Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Army is in...finally.

The Army is in...finally.
After so much hurdles, persistence is rewarded.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And more wardrobe progress

Now, today was a follow up on the soldier's uniforms progress.

This time more detail was added to them like straps, holsters, belts, bayonet holders and also the bullet carriers.
Didn't have the backpacks handy so next session will be with it.

The hats aren't made yet though but....so far, so good!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Soldiers uniforms prototype progress

Today, after having that wonderful news reach my ears, eyes and heart (receiving another letter of approval), headed down to my workshop to check on the soldiers uniform prototype making.

Much to my surprise they made it close to how it was given to them in design.
The results are as presented here.

The uniforms are replicas of what was found on-site at the Arica battle conforming to most of the Peruvian regiments and battalion's (Cazadores de Pierola, Granaderos de Tacna, etc.) and the Chilean's 3ro and 4to de Linea.

The Navy is in!

Finally...the Navy said yes!
I got the approval from the commander in chief himself formally!
Now the Police and Navy are on board.

Just to fix some stuff and it's all good.

Time is getting close for filming time!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sarmiento as Lagos

Having most of the actors that will play the Peruvian heroes covered, I'm focusing on the Chileans now.
Again, I'm sticking to physical similarities but also on actors that can portray the energy and character that I've researched each hero had.

So, for the temperamental and strong-headed colonel Pedro Lagos I could not make a better choice than to call Pepe Sarmiento.

I met him 6 years ago while doing a theater play together (doing "The Little Prince" at the Segura Theater where he played the Businessman character). He is a very good actor. Having that deep commanding voice and that presence, I found him suitable to play Lagos. I took a picture of us with the Chilean officer in the computer screen and as you can see, he does look similar.

He was more than happy to be in the film. In fact, he happens to have Chilean family (his mother was Chilean)
We shuffled actor names that could play General Baquedano and a couple of names came to mind....specially one.

And he happens to be back in Lima after being in Argentina for years.
I think the stars are aligning for me!!

Improvised "measures"

An improvised, quick, rushed taking of measurements for the wardrobe.
I called my wardrobe friend and she happened to be close to where I was so she took measurements of Eduardo and Havier who was around.
He was flying out of Lima to promote a film he is in so I had to rush with him before he left.

People were watching us on the street but...who cares.

A good friend to play Saenz Peña

5pm and met with an actor friend of mine. Was thinking of calling him months back but wanted things to be more advanced.

Eduardo Alonso met with me for coffee (although just had orange juice, not into coffee to be honest) and it was nice to see him after 7 years. Last time we crossed paths was while filming another movie back in 2003.

I want him to play Roque Saenz Peña and he has not only his resemblance but also the age range the hero was during the actual battle.
Eduardo may look young for many here in the pic but I'm keeping it real to the actual age each hero was in 1880.

Found soldier equipment I can use!

Today I found interesting stuff I could use for the soldiers bullet carriers and straps for the backpacks.
They are obsolete army equipment that could do the trick.

I have to check it with a finished uniform, though.
I really hope this does it or I'll have to make at least 1200 of these from scratch.

At least the boots I found will work covering the strings.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Officer's uniforms fabrics: Gamarra

It was a hot day today and being at the biggest textile emporium in Peru (Gamarra) was simply a task not easily enjoyable: so many people, being on the lookout for thieves and pickpockets, etc; but it was finally time to go and buy more fabrics to make the officer's uniforms. Making 40 of them at full detail has showed to be not only exciting but pricey. It was a good thing though that Maria Medina knew all the places to go to where the best prices were offered. Being an expert herself makes her know all in this field.

Didn't know the buttons (those metal ones with the Peruvian and Chilean insignia) are not available for the public but on authorized dealers only. It was a surprise. Chose then to pick ones that have similar insignias in it but they are expensive as hell. I'm going another route as I have other options.

Then went to meet the wardrobe makers at Rimac district to show them how I want the soldiers uniforms to be with details. The cost was around what I expected.
It certainly was a long day.

Going back to Rimac tomorrow to finish uniform-making details.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

40 horses, 40 riders and 200 men more!

I finally met again with General Pitot at his base in Rimac and shared with him my needs for the film.
He told me last year after listening of this project that he would be willing to help with his fort resources as much as he could and believed in these thing.

He confirmed it once again and will be going tomorrow Friday again to meet other officers to talk about what I need.

Agreed yesterday to meet with Police Colonel Gamarra after my visit to the fort so we could go together to the "Potao", the Police Force's horse regiment. Like we agreed with the Police Director, they will help with 40 horses and 40 riders.

They even have three white ones to choose from for the famous Alfonso Ugarte jump off the cliff!
I asked the Commander of the place if I could bring my actors who play horse-riding officers to practice some riding and he agreed happily.
Things are turning good this week.
I'm just worried about the rest of teh soldiers uniform-making....I can't find the correct metal buttons so far!

Tomorrow Friday going to the biggest textile emporium to find more stuff: Gamarra!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meeting with vice-admiral Pizarro

Today I had a scheduled meeting at the Comando Conjunto de la FF.AA. (Peruvian Joint Army Forces) to sit down and talk with a very much recommended person who happens to be in love of history just like me...and specially about the Pacific War: Vice-Admiral Reynaldo Pizarro.

As expected, he understood the hurdles to push this project thru amidst all bureaucratic stages of dealing with government institutions. So he offered strong help on this and even valued the effort to make a film about a topic like this.

Later today he will have a meeting with the Secretary of Defense and will talk with the Army Commander in Chief. He said not to worry that if the army doesn't take participation, the navy will do it alone.
At least I have the Navy and the Police willing to support my battle scenes filming.
And that is really something!
Let's see what happens.

UPDATE: He talked with the Army Commander in Chief. He says he is willing to help and wants a full report from the Army History Commission. Mmm...I was told he didn't want to help before (according to those two officers that were wrongly handling my project inside).
I can't help but be leery. Let's see what happens.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Strange happenings

Negotiations going pretty well this week.
On Friday I got a call from the Navy telling me advances on their decision and all seems positive so far.

But got a suggestion by them that has developed today into a very unexpected string of meetings with the former institution.

So far, this is pretty interesting but....delicate I must say. And odd.
Tomorrow Tuesday will be full of meetings to...and more interesting I might add.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Police support confirmed!

Today had a meeting at the Department of Interior with the General Director of the Peruvian Police and after explaining my project he bluntly offered his full support for what I asked for my film.

I'm so happy about it.
Things are getting closer now. More tangible.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ochoa is onboard

Our beloved and recognizable Peruvian actor Juan Manuel Ochoa is on board also.

We met for a coffee (which actually turned into a Pisco Sour by his suggestion) and talked about life, his projects and late life and all and then moved on to the film project explanation.

I want him to play the antagonist which falls on the character Agustin Belaunde, known for being a traitor and deserter prior to the Battle of Arica (Batalla de Arica). Told him how his character was and what was expected of him and he took it as a challenge.

He is quite a character himself, very hyper and blunt, lots of energy and stamina.
He is gonna be quite a thing.

Things are moving along pretty well.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Another perfect location. 1800's house!

Found an old house downtown built around the 1840's and I got permission to shoot some scenes of my film in it.
Lot's of history in that house.
I couldn't help but shoot around with my picture camera. Thank God I took it with me for I wasn't expecting to find this!