Ernesto and Marina Pinto were recently in Argentina and Paraguay with technical crew Grant Hoeppner and Eli Melseness to film interviews for the Spanish video program, 180 Grados. Many of the 21 new interviews will also be suitable for Ernesto’s audio program, Encuentro.
Both Ernesto and Marina use a documentary style to share the Gospel on their programs: they invite guests to tell what God has done for them. Audiences are drawn to this approach. Rather than being told what to think and do, they are able to hear the Word of God through other people’s personal stories.
Grant has travelled with Ernesto and Marina before and enjoys being part of the process. He believes that, if you want to document true stories, you have to go to the people who hold the stories. Being on location with the storytellers and showing them in their own environment gives credibility and depth that can’t be replicated in a studio setting.
“When it’s fiction, you can do smoke and mirrors in the studio,” says Grant. “But this is not fiction – it’s documentary. You can’t invent reality – you have to go to where the reality is.”
Ernesto and Marina’s viewers and listeners come from every country where Spanish is spoken. If their programs are to be relevant to such a broad audience, then the guests on the show also have to come from many different countries.
Travelling to collect the stories lets the Pintos see the challenges and the needs that real people deal with on a daily basis. Post-production may happen in the safety of the studio, but Ernesto and Marina are truly interested in being where the people are. Meeting them in person, looking into their eyes as they listen, praying in proximity.
They know their audience, and their audience knows them. That’s what makes their programs so effective.