Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Designing the Cochrane bunker

Now on location in the outskirts north of Lima.
Been away from here some days before the holidays and now back. All dusty like if we've been away for weeks. So dusty and windy here that even a day we don't clean and it's all covered in a thin layer of dust.

This next days beginning tomorrow will be mostly of artillery takes and close-up shots of Krupp, Voruz and Parrot cannons firing and the soldiers operating them while being shot down by the enemy.
Also designing now the bunker (in spanish called "casamata") inside the Cochrane for the scene where chilena navy soldiers operate and fire the Armstrong cannons against the peruvian Manco Capac and also the one where one shot from More's artillery at the top of the morro (scene filmed in february this year) hit the Cochrane and entered inside the bunker, injuring 27 chileans and putting the Cochrane out of the game for a long while.

It will take me days to finish building the bunker and hope to do it by this weekend. Hate to spend a lot of resources for a scene that is so short in the final film but necessary for it connects to a consequence that is important and relevant for the story to be understood (apart from being a fact historically).

So, almost midnight and so tired after cleaning, sitting here and designing the bunker.
Tomorrow, artillery shots all day round.

All these details will have to be covered.

Cochrane navy soldiers.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Flags and symbols all around

So this is "Independence week" as the 28 is approaching. As it happens all the years since I can remember, the streets are flooded with flags, cockades, flagpoles, ribbons and all things with national motives and symbols. A very patriotic time that starts usually by the start of July and builds up as the 28th approaches.

Since little as I lived near Tacna, I remember playing around with friends portraying passages from our independence or wars and that sensation of holding the flag, that very unique sensation is what I recall very vividly: the sensation of holding something of great significance. At one moment I think I went too far by playing with it that police came by and said something like: "Kid, ur not supposed to play with this". I felt embarrased but I wasn;t doing anything irrespectul deep inside. I was livign the pride of my nation very much within.

This week is mostly about meetings and arrengaments to continue filming past the 29th as all is stopped for the holidays and much of what I can progress is on hold in a way. That puts me a bit uneasy as time is what I need most.

At least I have time to recover from this cold/flu I caught. Whenever Im on location and stay there, the tight schedule and constant stress has me up most of the time, now here being home, seem like my body's mood is just to sleep and be motionless. Nothing like your own bed, they say.

Go away, flu. I need to get back to work!
Meanwhile, got myself another cockade to wear on my sleeve.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Marca Peru video: Loreto, Italia

Oooh. Time of new things coming out, like this new Marca Peru video now talking about Loreto -our beloved State in the amazon rain forest- filmed in Italy with the same motive as the prior one done in Peru, Nebraska. It's well done and also sells the motives and culture typical of our jungle: delicious plant food, tribes and ritual, dances, etc. I did enjoy though the Peru, Nebraska a bit more. This one is very good too but somehow the prior one seemed more to my liking. Matter of tastes I guess. Anyway, here it is. Our mission to promote Peru all over the world is gaining momentum!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Huancavelica - Ccarccaria film location scouting

Went location scouting to Huancavelica for my next film Ccarccaria. Never been to that place but it all seems familir when you've been (or in my case lived) in the highlands before: dry weather, high altitude (almost 5,000 mts above sea level), cold, chilly nights but cozy and warm people all over. Huancavelica, know for being the poorest State in Perú is in fact rich in culture, history and ancient customs that make it so interesting to visit. Not only the city is nice but the surrounding areas and nearby towns. Went to some abandoned mines and ghost towns and visited close-by villages that fit perfectly for the script in hand. It was specially this ghost town of Santa Barbara and its abandoned centuries-old mercury mine that caught my attention a lot. Fooled around the ghost town and imagined how decades and centuries ago it was filled with villagers and miners that as facts state, many died from mercury-poisoning.

One scene, one important scene, happens in a huge lake so we went to lake Choclococha to check on it. Simply perfect. Such beautiful scenery will be ideal for what the script calls for.

It was a good trip. Short but interesting. Can't avoid thinking on how much I would like to have enough spare time to go around my beloved Peru and travel to all these marvelous places without worries of time and schedules; things I'm so restricted nowadays.

I'm sure the time will come soon afterwards. So far, as soon as I go back to Lima I have to run directly to location to film the last scenes in this present location north of Lima.

Hope this cold-flu goes away.

Santa Barbara -ghost town.

The abandoned centuries old mercury mine.

Ccarccaria acrobatic jumps. Took like 10 until I got this.

