Eddie Castillo is a co-founder of Altered State Productions, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers a wide range of services to businesses and brands. His mission at Altered State Productions is to help businesses and brands push the creative envelope.
Their team of marketing experts has a wealth of experience serving clients in various industries, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. In addition to their a-la-carte service options their most popular service is video media for e-commerce brands, which is optimized for paid channels like CTV, OOH, and social media. They also offer immersive commerce solutions that create unique experiences for customers, driving engagement and sales.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
As a media director, a typical day varies depending on the time of year, docket, and type of projects I’m working on. A standard day can look like:
10:00 am – Check Twitter and try not to get lost. Check emails, messages and tasks to flag it as Do it, Delegate it, Defer it, or Delete it. If it’s flagged as Do it, those are my tasks for the day.
11:00 am – Begin working on any new projects. This may involve reviewing raw footage, selecting clips, and curating an initial rough cut of the video that a video editor has preluded.
12:00 pm – Attend a meeting with the distribution team to review the media plan for the upcoming campaign for the month. Discuss the advertising budget, target audience, media channels to use, and the timeline for implementation.
1:00 pm – Collaborate with the production team, including producers, directors, and other editors, to discuss the vision for the project and the creative direction.
2:00 pm – Refine the rough cut based on feedback from the team. Make adjustments to pacing, timing, and transitions to improve the overall flow of the video.
3:00 pm- Meet with my executive assistant, who is the backbone to my everyday communication to go over week at a glance and day at a glance.
4:00 pm – Continue editing and finalize media, including adding sound design, music, and color grading. Review the final product and make any necessary tweaks.
5:00 pm – Communicating with affiliate partners on the upcoming campaigns via CRM and negotiating CPA based models and benchmarks to hit
To stay productive I like to minimize distractions. This includes avoiding unnecessary meetings and interruptions that can disrupt my workflow. Use tools like time-blocking or the Pomodoro technique to stay focused is key. I also use technology to stay productive, such as Outlook and SEMRush. I’m an avid supporter in utilizing tools and software to streamline your workflow, automate tasks, and optimize campaign performance.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by working closely with my team and clients to understand their needs and goals. I start by gathering all the relevant information and conducting research to come up with creative and effective solutions that align with their objectives.
Once we have a solid plan in place, I ensure that all necessary resources are allocated and that everyone is on the same page regarding their roles and responsibilities. One important step I take is to make sure that the project is paid for before investing my skills and time into the work. It’s natural to get excited over the idea of a production but it’s another thing if it’s just a concept with no financial backing to support the movement of it. This helps to ensure that we are not spending valuable time and resources on a project that may not be financially viable and utilizing our energy towards brands and businesses who are ready to hit the ground running.
Throughout the project, I keep a close eye on progress and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that we stay on track and meet our clients expectations. I also communicate regularly with clients to keep them informed and address any concerns or questions that may arise.
In bringing ideas to life, I have learned the importance of collaboration, communication, and attention to detail. By working closely with my team and clients, staying organized and thorough, and always prioritizing financial responsibility, I am able to deliver high-quality results and build strong relationships in the industry.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m excited about the trend towards interactive video content. It’s a great way to engage viewers and create a more immersive experience. Vimeo is my go to for distribution of content because of its custom video player feature where you can personalize the appearance of the player and add your own branding makes it easy to integrate video content into your website and marketing efforts. I’ve been exploring its ability to overlay product integration with platforms like Shopify, which is a fantastic way to engage viewers and drive sales.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
While it’s easy to get distracted by social media and other apps on your phone, using small windows of time effectively can help you accomplish more in less time.
For example, instead of trying to compile all the tasks on your downtime, just knock it out on your phone and do it, such as creating an outline, creating content on your phone, or answering interview questions for IdeaMensch in the back of an Uber 😏
What is an ocean but a magnitude of drops? So knock out all the drops and before you know it you can step back and see the entire ocean.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My advice to my younger self would be to start investing in myself as soon as I discovered my passion for this industry.
Investing in yourself can take many forms, from attending conferences and workshops to taking online courses and seeking mentorship. One key aspect is to stay curious and open-minded. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always be willing to learn and adapt to the latest trends.
I would also advise my younger self to invest in quality equipment. Whether you are a photographer, videographer, or content creator, having the right tools is essential to producing high-quality content. This means investing in cameras, lighting equipment, microphones, and other gear that can help you create professional-looking content.
