Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Toronto to Montreal - Day Sixty Four

i watched the sun rise this morning on a train back to MONTREAL. as a spread of light started to awaken the ONTARIO countryside, i started to cry.

i'm coming home.

i finally get to lay in my bed and wake up to the woman i love. the woman who loves me. i've been holding onto so much inside, trying to stay strong, trying not to crack so that i can maintain an emotionally balanced disposition. but in this moment i just think about the light and the beauty of light and how it envelopes darkness.

this journey has been hard.
really hard.
i leave this blog here... for now. although the last few entries weren't filled with as much excitement as the beginning, its been a pleasure sharing this trip with you.

con mucho amor,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finish Line - Day Fifty Nine

as i promised my people in montreal... i would be gone for two months... sixty days have past and i live this saturday, back to toronto.
i feel like i'm running on empty.
i am getting to the point where - this is all i can take - this time that i spending with my insane parents. as individuals i love them dearly but as a pair i start to come back to childhood fantasies where i would pray to my priest; "please mom and da - get a divorce! please stop fighting over the stupidest things like time and being on time every time we leave the house." the problem mostly is how they deal with each other. my father loses his mind like a complete lunatic, which he almost never does on camera cause he is aware how much of a fucking nutter he is when he gets like that. my mother in mean time doesn't even stop him from this and continues to talk about weather.

really, this entry is just a huge bitch fest of how insane my parents are.

today i went to visit my grandmother and say goodbye. she is my only grandparent left and to be frank - i really don't have anything in common with her. she morns and respects a man who treated her horribly because she thought very poorly of herself. she produced ten children, some of whom are good and some great people. but today i got to meet my grandmother's sister who, for the first time, i engaged in great conversation with someone on my grandmother's side where the talk didn't end in something like "god bless PINOCHET!" this women asked such great questions about film making and was genuinely interested in what i was doing in CHILE and listened to what i have to say. it was nice to see critical thought at my grandmother's dinner table.

when i arrive in toronto on the 31st we start preparing for one of the final shoots - my father's testing at BAYCREST... almost there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Farm - Day Fifty Seven

when my father was 9 years old his SCOTTISH private school, located in VINA DEL MAR, took his class north of the coastal town to a quaint farming community called PUCHUNCAVI. when they arrived the students found that the farm belonged to the father of one of the their classmates everyone called "fatty" - who was also great friends with my grandfather. just after their arrival the caretaker of the farm slaughtered a large cow for the entire class to eat that weekend. rumor has it that one of the chaperons, which was the sister of another classmate they called "the rat" - cause he physically looked like a rat, had sex with the head master on that same trip. as the boys settled everyone spoke grateful for the opportunity to be away from the red-face SCOTTISH priests which never failed to cane at least one student daily. after a weekend of horse riding, large juice dripping steaks and giggles to "the rat's" sister - my swore to return with my grandfather. and they did - many times over with "fatty's" family.
it is also this town that my father has, in the past four years, fallen back in love with. yesterday after filming B ROLL around the MENA FAMILY farm (where my father keeps his horses) my father and i were riding back and he told me this story. to fully understand my father's relationship with the MENA FAMILY is something that has to be seen rather then heard. i am hoping that when the MENA FAMILY is introduced in the documentary that the film captures what these people represent to my father.
as he told me this story i couldn't help be almost in tears as a listener and son. whether he knows it or not - my father has found his youth and love for the country with these people. while in CANADA i would always say that it was horses... but its not just the horses, its this family that gave my father life again. and for that, i am eternally grateful to them. besides the fact that i too have fallen in love with them, they are very kind and beautiful people.

the MENA FAMILY are beautiful people.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Dinner - Day Fifty Three

