“Creativity cannot be separated from the budget; they coexist,” asserts Antonio Ballve. This statement opens a window into the world of Anestesia Audiovisual, the Argentine production company that, in the hands of the Ballve brothers, has become a beacon of audiovisual production in Latin America, accumulating billions of views on the videos they have created.
Anestesia’s “Loca” video has racked up more than 700 million views on YouTube.
Collaborating with globally renowned artists like Duki, Paulo Londra and Bizarrap, their career stands as a testament to a blend of talent, tenacity and vision.
The Birth Of A Dream
Beyond the lights and cameras lies the story of three brothers with a vision. A vision to create, to experiment and to challenge the norms of traditional music production.
“I can’t tell you how to make your first video,” Nicolás Ballve admits. “Go out, film, start uploading stuff to the internet, and surely some doors will open for you.” These words reflect a journey full of uncertainties but also of hopes.
“Once you’re in or starting to enter this market, it’s about understanding the game and realizing you’re providing a service. Understand that you are not the protagonist of this, don’t think you’re the star director, nor that you’re going to create the best work of your life,” he emphasizes. This insightful observation underscores the need to maintain humility and focus, even in the face of success.
“Los Del Espacio” has received 200 million views on YouTube in just 4 months.
The musical universe is as vast as it is complex. Every video is a conjunction of sounds, images and emotions, and the Anestesia team has managed to turn these pieces into true works of art.
Nicolás says: “There’s a lot about the process that’s sheer luck.” But beyond luck, there’s clearly meticulous and passionate work behind success. The world of music video demands a detailed approach, from pre-production to post-production. “It’s a million-hour job, in all areas, from editing to producing. Everything is long and complex,” Nicolás says, as he reflects on the challenges of the process.
Antonio adds: “You lose often, and you have to face it.” This is the reality of an industry where effort and dedication are vital. In this sense, Antonio emphasizes the importance of consistency, persistence and volume: “You don’t have to make a video to make a lot of money. But you do have to be able to make 50 videos in a year.” This advice highlights the balance between quality and quantity, crucial for staying relevant in such a dynamic industry.
Anestesia’s latest video with Milo J and Bizarrap has accumulated almost 30 million views in its first week.
Beyond Business: The Relationship With The Artist
At Anestesia, a special connection with artists is perceived. It’s not just a commercial deal; there’s a deep understanding of the musician’s needs.
Nicolás talks about how the creative process is a tandem between the artist and the production company. It’s a constant dance where, sometimes, the artist has an initial idea, and other times, they fully trust the director. The end result is always a reflection of this collaboration.
However, the creative process can be a challenge. Speaking about how the team handles expectations, Antonio jokes about the unusual demands they sometimes receive, like “I want a spaceship.” This blend of humor and realism is a hallmark of its approach: Anestesia understands that the art of making videos cannot be separated from the realities of budget and time.
Amid these challenges, Nicolás adds that collaboration is essential: “You have to learn to work with people because it’s a job you can’t do alone. You have to learn to build teams and trust, find reliable people.”
Cazzu and Young Mico collaborate on this video with 50 million views.
Cannabis And Psychedelics: Reflections On A Cultural Evolution
The world of music has always been in continuous evolution and adaptation. And so have the worlds of cannabis and psychedelics. This is where the conversation goes next: The role of cannabis and psychedelics in current music, in the eyes of the Ballve brothers.
These elements, once hidden, in the shadows, now forcefully manifest in videos and lyrics, reflecting their acceptance and normalization in popular culture. Almost every artist talks about blunts in their songs, mentions other substances, alludes to weed in their lyrics and even shows themselves smoking in their videos. And for the Ballve brothers, who do not consume cannabis, this is a “non-issue.” In fact, Nicolás notes, cannabis has ceased to be a problem and has been embraced by the industry: “It is something that is so openly seen and talked about in the lyrics…”
However, the brothers also provide insight into how the Anestesia team relates to the substance on a personal and professional level. Nicolás and Antonio reveal that, although cannabis is present and allowed on their shoots, none of those currently actively participating in Anestesia’s creative processes use it, attributing abstaining during work to the need to maintain high concentration and ensure safety during shooting.
“I would say there’s something about needing a lot of concentration on the shoot. Not to mention if we’re handling large machines or something similar,” Nicolás clarifies, highlighting that, despite this attitude during work, there is no aversion to the substance among the team. In fact, it is common for team members to consume it recreationally after an intense workday. “It [the plant] is also demonized, and that’s not good either. It’s about finding balance. Prohibition doesn’t work and demonization doesn’t either,” he adds.
The brothers have clear stances on the legalization of cannabis, both for medicinal and recreational uses, supporting a progressive and educated view on the matter. For Antonio, “it’s totally fine, in both ways.” Nicolás, for his part, talks about the importance of education on the subject, so that young people do not see cannabis as “a creative tool” based on what they see in artists or in popular culture.
Duki’s “Givenchy” boasts more than 140 million views.
Looking Ahead: The American Dream
For those looking to enter the world of audiovisual production, Nicolás offers a perspective based on his experience: “Once you’re in or starting to enter this market, it’s about understanding the game and realizing you’re providing a service. Understand that you are not the protagonist of this, don’t think you’re the star director, nor that you’re going to create the best work of your life.”
“We want to aim for that… getting to Hollywood at some point,” Nicolás confesses. For Anestesia, the American Dream is not a distant fantasy, but a tangible goal. The production company has already begun its expansion, taking advantage of the “Argentine fever” that resonates in places like Miami (especially following the arrival of Lionel Messi at the Inter Miami soccer club) and establishing connections in the industry.
However, Nicolás and Antonio are realistic about the challenges they face. The U.S. work culture, with its rigorous corporate structure, is a contrast to the Latin flexibility and directness the team has experienced in their career so far. However, they are willing to adapt, learn, and continue growing.
The entertainment world, with all its glitters, is not exempt from challenges and lessons to be learned. “The industry has often shown us that you have to withstand everything. It’s very complex,” Nicolás reflects. Alluding to the temptation to seek short-term gratifications instead of long-term dedication, Antonio comments, with a touch of humor: “If you want big short-term benefits, hit the casino.”
Is It Feature Film Material?
While Anestesia has achieved numerous milestones, the Ballve brothers have their sights set on new horizons. Moving into film production is one aspiration, driven by a love for storytelling that transcends the music video format. Both brothers agree that their experience in short-form content has prepared them for this transition, understanding the distinct narrative structures and technical demands.
“The truth is that the three-minute clip structure is very different from a movie, but I think the technical part is very similar,” Nicolás observes. With film as a long-term project, the Ballve brothers are patient, acknowledging that entering this new format demands time and preparation. “What we really like is telling stories, and we do it through music videos. The day will come when we can do it through a movie,” Nicolás muses. For the Anestesia team, the future holds a canvas yet to be painted, and its journey in the entertainment industry is far from over.
Trueno’s “Atrevido” is close to hitting 100 million views.
The experiences and insights shared by Nicolás and Antonio Ballve unravel the reality behind the glamorous facade of the music video industry. Their candid thoughts, balanced by a mix of practicality and ambition, reveal a path laden with challenges but equally rich with creative rewards. In the fluctuating waves of the entertainment sea, Anestesia Audiovisual navigates with determination, bearing the flag of innovation, teamwork and a persistent pursuit of dreams, which has resulted in billions all over the world consuming its content.