When starting out in the media industry, it can be tempting to cut corners and use whatever equipment you have on hand. However, this approach can limit your ability to create high-quality content and may even damage your professional reputation. Investing in quality equipment not only allows you to create better content, but it also shows that you take your work seriously and are committed to producing the best possible results.
Of course, investing in equipment can be costly, and it’s important to prioritize your purchases based on your specific needs and budget. It’s also important to keep in mind that technology is constantly evolving, so you’ll need to be prepared to upgrade your equipment as needed to stay current with the latest trends and industry standards.
Overall, investing in quality equipment is an essential part of building a successful career in the media industry. By combining high-quality equipment with a commitment to continuous learning and professional development, you can set yourself up for long-term success and achieve your goals in this exciting and ever-changing field.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
I believe that in the future, virtual reality will become a primary form of entertainment, replacing traditional television and movies.
One of the main traits of VR over traditional forms of entertainment is the immersive experience it provides. With VR, users can fully immerse themselves in a digital world, making them feel like they are actually inside the game or movie. This level of immersion is not possible with traditional forms of entertainment, which rely on a screen and speakers to convey the experience.
Another sign of VR being domainant is the level of interactivity it offers. In a VR world, users can interact with the environment and objects in a way that is not possible in traditional forms of entertainment. For example, in a VR game, users can physically move around and manipulate objects with their hands, which makes the experience much more engaging.
In addition to gaming, VR is already being used in other forms of entertainment, such as concerts and sports events. For example, some music festivals have started offering virtual reality experiences that allow users to feel like they are at the concert, even if they are not physically present.
Of course, there are some challenges that need to be overcome before VR can fully replace traditional forms of entertainment. For example, VR headsets can be expensive, and not everyone has access to the necessary hardware to use VR.
Despite these challenges, the potential of VR in the entertainment industry is enormous. As the technology continues to improve and become more accessible, it is likely that more and more people will turn to VR for their entertainment needs. It may not completely replace traditional forms of entertainment, but it will certainly become an increasingly important part of the entertainment landscape in the future.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
I repeatedly make sure Tik-Tok isn’t a part of my life. I usually advise brands and colleagues away from participating or investing in TikTok due to its complex algorithm, which has unintended consequences for individuals and society as a whole. TikTok’s algorithm is designed to recommend content based on user interests and behavior, which creates echo chambers where users are only exposed to content that reinforces their existing views and opinions. This can lead to polarization, which can be used to push policy and agendas.
TikTok’s algorithm also filters out content that it determines is not relevant to the user, which can lead to a narrow range of perspectives being presented. This can limit users’ exposure to different ideas and viewpoints, which can have negative consequences for critical thinking and decision-making. Additionally, the algorithm promotes viral content, which can create a herd mentality and discourage individuality and creativity.
TikTok’s viral nature and massive user base make it a powerful tool to create a culture that is vulnerable and easily manipulated.
While TikTok can be a fun and entertaining platform, it’s essential to recognize its potential impact on individuals and society. As we continue to navigate the digital landscape, we must prioritize the responsible use of technology to create a better world. The point goes to Elon Musk.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key, which is why I make a point to spend time with personal friends who bring me joy and laughter. Listening to their stories not only lifts my mood but also reminds me that everyone faces challenges and has their own ways of coping.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
r company is proud to have a high percentage (80%) of our business come from returning customers with a 100% retention rate. This clearly indicates the high-quality products and services we offer, as well as our firm commitment to customer satisfaction. Delivering exceptional value to our clients is key to building long-term relationships, and we make it a priority to consistently exceed their expectations.
One of the ways we have maintained such a high retention rate is by offering a 100% guarantee on our services. We understand that our clients work with us because they trust that we will treat their business like it is our own and that our success is closely tied to their success. If they grow, we grow, and vice versa. This approach helps build trust and confidence in our work for our clients, and we see ourselves as a valuable asset to their success. In fact, several of our team members have even become a shareholder in the businesses we partner with due to our shared commitment to success.
One of the ways we do this is by delivering more than what our clients expect. For example, when clients order a 30-second video ad, we don’t just stop there. We go the extra mile by creating multiple versions of the ad with different sets and talents and even build a full campaign around it, including UGC, graphics, industry research, and more. This dedication to our clients is one of the reasons why we have a 100% retention rate. We are passionate about helping our clients succeed, and when they do, it reflects well on our business as well. We are always in high demand and have the luxury of choosing the clients we are most passionate about working with from a healthy waitlist.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
The crypto burst was a significant failure in my career. At the time, I was drawn to the hype and excitement surrounding the crypto and NFT market, and I believed that the potential rewards outweighed the risks.