about two weeks ago, just after we finished shooting, i was enjoying a lovely breakfast with my parents. they suddenly started to argue about a dinner my mother wanted to have. it went something like "i want to have my girlfriends from school over saturday, janauary 23rd! why do you have to be like that?" my father grumbled to himself and spat something like “you’re always stressed out and you never enjoy yourself!” my mother retorts “that’s not true! i always have fun.” for some reason, the conversation went into my father joking "okay, well then the week after that i'm going to have the HUASOS over for dinner..." my mom didn't find that very funny. my mother has a very particular reservation about the HUASOS but mostly she can't stand how much they drink and rowdy they get. she would die if she had to be around this for a whole evening, especially in her own home. my father knows this well and it is why, at this point, he had a huge smile on his face. as my mother fumed from my father’s delight. “CUCHI! (that’s what she calls him) i’m going to hit you!”
my father continued to laugh.
as off topic as i am getting now, this is how ridiculous their argument was. i finally interjected saying "how about this mom... you invite all your girlfriends with their husbands and TIO JAVIER (my father's only friend - who is also my mother's brother) and i will cook the entire dinner. you won't have to do anything but just sit, eat and enjoy your time with your old schoolmates!"
everyone went silent.
then after a few moments my mother finally spoke up "okay. yeah, thank you carlo. that sounds like a good idea." my dad liked it too. so in my head, based on the limited but VERY fresh ingredients CHILE has to offer, i put together a five course menu that reflected our families CHILEAN/ITALIAN background.


because most italian cooking is all preparation and time with few but necessarily fresh ingredients, i knew that cooking 2/3 of the food the day before was essential.
yesterday morning my mother, father and i went to my dad's old neighborhood where there's a really beautiful market. as we shopped for all the ingredients, my father had the idea of buying some lemons and getting a variety of fresh sea food to slurp on the spot. it was one of the best gastronomical moments i've ever had with my father. he came back with some raw CLAMS, SCALPS and SEA URCHINS... we got to work... once our bellies were fully loaded with love from the ocean, we continued zig-zagging throughout the busy market to get the essentials.

sidebar: i can't tell you how fresh the basil is here in CHILE. the bushels are bursting with flower buds. the most overwhelmingly fragrant basil plant i have ever cooked with. i start to get faint with excitement just thinking about it.

once we finally got all of the ingredients in the kitchen, it was 4pm.
i started cooking.
it was at this time which most parts of the dishes were either cooked and/or assembled. i went hard for almost eight hours straight with stopping, ending at 11:30pm to get some sleep. the next day i woke up at 9:00am and continued cooking till 2:30pm when the 12 guests arrived. once the last couple arrived, i started pumping out the dishes out, getting everything out on time. it was so great to get in the grind again. i miss cooking for large groups and most often then not, it makes me feel human again. there's a certain level of intensity and concentration that you have to practice when you're serving a five course meal to 12 people alone... but all the food came out warm, tasty and well presented.

i was very happy with the results.


with this dish i wanted to use CHRIMOYAS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya) instead of strawberries but they weren't in season. this a very particular fruit to the region and when it's in season people go absolutely mental. if a mango and delicious ripe juice-dripping pear had a baby, you would have the CHERIMOYA. instead i went with classic CHILEAN strawberries, which seem to always be in season here. it was my goal to introduce ingredients that these people have have either never tried before or regularly wouldn't use in these dishes, but that are also local to the region. blue cheese is something that isn't of the region and not very easy to find. when you do, its often expensive or bad quality. i had to go to the supermarket. one of the questions that the guests kept asking was how i made the strawberry vinaigrette - "i cooked the strawberries slowly for two hours in AGAVE NECTER and LEMON. i then cooled and put them the in fridge over night. by the next day a beautiful sweet but tart syrup formed. with that strawberry syrup as a base, i added grape seed oil, apple vinegar and salt."


for the past eight years (the last time i made this dish) my mother has ranted and raved to people about my EGGPLANT PARMASEAN. i like it but i think she likes it more. it was at VIA OLIVETTO (where i learned how to cook) that i got the recipe for this dish. today was possibly the four or fifth time that i cooked the dish outside of a restaurant because it is so labor intensive. i will not make this dish unless every single ingredient is of absolute quality. after a few hours of searching in the market, we finally found a parmesan that i was happy with.


this was my favourite dish of the day. at the market i found these wonderful OSOBUCO bones and slowly cooked them in wild onions and coriander steams for almost six hours. it was hands down the best beef stalk that i have ever made. my mouth starts to water just thinking of that wonderfully pungent beef flavor. when the risotto melts in your mouth from the cream, butter and fresh parmesan the rice felt like it had a god-like aura of beef marrow goodness around it. i garnished it with a spinach cooked in garlic, white wine, rosemary and butter.


this is probably the first time that i've had the chance to cook with real CHILEAN sea bass. the fish was poached in garlic, grape seed mayonnaise, lime, sea salt and fresh coriander. two mashes were made separately (squash and potato) and then folded to make a marble.
the guests went nuts over this one.


