After starting filmmaking freshman year, brothers Patrick and Cris Yldefonzo have built a name for themselves as filmmakers, and entrepreneurs with their website “dogdayz.xyz”, which showcases all of their short films, jobs for clients, and their new line of merchandise.
At age 15, Cris Yldefonzo, now a senior, began making simple family vacation movies about their road trips around California as well as their stays in Mexico. From then on, they branched out to vlogs, which are short video blogs that chronicle daily life, and finally to creative and self-interpreted short films. Patrick, a junior at BHS, who took to filmmaking after his brother, focuses on the editing and acting aspects of filming, while Cris’s main job is directing. Their pursuit of entrepreneurial success is rooted in their love for filming.
Through the Burlingame High School elective Art of Video, and help from teacher Steve Erle, Cris and Patrick have been able to work on projects outside of school, like their current documentary for Betsy Franco. Betsy Franco, the mother of famous actors James and Dave Franco, holds a workshop at Palo Alto High School for kids to help edit her new book, “Metamorphosis: Junior Year.” Cindy Lynch, a friend of Mr. Erle’s, reached out to the class to find students to make a documentary about the workshop. Cris and Patrick have been working on filming a behind the scenes look at the work Betsy Franco is doing with fellow film students.
“Mr. Erle knows Cindy Lynch, who knows Tom Franco.” Patrick said, “Cindy needed students to film the Franco’s film workshop. The class is full of students building and giving insight to Betsy Franco’s writing, and then creating a film from that. Sometimes James Franco drops by to give insight as well.”
As well as the project with the Franco’s, Patrick and Cris have done videos for other clients, including a video for a personal trainer based in San Mateo. Cleveland Hughes, the personal trainer, hired Patrick and Cris as a way to promote his business through video. The brothers have made videos for clients as a way to branch out to businesses rather than just focusing on movies for their class Art of Video.
“Elizabeth Zell knew [Cleveland Hughes] and she told us he was looking for some people to help him make a video advertising his business,” Patrick said.
The Yldefonzo brothers were awarded Best Film of Show Award at the annual film festival held at BHS by Mr. Erle. The film festival contains 4 categories, Best Documentary, Best PSA, Best Music Video and Best Short film. “Phase I,” the winning film, is a mystery short film that is directed by Cris and acted in by Patrick.
“‘Phase I was actually a plan B [for the film festival]. We were originally trying to enter into the music video category but that didn't work out, [so] we came up with some shot ideas we wanted to use first and created the story around that idea.”
Besides Mr. Erle’s film festival, the brothers also entered in the “Clear the Air” film festival where they got second place for their movie on climate change.
One project Cris and Patrick have been working on for a while now is their website, “dogdayz.xyz.”
“The reason for our website is to have all of our content on one page.” Cris said, “We wanted to show businesses and other companies what we could do.”
The website not only showcases their favorite short films and PSA’s, but also their new line of merchandise.
“The shop is really to make money to make new videos.” Cris said, “But we fell in love with creating merch for our friends. It was actually pretty successful, and it’s cool to see your friends wearing the sweatshirts and shirts you created.”
With the first season of their merchandise sold out, the brothers have been working on the second season featuring a collaboration with Kekoa, another students’ merchandise startup, made by Luke Eichensehr.
The brothers gave an explanation to their unique website name “Dog Dayz” by explaining the in depth reasoning for their brand and logo. The logo, a dog sitting on a lounge chair, is featured on almost all of their merchandise in season 1.
“Dog days can be characterized as the hottest period of the summer,” Patrick said enthusiastically, “we named it after the star “Sirius” that appears in the dog days of the summer.” Cris added, “dog days are the really hot and humid days in July that make you feel sluggish, which is why the logo is a dog napping on a chair.”
“My favorite part about filming is really editing it when it’s all done.” Patrick said, “I like to see my friends’ reactions and watching the final project. It’s cool to visualize something and see how it plays out.”