Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chopping Away!

I've been on a "Edward Sissorhand" tear.  Since my last trip to L.A. all I have been doing is cutting away with my doc. Right now I shaved off about 20 minutes or so.  There was fat in my film that needed to be taken out so that my story can flow.  After hearing my peers and soaking in all their thoughts about my doc... made me realize what I needed to do to enhance my story. The feedback has helped me understand a lot about my film... and has open my eyes to see what my my film is really about.  Like I mentioned before, I was the only one looking at my cuts (edits).  It was good to hear what people thought.

Yes, my film revolves around music, but its a lot more about music. Its about a culture, its about a history,  its about having a voice.  The music plays a major role in my film because its a metaphor of people expressing their thoughts and its vehicle to drive and send the message.  For me .... getting on the mic, podium, TV,  or news means (most of the time) you are always trying to say something about a cause, a problem, and in this case is the importance of representing a culture in a positive light... a culture that has been oppress for so long.

At this moment I am getting really emotional about my project because I don't think I have ever done something at this level and never felt so close to an issue or a film.  I have done many films in the past, but their was never a emotional connection to them. Don't get me wrong their are some films that I feel proud about, but I have never experienced something emotional to a film.  I guess I am now understanding what a filmmaker is about and not just someone who makes films.  Their was a term that I always heard in the past. The term was "give your film a heartbeat." I'm understanding it now...  it just doesn't meant to make it come alive.  Its a little more than that.

I'm really digging deep into my film. Editing at this point is become a lot more fun than the earlier process. I am mostly shuffling around scenes and testing what works within the doc.  I really feel like I am coming close to a picture lock.  Once I get to a picture lock .... I am pretty much done with the editing process.

I'm getting there ... being patient and working efficiently.

That's it for now.

Junior Gonzalez
The filmmaker

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rough-Cut and Artwork in La La Land

Its tuesday morning here in North Hollywood. I'm at a coffee shop killing time while I wait for the greyhound bus to come, so that I can go back home to the Bay!  I figured I would take some time and write a little. I came to Los Angeles Saturday night. I was trying to get here on Friday, but I was stuck at work and didn't get out till midnight. Uuuuugh!

I came to L.A. this weekend because I finally put a rough-cut of my doc together. I worked my ass off this past month to put all the pieces together, so i can finally showcase my story. Plus, I was very anxious to see how people would react as well.  I have been editing for a whole year and pretty much I have been the only person that knows what I have. It was definitely time to get some feedback!

I wanted to show my friends my project out this way (LA) because I highly respect their opinion. They all have some creative minds and their filmmakers themselves, so they understand the "process."  The rough-cut is what it exactly means... a rough-cut!  I needed to know if my structure was working and see what needed to be fix or adjusted before I start fine tuning and really shaping the story.

At this stage of the film, a rough-cut is an IMPORTANT process before you start making your way towards a final-cut stage. And what helps is the FEEDBACK! I was nervous about showing what I have, but it all worked out. Besides learning some mistakes i did with my doc, as far as, needing to clarify some sections, and taking out some edits. For the most part,  people were understanding what I was trying to say in my film.  On that note,  that is really good.  That means my story is almost there... not quite there, but slowly progressing and coming together.  Hearing what people had to say about my doc has helped me look at my project in a different way. That is exactly what i needed to experience. I took some good notes and some pointers from my peers. I am getting a better idea of how I can improve my story.

My friends were amaze of what I have shown them... I believe one of them said finally! "Its been almost five years that I have been hearing about this doc."

Another reason why I came to LA is because I wanted to discuss some artwork being made and inserting them into my doc. I met up with my Salvi friend and we hooked-up in her art studio.  Actually, she is the first person to watch the whole project. She is a cool kat. Very creative, smart, and knows whats up! I'm glad that my life has crossed paths with her.  We came together and went over images of what were going to be sketched. I believe we came to a conclusion of having about 18 drawings.  The drawings will consist of historic and present time events that has happened in the Salvadoran culture.  The drawings will go with the Professor's section as he talks about these events. I think it will be very interesting.

This chick is very talented and I believe you will be hearing more about her in the future. She also exposed me to other organizations that other Salvi folks are involved with. After we were done with our meeting, I went with her to a baby shower.  It was a Salvi party! It was actually fun! I had a good time. At the baby shower is where I met other Salvi organization leaders who are doing some great stuff for the community.  I believe they are putting together a conference in a few months, in which I will attend.  I will be filming the event and including it to my doc.  There is a section in my doc where I talk about leaders are forming, and how education is becoming an important factor.  These folks are making waves. Much respect and love goes out to them!

This is it for now.

Junior Gonzalez
The Filmmaker