Jul 24, 2008

Making the Short Film

Well, the movie has been a hit. So for the 3 of you that watched it, here's some behind-the-scenes information.

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Nueva Rosita, a small town in the state of Coahuila in Mexico. Coahuila is located south of Texas, and the town of Nueva Rosita is located about 2 hours from Eagle Pass TX/ Piedras Negras border. Nueva Rosita was once an important coal mining city, today, not so much.

During my visit I would pick up my video camera and shoot different things, many which have become small video snippets on
YouTube. On one particular day, my cousin asked if I'd join him to go get water as they were running out. With camera in hand I started shooting his bi-weekly routine. Not knowing that I would be making a movie, I kept things simple. Most of the stuff I shot was filmed as the action was happening. There was only a few shots were I gave my cousin any direction.

When I got back to the US, I worked on some of those video snippets to test out effects and to test out my editing software. After 5 or 6 videos, I stumbled upon the footage of my cousin getting the water. At first, I wasn't sure what to do with it, it was just random footage of a person getting water so at one point I considered not doing anything with that footage. Then I did a search for information on water resources in Mexico. I found an article, its headline read "Mexico is currently 2nd place in bottled water consumption." Immediately I incorporated that statement as the first scene on the movie, and the rest just worked itself out.

I feel there's a good combination between the dialog-less scenes and the words on black background, it feels like a contemporary silent movie. I know that doesn't make sense, but think of a silent Charlie Chaplin movie if it was shot today. The music, written by Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias, provided the right feeling for the movie, a combination of dramatic and melancholic themes. The information on the article and the music drove the editing of the movie. Before editing the shots were long and few. I used quick cuts or edits to separate long shots, and I think that worked quite well. I've learned over the years, by listening to DVD commentaries (yes, I'm a DVD geek) that, less is more. So I tried to get to the main point of the scene fast and then move on to the next scene. Finally I did a freeze frame on the last frame of the movie to have the viewer cogitate or ponder on the movie while the credits rolled. The music here, created a better mood that I could have imagined. A long fade ends the movie. While the fade keeps on going, the music, along with ambient sounds taken from the movie, are layered on the soundtrack. This created an organic mood and helped the viewer cogitate on the movie.

That's my take on it. What's yours? What do you feel about the movie, what could have been better, what could have been taken out? Help me make better movies, please leave a comment.

Jesse

2 comments:

Josue Tapia said...

I just checked out your "clone" videos on You Tube. They were awesome!

Josh Tapia said...

We want you to blog more often.

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