients for a while... or to travel and at the same time search for small projects with which we could help by offering small videos. We discovered Marmeu and went to Peniche to meet Catalina. We fell in love with this beautiful project and Catalina told us about a funny guy, doing music and picking up trash. Some weeks later we were chatting with Andreas via the internet, he told us about his idea. It was still not clear for us the magnitude of the project but we accepted the challenge of doing a documentary about his trip.
We learned a lot of things and will continue to do so... For sure we were inspired by so many different people and organisations dedicated to this cause.
Many things changed: the conviction that we are doing the right thing, focusing on environmental and social issues, and that by giving a bit of our time and effort, the return will be even bigger.
Q: Which are your expectations and hopes for this documentary?
A: Expectations are hard to guess. We are not sure of what people are expecting. It is a different documentary, at least different from everything we saw. It is more like a conversation around different themes that bring hope and despair from the “main characters” we interviewed. We hope it speaks to the heart, and people really connect with this huge and beautiful community in Portugal that really cares about the future of the Planet and our own.
Q: After cleaning so many beaches, what motivates you to clean one more? Will you continue this practice?
A: The important thing about cleaning beaches is that we learn very quickly that it’s not about cleaning. This is something that Andreas constantly repeated during his journey, because people started to thank him by doing it and not paying attention to the real message. In fact, the most important thing here is changing our habits in order to stop producing so much trash that ends up in the ocean and at the beach. Walking through the whole Portuguese coast and seeing the amount of trash even during the summer season, we realised that it’s impossible to clean everything. We really have the choice to stop consuming and producing all these things with such a short life cycle.
Q: Presently, how do you see sustainability theme in Portugal and all over the world?
A: It is a trend, so we hope it is a good trend. The dark side of it is greenwashing, and the hardest part for starting to be more sustainable is to find the right thing to do without being fooled. It is good to start from basic things, looking back to what our grandparents did, because they were born in a world without plastic. Sustainability is all about consuming less, and consuming better. Portugal has a huge potential for becoming a more sustainable country, and we really need it. There are endless initiatives happening right now in that direction, and we were amazed to find them along the coast. Plastic waste is a global problem and sustainable ideas, and movements can be found everywhere. We tend to think that richer countries might have better solutions, but we learned that it is not the case, and actually quite the opposite. Bhutan is probably the most eco-friendly country in the world. The worst are really the top economies right now, China and USA.
Q: What are your views concerning a sustainable lifestyle?
A: Living slower, with less things or at least with things that last a long time. Eating less meat and fish, travelling less by plane, buying local, and of course, avoiding single use plastic.
Q: What are the pros and cons of practicing a sustainable lifestyle? If there are any cons, what are the alternatives that could minimize them?
A: The pros are many. One that goes right to our minds is a bigger connection with nature and what is really important (being happy, doing what we like the most and taking time for us and for those who we care about, just to name a few). And getting people together. There are many great things that we can achieve by working together, and this issue can only be solved if we work and act together.
Switching to a sustainable life means for the majority of us to make some big changes in our lives. If we make a gradual change, step by step, we avoid the cons of a total disruption with our previous lifestyle. And the worst cons is to give up, like in a radical diet for example.
Q: In your social networks, you say that you imagine a sustainable future. From your perspective, how would you describe it?
A: The problem with the planet is that everything is very unevenly distributed, so we have this sensation and illusion that there is not enough food, water and energy for everybody. We believe these problems will be solved and technology is a big part of the solution. Until then, we really have to spend less so all the essential things can reach more and more people, without stressing the planet's resources and reducing waste.
Q: Do you feel that environmental education should be more present in schools and businesses to minimize the mistakes that have been made?
A: It is essential. But environmental education should be shown in an interesting and captivating way. For the young generations, merging it with the things they really like: sports, games, nightlife, social media. For the companies we can show them the real importance for the planet and survival of the human species but also that it can be more profitable than the actual business models they are following now. Many have discovered this already and are switching very fast.
Q: What do you think of the ecological and sustainable initiatives that brands are beginning to take?
A: Some are better than others. We are not experts, but we know people that are studying every single detail of these initiatives. The brands that take it seriously will get respect. The others will fall into that list of the greenwashers and will be hard to trust again.
Q: Do you think that consumers are getting more sensitive to this kind of product and ideologies? In your opinion, how can we improve awareness?
A: They are, and getting really demanding. Ideology is probably a strong word, and it can touch a certain radicalism that we don't connect with. The most important is that people get out of these “ideological” groups and meet the rest of the world so the message can pass. It is the best way to raise awareness: to hear it from someone you like and trust. To reach the community as a whole is what is really important here. And there are many ways to improve communication of these issues. The best one is to make everybody feel that, as an individual, they can make a difference. If that idea is well explained, then we can succeed.
More than awareness we think that action is needed. Although changing habits and taking action comes through knowledge and awareness, we should quickly move on to action.
Q: Microplastics are a threat to marine biodiversity, among others. What do you think of Barbeau´s ecologic washing bags initiative to minimize the waste of microplastics?
A: It’s a great idea and it will catch attention to the bigger problem. For many people it may be a surprise to know that a big amount of our clothing material will end up in rivers and in the ocean, and that it can seriously affect marine life.
Q: And what about Barbeau being able to receive the products already used and give them a new life since they have already lost value to the customer and still reward them with a bonus for helping us recycle? Is it a good way to differentiate?
A: It is. You are showing your customers that you really care by implementing those solutions.
Q: After knowing the brand, would you buy and recommend our Barbeau products?
A: We love the idea and the people behind Barbeau. We used the prototypes of the towels along the coast last summer and they worked pretty well. A good quality towel that lasts for a long time is a must for us that spend so much time at the beach.
Carolina, Augusto, thank you so much for your time and for your work!
It is truly inspiring, and we can’t wait to see your upcoming documentary!