Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pushing the project forward

Went today to the Hoyos Rubios army fort in the Rimac district. Home of the 18th Armored Brigade run by General Pitot.
In my prior talking to him and also in the ceremony two days ago, he digged my film project idea and agreed to help on my requirements. Now, with the help of their industrial areas I can make uniforms and soldier battle accessories like belts, bullet casings and backpacks. Of course, I DO need to buy and give them all the materials for they won't spend a dime. Still, its better than to have it made somewhere else. I'm saving the manufacturing expense here.

It was also nice to find there a guy that I met back in 2005 while visiting Tacna in one of my research trips down there. He was an army officer in a lower rank and now he has gone up the ladder. Proved the general that I've been in this thing for quite a long time already.
Things are developing well so far.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I joined the legion!

Last week I joined the "Orden de la Legion Mariscal Caceres" (Order of the Mariscal Caceres Legion) and today was the ceremony at the Salaverry Military Center.

This legion is about promoting our nationa hero Andres Avelino Caceres.
I have already made my intention known that if my film project goes along well, I'll continue with Caceres and the Breña Campaign he did back in 1881 to repel the chilean forces out of Peru.
His life and patriotism goes along the ones that defended with honor our nation like Bolognesi and Ugarte.
Although he did not die in battle, he fought in several and even was president twice later on after the war.
General Pitot was there also and he agreed to meet with me this Friday to talk about my need for clothing machinery to make the soldiers wardrobe. He agreed but details will be talked in depth in the meeting.

It was a nice ceremony and also the Commander General was here. Just got a brief talk with him.
Im getting closer now!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The doors are opening slowly

The meeting went smooth and fine. The Secretary General loved my project!!
He went ahead and gave his opinion that the Commander General would also approve it.
I shared my uneasiness regarding nowadays situation with this "spy" incident and if it would be a threat to my idea. He didn't think so.

One step closer now....one step closer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meeting with the Commander General

Tomorrow, finally, I have the meeting with the Commander General.
It is exciting to know I'm getting to talk to the one deciding.

But what kills me with anxiety is the risk now, the huge risk, of having this project, a project of approximately 6 years, be put on hold or not taken because of the recent "spying/traitor" case with Chile.
New things are coming out in the open and it's all over the news nationwide and in other countries.

The situation is very delicate right now between Peru and Chile and I guess my project will have to be reviewed by not only this Commander General but also by the Secretary of Defense and maybe by the President itself. And with how the things are happening, I just hope it doesn't get banned or put on hold just because of "national security" reasons.

My approach is historical and not looking to make anyone look bad. Just showing facts as is in a very human way.

More than ever, our country and our heroes deserve to be remembered in a different light. More than ever, we Peruvians need to commit ourselves to our sense of being a nation and feel proud about it, but that's my intention and may not be taken as such by those deciding people.

I wish I wouldn't have to depend on those factors.
A dream, a project I'm in love with is in risk of being frustrated.
I pray to God these events are the push I needed to make this happen faster instead.
It all depends on God now...I just wish I knew what his plans are for me on this.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A traitor among us....!

It just came out to nationwide awareness two days ago of a delicate incident that is of every Peruvian interest: a member of the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) has been found to have been selling sensitive information to Chile since 2003 to the present year. From army codes, national defense strategies until 2021 and also the names of all agents of our counter-intelligence service on duty.

(Click here for the recent news)

It's under thorough investigation and about to be defined if it will be treated under civil or martial justice for treason against the nation and as a spy. For either case he would spend around 35 years in prison and no less than 15 at the best of cases.

Since the 1993 Peruvian Constitution, the death penalty has been abolished in cases of treason against the nation unless its during war times (which we aren't now), so his ass is saved.

What is gathered among many Peruvians -apart from their obvious dislike about this- is that he deserves the most strong of punishments for this act of treason. Many suggest death penalty (which we had it until 1979) and few less radical sanctions.

Now I'm sure, if death penalty was still constitutional, the Human Rights Organization would jump to the ceiling in his defense for this act, but my thinking is (and with all respect to human life), how far is a human being willing to go for just 3 thousand dollars per month (what he was paid by Chile) putting at risk the lives of 30 million Peruvians not only in their physical but psychological form by selling info of national security? If we don't set an example that laws need to be obeyed and respected and that it applies to everybody so they think hard before committing such an atrocity against their nation, how can we progress united as a nation? How can we instill in our countrymen the need to protect ourselves and our boundaries? How are we gonna teach the masses that no matter how hard the economy is there are simply things (like these) that just cannot be done?

Now, for just one guy's personal interest, our nation has been put at risk (and has been for the past 6 years) and up until 2021 (and now forced I guess to change our strategy of defense and do a deep investigation of how many more are involved by Internal Affairs and the Justice Department).

There are things that can;t be forgiven and this is simply one of them.
To respect the "rights" of one guy over the rights of 30 million is simply illogic...or in my opinion, unacceptable.

I just hope this present event doesn't spoil also my film project which among all countries around us, had to be with Chile (the one we had the war with in the film).

I wonder what our national heroes of that time would think of this.
I'm sure Bolognesi is turning upside down in his grave.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peruvian Army Headquarters meetings

Had another meeting today (4th one already) at the General Headquarters today. We colloquially call it the "Pentagon" in jest as it plays the same role as the US army one.
Meetings are getting better and negotiations are reaching a high point.

Now the next one is with the peruvian army general commander to agree in writing on the needs for my film. After that, it's mostly 70% done. Still need to secure sponsors funding.

On a side note; every time I come here can't help but recall my school years when sometimes we used to come and march every June 7th with my PRG school.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Polishing my screenplay

Just me here continuing polishing and retouching the screenplay for my film.

Every time I re-read the historical facts it I can't help but wonder at how much courage and balls these people had to fight the enemy that outnumbered them by a ratio of 4-to-1. Definetly, courage and honor at best.
The possibilities of coming out alive of that encounter was slim as you can see in this famous oil painting by Lepiani done just a few years after the battle.

Lepiani was so into details and precision that he even went as far as to exhume soldier bodies to check on their uniforms and equipment. This one of Alfonso Ugarte jumping off the cliff of the morro to avoid having our flag fall on enemy hands is just simply majestic. But of course I'm keeping focused and showing things as they were and not sinning of patriotic drive or partiality.

I just close my eyes now and imagine how the scenes will look as I film them in some months....!!

Now...off to write in my fav corner place.