Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Filmscore decisions

Saturday night.
People must be really enjoying this long weekend here as Monday is holiday too.

Much of my friends have traveled out of town to have fun. I wish I could too but tension builds up as filming time approaches. two weeks more and the camera starts rolling!

I met up tonight with Fernando De Lucchi, good friend and awesome music composer, to discuss more things about the film score.

It's been a year since we started talks for him to write the filmscore and now things are more clear. We listened to a few themes online so we get to be on the same page with this.

What came as a possibility months ago is now a must: the mix of digital orchestra samples and real ensemble musicians. Recording sessions will begin by December/January. I want the most real sounding orchestra that even purists can tell and enjoy and Fernando thinks alike so, it's good to know we are gonna do it.

It's such a crazy feeling to know that in just a few months as I finish editing this, all what we are talking now will be finally reality.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Battle field set up starts

Went today to pinpoint the exact places to "dress-up" as the Peruvian forts and trenches for the Arica battle.

I'll be making two trenches 40 meters long (131 feet) and 1.75 mts deep (5.7 feet) to be the Ciudadela and Este forts.

Construction and works begins now employing around 50 people to dig the trenches and also cover some irregularities in the land. I'm bringing around 2,000 bangs to fill them with the sand taken out from the trenches and the big tents to be the improvised Chilean headquarters at Condorillo hill.

Days later, I'll be bringing the 20 Krupp canons to be used for my film.

Later today I took to the studio more bullet carriers and soldier accesories to alter, paint and age them.

Deadline is approaching so...I better run fast with this!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bayonet: my new idea works!

If someone is following closely these rants of mine about this war film for the last 14 months or so, remembers how "real" I want it to look, specially the battle scenes.

The face-to-face fights between soldiers need to be as crude as the real thing as possible (without falling in the "gore" category of course) and one of the things I wanted was the stabbing and the bayonet charge actions to be seen onscreen.

For safety reasons (and for obvious reasons, of course) no bayonet could be stabbed into any actor's body without causing harm. So, for those scenes to look real I thought of work-arounds for it and came with this solution: retractable bayonet mechanisms!!

A week ago or so, I commissioned a couple hammer-smiths to work with me on this stuff. Borrowed a real bayonet from the Mausers I'm using for the film and took measurements.

Today I went to check for the first prototype test of it. So far, the knife needs to be longer and the retractable mechanism needs to be faster. A stronger spring is needed but so far it does seem to work.
After all is tested, a few spray paint here and there and its ready for battle!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last try-ons with Ochoa as Belaunde

Went again to Juan Manuel Ochoa's house so he could try on his uniform's touch ups.
It was a bit baggy in the neck area the last time. Now it's all fit.

As stated in a prior entry months ago, he will be playing Peruvian colonel Agustin Belaúnde.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Second additional extras meeting

Second meeting with the additional extras for the film that will play as random soldiers.
Can't feel more pleased to know the excitement this thing draws in people, specially young ones who still hold true to the cause.

I brought with me a few Peruvian uniforms to have them try it on. Sadly, just a couple pics turned out blurry but only these ones I post here.

Third meeting coming soon in a week or so to test the full uniforms and practice with weapons.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rifles check

Went today to check the cleaning and oiling of the 500 rifles I'm using for the film.
As explained before in a prior entry last year, the rifles used during the war were Remington, Peabody, Chassepot and Comblain.

The ones found here handy and ready to be used (and firing) are just Mausers which were not used back then up until the very end of the 19th century / beginning of the 20th. Those are found here in the thousands and the only ones that can be used as weapons.

Having more than 600 actors and extras on set, the number of rifles needed are huge so....it figures these are the ones I can use. For close up shots where the script calls for weapon names and use, the real models are used but here just 4 or 5 are found working in museums. The strings I had to pull to have them given to me to use it in the film.

The Mauser sections were taken apart to clean them and leave the operational for filming.
Now, the paper work need to transport them with full security measures as they asked me is almost ready.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

First additional extras meeting.

First casting meeting for additional soldier extras. They will merge with the actual hundreds of soldiers in the background. They are already letting beard and mustache grow as I asked them to.

Tried some of the Peruvian uniforms and hats on them and some fit and some don't so I'll need to have some more done...larger ones. I just worry about time constrains as deadline is approaching.
These guys are amazing. Their interest in the topic and the film is overwhelming and definitely worth taking note of.

Many couldn't make it as as soon as I got home I read like 10 emails from people that wanted to attend but they were late.

Next meeting: Sunday 24.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Filming time approaching

Filming time is getting closer. The excitement is building up more.
Art department is underway soon in some days to "dress up" the battlefield with sandbags and barracks.

In a couple of days I'm getting 1500 more sandbags.
All needs to be ready in some weeks

The casting call for the extras that will play Peruvian and Chilean soldiers is also going good. So far, dozens of emails in my inbox show the excitement this film arouses in people. They are gonna be appearing next to the hundreds of real soldiers I've got for this.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Club De la Union

While at the Club De La Union to attend an event, noticed the beautiful infrastructure still kept form those good old times of almost a century ago.

There were three busts of Grau, Bolognesi and Ugarte and to my surprise while reading a commemorative plaque is that they were not only members as I knew already, but founding fathers!

I set up an appointment to talk with the club's director. Some halls and staircases are simply beautiful and can pass as how it was back in those days (even though the club was originally in another building across the main plaza where our heroes actually founded it.