JJ Anderson & Tito Molina
Meet JJ Anderson and Tito Molina, the creative duo behind HRDWRKER. Together they create documentary series and films that tell stories of perseverance, community and innovation.
Can you tell us where you are from?
JJ: I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I moved to LA a little over 10 years ago for school.
Tito: I am originally from El Salvador and moved to Santa Monica, CA when I was 7 years old.
How do you define success?
JJ: Being comfortable in your vulnerabilities.
Tito: Being able wake up every day and have the ability to do what you want. Whether that's taking photos, shooting videos or working on your art. Success to me is being in control of your schedule and having the time to build your craft.
What does your morning routine look like?
JJ: I roll out of bed around 8:30AM/9AM. I make coffee, read the news and get ready for the day. I usually take some time to reflect on what I'm grateful for before I start my work day, which comes in the form of either meditation or journaling. I then kick off work at 10AM by checking emails and writing out a To-Do List.
Tito: I try to be up by 7:30AM/8AM. I grab a coffee, check emails, water my plants and watch a few tutorial videos. I start editing at 10AM.
What work are you most proud of?
JJ: I am really proud of our recent short documentary 'Not Your Mama's Kitchen: Here to Help'. The film captures the heart, hustle and process behind a family owned restaurant and non-profit with the mission of uplifting their community through food for the soul. Working on this project with the beautiful family behind NYMK was an experience like no other. We collaborated for 6 months and learned about what it means to truly show up for others during that time.
Tito: I am proud of all of our short films. We made the commitment to produce mini docs about a year ago and have created 4 so far, 3 of which have entered the film festival circuit. Producing shorts challenges us to up our skill set and gives us the opportunity to meet fellow filmmakers from all over the world.
What has been the biggest challenge on your journey?
JJ & Tito: Matching our personal projects with adequate funding is the biggest and most frustrating challenge. We take pride in producing quality content. Because our personal projects are self-funded, we don't always have the freedom to execute our vision when we want to. This can leave us sitting on ideas anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. While this is definitely our biggest obstacle, it has also forced us to become innovative when developing concepts. So, it's not all bad...
Who is someone that has helped you get to where you are now? How were they impactful?
JJ & Tito: Our dear friend Lizzy Okoro. Lizzy was and still is instrumental to our learning how to grow the entrepreneurial side of HRDWRKER. Before we met Lizzy, we were kind of just creating blindly and didn't fully understand how to scale. Aside from giving us valuable advice, Lizzy put us in the right rooms and in front of people who could also help us develop the business. We are forever indebted to the wonderful Lizzy Okoro.
Favorite food in LA? Your go-to spot to get cravings satiated?
HRDWRKER: Let's break this down into categories.
Wings: Big Al's in Maywood, Not Your Mama's Kitchen in Compton or Hot Wings Café on Melrose
Caribbean: Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica or Grilled Fraiche on West Blvd. & W. Slauson
Oaxacan: Casa Oaxaca on Venice Blvd. in Culver City
Italian: Pasta Sisters
Burgers: Pono Burger in Santa Monica and Golden State on Fairfax
What's the last thing you bought with cash?
JJ: A burrito on west Sunset Blvd.
Tito: Pan dulce at the market neighboring our headquarters.