green gold!
what makes this one special is that we are in the land of the PALTA (avocado). the ones that i used for this particular dish were hand picked from my grandmother's backyard two weeks ago. all i can say is, like the INDIAN MANGO or IRANIAN FIG, these avocados don't compare to anything that exists in NORTH AMERICA.
with this dish i have to give a !BIG-UPS! to my sugar-less-dessert-home-girl JESSE THE YOGA INSTRUCTOR. i heard about this dish from the love of my life when she had it at JESSIE's house one night. the idea sounded amazing and i tried to make, it with success. this was the second time i attempted the dish and the ladies lost their shit.


i love cooking for men. they just eat. almost no conversation.
all focus.
all the time.

after everything was accounted for and i finished the kitchen, i came out to answer all the questions that were flying through the door while i served the five courses. my parent's were so proud of me. i think that my father, which he rarely does, congratulated me and said he was proud of me about four different times throughout the day. he loves my mother so much and must have been so happy that i could do something like this for her.



and here she is... the lady of the hour.
during the two days that i cooked, she would come into the kitchen in a high pitch voice “how is my little chef!” i loved it every time she did it. i should go to church with them tomorrow and win "son of the year".

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cynical / Cinico - Day Fifty One

when i was kid, my father and i would get into these long drawn out discussions of exactly what certain words meant, its definition, but more importantly, which one was more correct in ENGLISH or SPANISH. the word wars would at times reach a point where we'd be on the opposite ends of the spectrum, spitting things like "well! then it's probably wrong in SPANISH!" or vice-versa. can you imagine someone telling you that the word you've been using all your life was wrong because of another language's interpretation. it's by no coincide that this argument has been a sort of metaphor or sub-text for most of our fights.

the core of all these spats have always been based on interpretation.

this morning i had a word discovery based on these arguments while my mother and i looked up the translation for BRASS in a SPANISH CHILEAN dictionary. my curiosity on the interpretation of the word BRASS is based on its use in both language.

but the real word of the day is: CYNICAL / CINICO

what is also very appropriate about this is that both my father and i have been often accused of being cynical because of how critical we are. so when i was a kid and someone would call my father cynical in ENGLISH (CINICO in SPANISH), my father would have an internal up rise because of his interpretation of the word. he would get incredibly offended and roar with denial until whoever was calling him the word would back down. one of those people was of course me... and i am never one to back down from an argument.
!especially! at that age of 13.

so, while roaming through the dictionary for BRASS, i decided to look up CYNICAL in both languages with this CHILEAN-SPANISH dictionary.


what if i was to tell you that my father's interpretation of the word is the result of how that word is used in ENGLISH? for example... if i say "all television is garbage!" then i would be cynical for saying that. the definition would describe me as "doubtful, distrustful, suspicious, disbelieving" but here in CHILE people often say that cynical is "someone who contradicts themselves by their actions, for examples; a promise they've made." for example if someone was to say "HEY TOM! nice to see you... lets have coffee soon!" now if that guy had a reputation of doing that and never calling, here in CHILE, your thoughts would be "that guy is so cynical, he's so full of shit!" something my father would say goes something like this: "ese huavon es mas CINCIO que la cresta!" so in this case, the person that was being "doubtful, distrustful, suspicious, disbelieving" is not the accuser but the person being accused.

after all of this, i mention this discovery to my very good friend EVAN CLARKE. after a lengthy discussion on the topic, he tells me that we were both right.


EVAN: One way to think of it is like this: you can be cynical in your actions; or you can be cynical in your perception of other people's actions."

CARLO: you're right. you know what, honestly? i think when i was kid it had to do with my perception of my father. the way my father used it was with a country/working class tone. growing up, i always saw my father that way... not in a bad way but because of the way he expressed himself in both languages. i think that one of the reasons, possibly sub-consciously, i disagreed with him so strongly was because i was trying to assimulate and distance myself from his approach. having said that, i also thought that the word cynical was something of a positive thing to be called because it mean't you were critical.

EVAN: like something to be proud of?

CARLO: exactly. like how we saw music.

EVAN: yeah, i was really confused about it for a long time.
i see, like 'critical' or something.

CARLO: exactly

EVAN: like being cynical was something to be proud of. i guess that most people don't really think of cynicism as a reason for pride?

