Meet Andrew, the Louis Theroux of South America
How did somebody who grew up in the northwestern suburbs of London become a documentary maker in Colombia and Argentina and a content writer for a tourism media company in Australia?
For our content writer Andrew Gold it all started with an email about a student exchange program in France, for which he instantly applied:
“I spent 18 months in Montpellier and was amazed at how rewarding it was to learn another language. This fact opened up a whole world to me – I realised that if you are learning a new language, even if you have a rubbish day, at least you learned a new word or two.”
In France and later London he worked in publishing and eventually got a job as a journalist on night shifts at The Sun, which he soon realised wasn’t for him. While it gained him writing experience, this environment didn’t suit him.
The clock struck midnight
Andrew remembers his wake-up call: “I was working on a cold March night as the clock struck midnight on my 23rd birthday. I had to get out – so I typed into Google “Spanish-speaking with the best weather.”
Colombia it was.
“I managed to blag a free trip as a travel writer to make a piece about the Medellin Flower Festival and I started listening to podcasts to get my Spanish going.”
Of course he also needed money, so after first working on a coffee farm, Andrew looked for online jobs that suited his journalism qualifications and background. That’s how he stumbled upon Tourism Media:
“It allows my mind to wander across the globe, while holding occasional meetings and friendly chats with their ever helpful Barbara and Francene. I’ve now been working there for three years, making it my longest ever job by some distance.”
Being a restless soul myself, I know an adventurer when I see one. One day I was telling Andrew how great Buenos Aires is and before I knew it, he had already moved there! While still writing for Tourism Media, he also started a new venture:
“I set my sights on making videos like my idol Louis Theroux. I developed ideas – one about a boxer and another about infidelity – and got in touch with a Dutch production team based here. We contacted US TV channel Fusion about these ideas and, if I’m honest, I was shocked to hear back several months later.”
They sold their video for a series called Outpost to Fusion, to appear on HBO. And it didn’t stop there. The team also made a short documentary about a town in Argentina where the locals are obsessed with UFOs. Andrew appeared on live TV and radio a few times, to talk about his controversial interviews with BA residents about infidelity and about video producing in general.
While becoming fluent in Spanish and becoming a documentary maker in just a few years is a great achievement in itself, Andrew is not sure if he can make a career out of it just yet.
“I’ve learned that being a freelancer is hard enough if you are writing articles. And it is even harder when you are making videos. But if you are making videos that you want to present – it’s verging on the impossible.”
So, where does that leave Andrew? Well, we’re happy to say: with us! He’s still writing well-researched City Travel Guides for us, which provides him with a base income to stay in Buenos Aires.
And what about his dream of following in the footsteps of the great Theroux? We know he already has the skills and the ideas, he just needs to show the TV networks across the globe what he can do.
Check out his showreel, to see what you think:
It takes courage to take the step to leave your job, family and home to try to make a life in a new country, where they speak a different language and the culture is vastly different, but Andrew has no regrets:
“I’m 27 now, so I reckon I’ll give it til I’m 30 to keep chasing the dream. But regardless of what happens, I know I made the right decision to leave my home when I did. I now live in a beautiful city with a lovely climate and a great bunch of friends.”
If you know of any TV channels that may be interested in screening his productions, contact us at Tourism Media and we will pass it on!