THE COURAGE TO DIVE IN
OCTAVIO GALVIS ON PRODUCING CAMPAIGNS THAT TELL INSIGHTFUL STORIES
Octavio Galvis always dreamed of Hollywood. A boy born in Manizales, the Colombia coffee capital, the city of angels felt a bit like a fantasy, a mysterious land. Young Octavio wasn’t sure what Hollywood stood for: A movie factory? A whole city or a country? However, he knew he wanted to be part of it. For years he imagined growing up to be an actor, a director or a musician before discovering his true passion: being behind the scenes. "That’s when the fun really started for me" he quotes, this was his real call. Little Octavio became a communication and content producer.
Fast forward and Octavio has worked both in the private and public sector achieving milestones such as being the communications producer of the National Commission of Television and advisor of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. The Colombian government hired Octavio as a consultant on projects centered around social justice, something he is passionate about. Now based in Los Angeles, Octavio has left a solid mark on the TV and content landscape in Colombia. He states that he had "The privilege to produce an International Public Market for independent TV creators back home." In his country, "The TV industry is not that big, and we have so much talent that simply don’t have enough channels to show their job. We invited more than 30 international content buyers from the US, Europe, and Latin America to go to Colombia and meet with these creators. It was the very first time Colombia had an event like this." Octavio is a pioneer in the content landscape.
Octavio Galvis. Photo by Mateo Salcedo
As someone whose heart’s strings are pulled in many directions, it wasn’t easy for Octavio to settle on one niche, one field of communications. This has led him to expand in many different industries, beyond the public sector. He dabbles in music, sports, national events. He designed the communication campaigns and content for household names and Colombian public figures such as DJ and TV Host Sebaxtian, the athlete Mauricio Salazar creator of RENHACER, and the rock band GATOBLANCO.
He also produced national recognized events like Festival Nacional del Pasillo and Feria de Manizales. This does not stop here. He is the co-founder and producer of the Cultural Olympics of Solidarity that in 2000 received the Best Alliance for Social Coexistence and Overcoming Poverty Award, granted by the World Bank Department for International Development UK. His resume goes on and on, one notable project after the other.
A true leader it seems that Octavio is the type of content producer who can simply take on any project, no matter its size. He claims his achievements are based on a solid understanding of "planning, organizing and hard work." Perhaps his work ethic and strong foundations allow him to take on any challenges. He also mentions intuition as the core of his decision making and process. "I trust my feelings because they are rarely wrong" he shares.
GATOBLANCO, the Colombian Rock band Octavio managed from 2009 to 2012.
His creative process starts with the act of writing: "I’m very passionate about creating the concept, it’s one of the early stages of every artistic project, for me this is the exact moment in which you have the privilege to give it a proper form. The medium I choose to express it at first is writing. Writing will always be my first draft kind of format, I need to see my ideas on paper, while some other people draw them, I prefer to put them in words. I like to tell stories through everything I produce."
Octavio is a global storyteller, looking at his upcoming projects in the US, several films, a podcast, it’s evident that his work dedication cannot be contained. Language and storytelling are his roots. He mentions the book on screenwriting "Story" by Robert Mckee and has an endearing origin story attached to it. The first chapter of the book narrates how its author got into screenwriting. First wanting to be a dentist, the father’s author encouraged him to do something else, something humanity will always be in need of. The answer had a profound impact on young Octavio: It was stories. "I’ve never forgotten that, you will always need something to free yourself."
When asked what wisdom he would share with young people who want to pursue a similar career, Octavio simply says "I know it might sound cliché, but I’d like to tell them to start now, you don’t need to wait until you have a big budget or a perfect idea, or every little piece right on its place. You really only need to start now, the sooner the better." It seems that this courage to dive in, to be bold, has taken a young boy from Manizales with Hollywood stars in his eyes to a successful career that he is excited to continue in Los Angeles. The story is currently being written and the best is yet to come.