CARLO: i guess it was more the context and how people use it in CHILE. when he would say that word i would always cringe thinking about badly he misused it.
it so insane that i am discovering this now.

EVAN: it's not. it's understandable, given that you have two linguistic contexts to deal with. there's tons of words that i don't use in ENGLISH because i'm not crystal clear on their meaning.


what i realized in the end was that ENGLISH puts more weight on the person criticizing as the CINIC and in CHILE people put more weight on the person being accused. in the end they both mean the same thing.

i can't believe it this whole time... we were both right.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hiccups - Day Fifty

I've had them for three days now.
Kill me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Emotions of Logging - Day Forty NIne

the most frustrating process for me as a filmmaker is logging my footage. although i have to do it, i try to avoid it like blood sausages or cows liver. it is such a roller-coaster of emotions watching what can't be changed. i scream, cheer, but mostly scream, at things that could have been done better. i obsess over detail and small inconsequential things that can either be fixed with tricks in post or re-shot at another time.

by nature, although i have changed quite a bit throughout the years, i am an over controlling perfectionist, who settles for nothing less then "the best." it is a internal battle that i constantly wrestle with... almost on a daily basis. especially when i am doing this kind of work.

there are times when i am editing or logging where i do truly feel like a lunatic. i get in this state even if, in the back of my mind, i know that i have more then enough footage to make a good film. in the moment, while im looking at the rushes for the first time, i get so inside my head that i can barely bring myself back to a sane place. i pace, smack my fist - trying to inflict some kind of short sting in the palm my hand to redirect what's going in my head to another part of my body. rarely, but it has happened, i get to a fever pitch and fantasize about putting my fist through a wall. there have been about three or four occasions where i have done it. lets forget my fridge at home. that has about a dozen dents in it because of this state.

i've never cut myself or done any kind of self-mutilation. i faint sometimes at the sight of my own blood. i don't like that kind of pain. my sensitivity can reach such peeks that i have fallen to the grown, at times, when nurses have taken samples of blood from my arm.

none of that "blood is the life" activity for me. it has never even entered my train of thought... but i understand it. i get why people do it and why it is connected so closely to raw emotion.

when you're feeling a heighten emotion all you want is an immediate release. the most common advice is "why don't you write your emotions down" - as i am doing right now. the problem with this advice is that not everyone knows how to communicate how they're feeling, in the written or verbal form. most people don't have the tools to redirect that raw emotion to a safe and healthy place. that's why some people, for example; drink, do drugs, smoke or abuse other people. these are all products of that same device. an outlet to redirect raw energy.
may it joy, anger or sadness.

so what do i do today but continue to pace, play my guitar aggressively and now, go to the gym. the stress that goes with being the director, producer and subject in your own documentary is one thing. watching this footage with patience and trying to take notes is a completely different beast, which often has me turning into one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Piñera - Day Fourty Eight

here's an excerpt from a letter that i sent to my friend laurel:

"things in CHILE are interesting to say the least. politically, there is no emergency to change the country because their ship isn't sinking... yet. change only happens when the boat is practically under water. the country isn't sailing without problems but its no where close to the US's financial crisis but they are well on their way... LATIN AMERICAN countries always have less to lose. this new president is nothing different then the one who was running against him. the papers may tell you different but both candidates lack ideals and have a none-inspirational platforms with system that REALEMENTE needs to change.. the educational and health care system is still in shambles and private as ever. BACHELET, CHILE's first female president, did very little considering her party was THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF CHILE. she ran it like any neo-liberalist would... very very safe with very little change. there is some hope with a young candidate that got 20 percent of the country's vote in the first round. there is potential but i do fear for CHILE's future. (as i've spoken before) like a drunk alcoholic uncle, CHILE doesn't know that it is truly sick and in need of some help. the irony is that the president that just got elect is the multi-billionaire who brought THE CREDIT CARD to CHILE in the late 80s. he is directly responsible for the general population's unmanageable debt. practically all my uncles at one point or another, and i have lots, borrowed money from my father because of how badly in debt they were. some still owe him large amounts. they spend money that they don't have and they spend a lot. we're not talking poor peasants here who live day to day, these are seniors employees of the CHILEAN work force; engineers, doctors, lawyers and dentists. the NEW MONEY here isn't actually money, its credit. a horrible virus that nobody gives attention to because, quite honestly, there are far worse problems in the world then a gluttonous CHILEAN's debt. what is worse; long term cancer that can be treated easily or full blown AIDS? that's where i think CHILE is compared to the rest of third world.

