Richard Szkiler is the Founder of The View South which produces, stocks and distributes videos specifically for the travel and leisure industry. Prior to establishing the business in Buenos Aires, Richard filmed and directed for various charities, companies and philanthropic organisations in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. Following this, Richard traveled to Argentina where he assisted one of Latin America’s largest web media companies, producing videos for Fortune 500 companies with the former designer of Apple’s Final Cut Pro and OSX interfaces.
What is it that you do exactly?
I film some of South America’s most desirable locations for use by travel companies who often require some video specifically tailored to their needs. I’m regularly away from my base in Buenos Aires, but when I’m in this wonderful city I’m often filming for various restaurants, hotels and other brands. If I’m not behind the lens I’ll most likely be editing. I also network and distribute the videos that my company produces.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
That’s a tough one – the first thing that springs to mind is filming out in the open air but once I have all the material, I can’t wait to get back to Buenos Aires and start editing the video footage. I can edit on location but I prefer to do it with the big monitors in my comfort zone, Buenos Aires.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
The Fairmount Chateau at Lake Louise, Canada. I went there in the wintertime and enjoyed a 5-star skiing experience in ideal conditions. The cuisine from the hotel was exceptional, very friendly staff and of course the hotel itself is simply breathing taking. It was a real eye-opener to stay in such a place.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shanghai, China. A top international hotel ideally located right in the heart of this bustling city – good service too. China was a very memorable trip and thus far it’s the farthest I’ve been from home culturally. Shanghai does feel like another world.
Third choice would be harder, but definitely the spa town of Buxton – the highest market town in England. My father has a classic car company in Northern England. In Buxton there is a regular classic car auction so we would often go to the auction and sometimes stay at the Buxton Palace, a 122-room Victorian palace built in 1868 for the Duke of Devonshire. Other times we would stay at one of the oldest hotels in England - The Old Hall Hotel. It was originally owned by the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot. He and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, were the “gaolers” of Mary, Queen of Scots. She came to Buxton several times to take the spa mineral waters, the last of which was in 1584. I have fond memories of historic Buxton.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
Benihana, which is a Japanese restaurant in Buenos Aires. I produced a video for them last year. My girlfriend and I were invited to have dinner there. We enjoyed a mouth-watering meal at the teppanyaki table. The chef put on a real show and the food was sublime. A unique experience!
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Not really through my own work. Famous actor Patrick Stewart bought a car from Dad – he is a really nice, down-to-earth chap and a fellow a Yorkshireman too. He played Captain Jean-Luke Picard in Star Trek. Famous musician Jools Holland was also a frequent visitor.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
Despite visiting both North and South America, I haven’t yet visited the United States. I’d love to drive across the States east to west in an old American muscle car and then stay in California for a while. However, for the moment, there is still so much to see in Argentina.
Thank you for taking part in our interview, Richard. Please tell… how did a Yorkshireman come to end up in Buenos Aires?!