However, I failed to take into account the volatility and unpredictability of the market, and I ended up investing more than I could afford to lose. When the bubble eventually burst, I suffered significant losses, which had a ripple effect on my career and personal finances.
Looking back, I realize that it was important for me to have a more measured and cautious approach to investing in the crypto and NFT market. I should have done more research and consulted with experts to develop a sound investment strategy and risk management plan. This experience has taught me the importance of being disciplined, patient, and informed when it comes to making investment decisions, and I have since adopted a more conservative approach to investing..
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
ne really creative business idea that I always joked about would be a mobile film studio for remote production. This business would offer a unique solution for clients who need high-quality video production in remote locations. The mobile film studio would consist of a specially designed truck or trailer equipped with everything needed to produce professional-quality videos on location, including lighting, sound equipment, cameras, and editing software. This would be ideal for clients who need to film commercials, documentaries, or other video content in rural or remote areas.
If someone decides to pursue this idea, it would be great if they could acknowledge my intellectual property and provide me with a royalty as a gesture of good faith…or I’ll find you. 🙂
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
As a media director, my primary responsibility is to create, plan, and execute successful media campaigns that can achieve the desired results for my clients.
One of the critical components of any successful media campaign is video content. However, producing compelling videos requires more than just capturing footage with a camera. It requires careful planning, creativity, and the right tools.
I’m an avid user of Video editing softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro, which is a powerful tool that enables me to edit and assemble footage. For example, I can adjust the color, brightness, and contrast of a video to ensure that it looks its best, or I can add special effects and transitions to create a unique look.
Moreover, Adobe Premiere Pro offers a range of advanced features that can help me achieve my creative vision. For instance, it supports multi-camera editing, allowing me to sync footage from multiple cameras to create a more dynamic viewing experience. It also supports audio editing, enabling me to fine-tune the audio in a video to ensure that it is of the highest quality.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
I recently spent $100 on an app called Neat Video that can remove grain from videos. It is available as a plug-in for Adobe Premiere and other video editing software. Neat Video uses advanced algorithms to analyze and reduce noise and grain in video footage, resulting in clearer and more professional-looking videos. It can be particularly useful for filmmakers, videographers, and anyone who wants to improve the quality of their video content.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?
I absolutely love the book “A Universe from Nothing” by Lawrence Krauss. This book is a fascinating exploration of the origins of the universe and the nature of reality itself. Krauss is an expert in quantum mechanics and presents complex ideas in a clear and engaging way that is accessible to readers of all backgrounds.
One of the things I appreciate most about this book is the way that Krauss challenges common assumptions and takes a critical look at the existing theories about the universe. He asks tough questions and isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what we think we know.
I also really enjoy The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast as it correlates closely with my business because it emphasizes the importance of acquiring specific knowledge and skills to stand out and be valuable to others. The message is to follow one’s natural curiosity and innate talents to build a strong foundation of knowledge and not be afraid to venture into unfamiliar territory and make mistakes along the way. The podcast also encourages having a positive attitude, the humility to admit when one is wrong, and the courage to improve.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
If you know me then you know I almost only watch horror movies. A recent film I saw was “Midsommar”, which is a complex and cerebral horror movie that transcends the typical genre tropes and delivers a thought-provoking and deeply unsettling experience. What captivated me was the film’s visuals, which are stunning and mesmerizing, with the bright and colorful palette of the Swedish summer setting a sharp contrast to the dark and twisted events.
The use of symbolism and imagery is also deeply impactful, it’s attention to detail adds layers of meaning and nuance to the story. It gets a perfect tomato score from me.
As a media director and business owner, one of the key learnings I have gained throughout my career is the importance of staying adaptable and agile in the face of constantly evolving technology and industry trends. In the ever-changing landscape of media and advertising, it’s crucial to be able to pivot quickly and effectively to stay ahead of the curve and deliver the best results for clients.
I have also learned the value of building strong relationships and networks within the industry, whether it’s with clients, colleagues, or industry peers. These connections can provide valuable insights, resources, and opportunities for collaboration, and can help to establish a strong reputation and track record of success.
Another important lesson I have learned is the need to be data-driven and results-oriented in all aspects of media planning and execution. By leveraging data and analytics, I am able to make informed decisions and continuously optimize campaigns to drive better performance and ROI.
Finally, I have learned that failure can be a valuable teacher and a catalyst for growth and innovation. By embracing failure as a natural part of the learning process, I am able to take risks, experiment with new approaches, and constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible in the field of media and advertising.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.