i'm sure you get the idea."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Centre Never Sleeps - Day Forty Seven

today i witnessed what some are calling political history, which i only see as a seasonal sneeze and a possible hysterectomy. you can almost hear the penniless scream "nigga please!" as CHILE elects its next president. this new chapter unfolds from a curve-less crescent to another oh so familiar !GANADOR! with no ideas or dreams.
"would you prefer a neo-liberalist or a neo-liberalist?"
"i'll take the..." you get the point.
a country freezing when it should be boiling, lost to what change could really be unfolding, when people really don't make cents. always full of a sugar's rage with a mouth full of an ignored tooth decay; "how can you thank the candy man for your diabetes?" but they do and reward him with power and their future in HIS hands. chronic glucose attacks and curved broken backs, leaving millions with their arms tied bLack, smiling and even more speechless then before. escape from where they were born and not because of their beliefs but because of their own financial debt; "porque tu creas en gastar sin pagar!?!" "how about five year sentence and you're all welcome back?"

even right side up, they don't recognize a fully armed attack.

the beat goes on...

Friday, January 15, 2010

On Vacation... A Little Bit - Day Forty Five

finally my body relaxes after five weeks of BOLIVIA and CHILE. the boys have gone home and i am here with the footage to transfer and log. i started to realize, these past few days, how damaged my feet are and how tense i have been on this entire trip. i've been sleeping in a lot, something i have haven't done in weeks, even when i could.

yesterday i went with my dad to the farm and took a two hour horse ride to the beach. it wasn't as picturesque as i would have liked it to be and not because of the scenery. mostly because of my father's constant use his cell phone before and during the trip, talking to manufacturers and lawyers. i had to just let it go and realize that this is my father. his life isn't complete unless he is solving his own or other people's problems. if he doesn't have any, he creates them. everyone knows it but himself. if you were to call him on it he would say something like "do you think i like this?" and the obvious answer would be "yes. yes you do." anyone who has mental problems and has never really been in therapy or received help are never going to admit their problems to themselves. at best, when you tell him of a fault that is so obviously true, he will always reply with something like; "that could be true."

if this film has taught me anything its to just let go. allow my parents to be the people they are and not try to change them. if i get to the point where their actions are causing me mental harm, walk away and take a breath.
come back when i have distance.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nephew Daniel's Dairy - Day Forty Four

"Hi, this is my journal and I am going to tell you the things that I did on my trip in Chile.

When I went to the airport I saw lots of people and lots of stores. Once we were waiting my stomach started to rumble I was a little dizzy to so they called our names and we went on the plane. Once I was on the plane I felt better. We took off and the plane was off the ground I went to sleep when I woke up I felt like throwing up.

The house we rented in Chile had an owner and that owner had a dog. My sister and me enjoyed playing with her dog. His name was Catania it had brown fur and was thirteen years old.

On the beach they have the jumpy cords. It had cords to pull and make you go higher and a trampoline at the bottom to jump on. It was really fun and we took video of it.

While I was there I went to the beach. The beach was full of people and the waves were really powerful and the sand is very wet so I can make sand castles that are as big as my sister standing and popsicles are sold to lick to get a little cooler.

We went to my grandfather and grandmothers house to have Christmas it was full of food like avocado also called palta that I like very much and tomatoes and lot of other meat and vegetables. Lots of people were there like our family, my aunt, uncle, grandparents and great grandmother. It was fun we played games and even board games and sometimes I showed my cousins the computer.

The farm that my grandfather has keeps his horses and I went to it and they even had little baby horses that me and my sister named. I named my horse Castanio and my sister named hers Tiger. They had lots of animals including horses, cats, dogs and three lambs. We also fed the baby cows their milk. They tried to suck our fingers because they were so hungry.

One time we went to the sand dunes. It is made of sandy hills and its just like snow boarding but instead of snow its sand. It was fun but the most exercising and boring part of it is walking up the hill.

There were a few times that went to go have a ice cream with me and my family to place called Bellissimo. They had many choices but I just picked chocolate because its always good just don’t tell my family.

