“A photographer photographs what he sees, I photograph what I cannot see”
Paris Escandón, originally from Mexico City, was left legally blind by kidney disease in the beginning of the year 2000. After waiting for two years, he finally received his transplant when he was 23 years old. He moved to Tuxtla Gutierrez (Chiapas), where he started to work at the local cable station as the host of a television show that he created. A few months later the producer abandoned the project, and Paris then successfully directed and produced the program himself for more than two and a half years, with live broadcasts three days a week.
Despite his visual disability, Paris continued producing and directing two more television shows, for which he also edited, wrote, researched and sometimes guest hosted. All this was possible thanks to his ability to use technology to help him give voice commands to his computer, magnify his screen and read texts out loud, and learn new skills through the internet. With the support of his lovely wife, they founded their own company, which produced video and photography for social causes, schools, documentaries and promotional material.
In 2007 they moved to Canada, and during his long immigration process he took on the role of stay at home dad. He dedicated his free time to studying techniques online for film and video, including special effects, motion graphics, web design, and graphic and 3D design. Also during this period, he discovered WordPress and pioneered blogging in Spanish for teaching and learning video editing and motion graphics through video tutorials. Thanks to his experience working with WordPress, he has been able to create a dozen websites so far for local Ottawa businesses. He also creates and sells his After Effects projects.
In 2010, along with participants from his original video tutorial blog, he created “Filmomentum” a multinational co-operative with hubs in Canada, Spain and Argentina. That same year and with the Cuban playwright and author Jorge Carrigan he ventured briefly into live podcasting. This talk show was directed at the Spanish-speaking community around the world and gained listeners from Mexico, United States, Argentina, Peru and Spain, among others.
In January 2011 Paris won the World TV “Become a TV Mogul” competition; his short 2010 animated film Umbral Placebo won Valencia’s 2011 Tirant de Móvil Competition in the Citizenship and Communications category and was an overall semi-finalist in the 2010 Nontzefilmak Bilbao Fantasy film festival.
In 2012 he won a Cultural Equity grant at Ottawa’s SAW Video for a short film written by Carrigan. In 2013 he oversaw video production of the TEDx Rideau Canal, held at the Ottawa Art Gallery, he filmed and produced promotional videos for the Ottawa Valley Lifesaving Club and Runway for Hope. He also joined MJM Epic Productions and Entertainment as the main motion graphics designer and video editor, where he collaborated on a weekly video podcast, promotional videos for local artists, documented Ottawa Recovery Day events, and commercials.
Since leaving MJM Epic Productions, once again as Filmomentum, Paris has produced content for the Kidney Foundation, UNHCR, University of Ottawa and Cinema Politica UofO, and Cycle for Sight. Commercially, he has worked with companies such as CISCO, Kanatek, and Epic Meal Time, and was one of the first Ottawa-based motion graphics artists to specialize in whiteboard animations.
In 2016, Paris enrolled at Saint Paul University in Social Communications and is currently in the full-time diploma program at the School of Photographic Arts Ottawa (SPAO), where he has finally found the opportunity to study a long-time passion, photography.