I loved the trip very much and enjoyed all the fun things that I experienced with my family. I made new friends and memories. I will see them again the next time I go to Chile."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Santiago - Day Forty Two

i just woke up in my friend GILDA cousin's home in SANTIAGO. last night after we dropped off BEN and PABLO at the airport i decided to stay in the city and visit GILDA who is here CHILE doing a graffiti tour with five other artists. the mural at THE HOUSE OF FRIENDSHIP on DULUTH in MONTREAL that was done two summers ago was done by two of the artists on this graffiti tour. one of the those two artists is also GILDA's sister. they're really good people. i met GILDA and stayed with her family three summers ago in OTTAWA for a week while i attended the MAGNETIC NORTH theatre festival for a class i was taking at the time. her father and his brother's were heavily involved in the ALLENDE government but had to flee CHILE when PINOCHET struck. for me it's really interest and important to surround myself with this part of CHILE since my very large family from the coast is constantly tucking themselves in the bed of NEO-LIBERALISM.

last night we stayed up late talking about each other's projects while the house dog, who was abused when it was a baby, kept barking and wanting a strange kind of attention. finally we went inside to get away from the barking and continued our conversation with her very wonderful cousin at the dinner table. her two cousins are taking care of this large house in LOS LEONS because their grandfather past away and in order to sell they need the signature of all ten brothers and sisters. since everyone is spread out all over the world, it's a objective to obtain. her cousin at the table had a soprano ukulele. with a big smile asked for it and started to play for a bit. when he saw i had an idea of how to play it, we excitedly started to geek out talking about the difference between the baritone and soprano. i told him about the MAGNETIC FIELDS and how they use the soprano a lot in their songs and he smiled back replying "i'm going to download their songs tonight."

that's one of the thing that i am most excited about when i come back to MONTREAL, getting to see my boyfriend STEPHEN MERRITT live again.
it's been too long.

Monday, January 11, 2010

FAREWELL - Day Forty One

today PABLO and BEN leave on a flight back to their respected homes. PABLO is stopping in BUENOS AIRES to visit his brother and BEN "with mucho gusto" will be returning to the bosom of MONTREAL. i feel so good about this shoot. although i lost my shit a couple of times it felt like one of the more productive and focused shoots i've had with this film. i need to film a few more days in TORONTO early FEBRUARY and a couple more days this MARCH in MONTTREAL. i have plans to assemble a rough cut of about two hours by the SPRING so that i can give my editor a rough idea of how i want the story told. from there he or she can clean it up and bring their own ideas, improving upon mine. i'm confident with all the material that we've filmed these past two years, the editing process will consist of a lot hard decisions. what moment and scenes to use because of the surplus of great material we have.

its going to be one of those good problems.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"THAT'S A WRAP!" - Day Forty

its night time.
the right time.
we just finished filming the last scene of EL HUASO on the beach and for our mini WRAP PARTY we went to BURGER KING on the main strip. i ordered a double whopper XTREME with a PEPSI. i asked for a diet/lite one but i think they gave me a regular... and now... i'm hyper! it went really well though. the whole shoot. the last week has been incredibly productive.

we ended the day with a three-way high five.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Los Andes - Day Thirty Three

The Jib - Day Thirty Six

possibly one of the hardest and most rewarding days of my life as a director. a RODEO created just for us so that we could get the shots we needed in order to call this film: EL HUASO. at the end of the day, having shot what we needed in the can... one of the best moments happened today of the two years and 80 hours of footage we've filmed. the sun was setting and the sky was a magenta that could only be taken copied from a GROUP OF SEVEN painting. my father in the frame, with a wide shot in a pitch black silhouette, far in the distance... i gave him the sign to come forward. like a pro and tired as all shit from a VERY long day, he walked towards the camera and i shot my hands in the air violently yet quietly holding everyone in position. my father exited perfectly off frame to the left and we held our positions. the camera rolled for fifteen perfect seconds and the camera cut, finishing what was left, at the most precise moment. i screamed elated, pumping my fist in the air in victory. i yelled "THAT'S A WRAP!" in SPANISH and ENGLISH... we all hugged. everyone excited and relieved that we accomplished what we set out to do.
our small crew of seven packed in the pitch dark and made our way home.

i will never forget this day.
brown as sin, i can't sleep with all the excitement and only four hours of the sleep these past two nights.

tomorrow... another beast.
four more days and the boys go home.

me siento duro y sano.

(pictures taken by my sister DANIELLA)

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Sister - Day Thirty Five

when i was a kid, daniella was one of my best friends.
yesterday i sat down with her and had a long conversation. she is wise and although she is simple, her wisdom gives me a sense of direction and hope. there are those times where i think she is a complete brut and her aggressive way of joking or making a point makes me cringe... but i love her. i wish that we had more things in common and that we spoke a similar cultural language. having said that, i am grateful that she is still my friend.

there are times when i am beside myself because of my big sister and i feel small. in the most modest and genuine way possible, i feel like i'm learning. i've seen the world and been to therapy and she has it together. she doesn't push the issue or herself to the limit because she doesn't have to, because she doesn't want to. i admire her for that and feel humble. to spiral, to feel anxious, for all of my twenties i've learn that those are choices. it is not a sickness the way professionals seem to diagnose them. it is not a condition where your only choice is to throw your hands up in the air and submit to medication. you can consciously fight to keep yourself from going under into that dark place where you obsess over one singular issue and spiral. depression is not a disease, its a condition that anyone can get themselves out of. it is up to the individual whether they make the choice to pay attention and cultivate what is bringing them down. i am trying to not even plant the seed when i know the result will be instant weeds and ruins.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

RECUPERATING - Day Thirty Four

yesterday was an 18 hour day of rodeo.
we finally have our RODEO rhythm down. the key is to focus on one goal/task and do it all day. if there is time for other things... then we do those. the boys did a great job and i'm proud of them.

today i am feeling really jittery because of yesterday and what is ahead. DANIELLA and PAULINA leave on friday and i am trying to organize the days so that i can get the footage we want. its difficult because they have their plans and i have mine. we have another day of RODEO ahead on wednesday which is going to primarily focused on the jib/crane.

the other night i finally got the time to put up my pictures of LA PAZ from my last day in BOLIVIA.


Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Day - Day Thirty Two

today is our day off and we're going to the beach again to try and forget, or at least heal from, the disaster that happened last night during our attempt of capturing an epic fire works display.
CARLOS FERRAND always tells me "documentary is all moments of luck" and sometimes you get unlucky or you simply can't predict the future, no matter how much you try. we did get footage of me and my family watching the fireworks. we were all in silhouettes but because of so many variables that i dont want to get into, it didn't work out and the scene didnt have the "ANNIE" impact that i wanted it to have. after the shoot we found out that my uncle was rushed to the hospital, while we were on the roof filming, with a kidney stone that he was passing just as the clock was striking twelve. my aunt went with him to the hospital and we took care of the little ones. i did my part by taking my borderline-gay 12 year old cousin, after everything died down with PABLO and BEN, to the RINACA strip in order to check out the party that was spilling onto the street after the NEW YEARS EVE fireworks. it was as i usually predict, uneventful and boring but we ran into my sisters and ILIDIO (my older sister's husband) at some bar that was smokey and playing very loud rock music. we went in there for a drink. i had a club soda and my little cousin a tall glass of pineapple juice. he was dead bored and wanted to go home. he was almost in tears about how tired he was and the cigarette smoke that was stinging his eyes.
finally we took a bus home at around 3:00am and and he settled on our couch for bed.

this morning my aunt woke up the apartment at 9:00am and fetched her son. as she thank us, he stumbled out of our door he mumbling something about "thank you" and they were on their way.
after about an hour BEN and I were up, while PABLO slept, and we went to the gas station down the street for some morning sun, coffee and fresh bread. we had a nice long talk about the film and our lives as film makers. i started to get excited at the idea of re-hashing THE HARTINGS but in completely different light. not re-shooting or anything but just editing a film, with my voice over and experience, talking about trying to make a documentary about this family. i really started to get excited about the idea of just putting some of that footage together and trying to construct something interesting without attempting to make anything super clean and commercially successful. just tell the story of my attempt to make this documentary; THE HARTINGS. i just really got excited by the idea of putting those scenes i like together that work without the restriction of HAVING TO MAKE A REAL LIFE DOCUMENTARY, but instead just making a document about the journey following this blind family around the continent.

i'm looking forward to coming home and doing some serious editing, on both projects.
i want to have a rough cut of EL HUASO by the end of SPRING.

time to literally, get off the shitter,
and start my day.