The "mirador" above Huancavelica.

Chilly nights.

Wanted to take this km sign home. It was very heavy.

Choclococha lake.

Choclococha lake. Beautiful.

With Ccarccaria above Huancavelica down below.

The snowy mountains far away.

Lamby everywhere!

The old mine mercury mine.

Almost 5,000 high near Ticlio on the way to Huancavelica.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Marca Peru commercial

Have you all seen the recently released Marca Peru commercial? I'm sure many have a it's been stated to be listed in the top 5 most viewed on the internet worldwide. There many sites now that host it and chose to embed this youtube one from their account.

Can't help but get so excited when watching this beautifully made commercial. Read around that many here aren't so eager to call this a good choice. Reasons stated are that the actors speak in a Spanish (from Spain) accent; that all things shown aren't all of what Peru is made of; that there are also more important things to put in it that weren't, etc. I guess those people aren't getting it.

First of all, this commercial's target audience is for abroad audiences (in this case Spain) that according to the Department of Tourism statistics are a huge chunk of the people that come from Europe. Also, the commercial will be dubbed in many foreign languages to target those markets and this one is just the Spain version. So....let's just not rush into conclusions.

Besides, I know Peru is much more than what is shown here and has many interesting and amazing things to show and see but....this is just a commercial, not a documentary so, there's so much one can put into it and make it last the 3:07 minutes it plays from start to end.

People (and I mean my fellow country men) should start to value intentions more and not just watch the surface but the content and depth or message. I guess it takes more brains and a bit of deeper thinkign to appreciate something. I'm sure that we are being very autocritic with this for it's a commercial about our own country, but, being it as it is....this is just one of the many I'm sure PromPeru will showcase around in the next close years to come.

So far, it's not only beautifully filmed (Claudia Llosa directed it) but also beautifully done.

Happy to tears about this one :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Life: all the things you make me live thru.

After two weeks away from home I'm back for a few days. Had to renew inner batteries. It's been quite rough and quite tense so closing my eyes in my own room is refreshing.

But looking at the pictures and reviewing the footage reminds me of one of my mottos: Hurdles pass, work prevails. And this is just one example of it all. Im happy with the results and so thankful to God above for stretching His hand and open windows for me when doors seem to close. There's some kind of energy protecting this even at the worst of times. Shot chilean officers General Baquedano and colonel Lagos's scenes together with sergeant major De La Cruz Salvo and Lieutenant Colonel Jose San Martin were filmed. Cameos by captain Belisario Campo and major Vargas also. Peruvian engineer Teodoro Elmore and Lieutenant Pedro Ureta chase and capture scenes too with some incidents along the way that thank God ended up well because of the riskiness of the takes. An actress became ill the day before her scene so had to reschedule and change scene orders not to lose the day with the rest of the actors for Micaela Arias (Alfredo Maldonado's mother) hut scene. Eventually all came out nice....and the cute farm animals making us company all these weeks. Nature has a soothing effect on me. Animals seem so in peace. No problems and no dilemmas to work out. Always with a friendly approach to you.

And glad to have good people, very good people around me. Friends are priceless!
Glad to be back....Have to return to location in a few days. Meanwhile, also having to review Ccarcaria's script in order to check all locations needed for the film. Will be travelling to Huancavelica for the weekend. Have to split my brain in two for all these, but....work is work.

De La Cruz Salvo, Lagos, Campo and Baquedano.

At Chacalluta's tent.

Tired but progressing.

Good old Cesar always there for the film.

Micaela's hut scene: Loved the outcome of this one.

Good actors and good friends.

Faithful people. Priceless angels.

Making more uniforms.

Applying adornments for the chilean Carabineros de Yungay caps.

Reviewing the takes.

Rehearsing moves with the extras that play the Carabineros de Yungay.

Walking to filming location with the squad behind.

Carabineros de Yungay.

Engineer Teodoro Elmore's horse chase before getting caught.

Finished the last 15 caps at 1:37am. Tired but happy.

Elmore and Ureta.
So cute silly lamb reminding me of Baby all the time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Time, time, time...

I usually write all the stuff that happens and it seems perhaps to many as easy going and that all goes as planned. Maybe some happy faces here and there and smooth transitions among schedules...Have to admit it's not. Much of it isn't easy and there is a lot of stress regarding support from entities that help this to happen.

These last weeks have been a battle in itself of conflicting schedules with the helping entity that supplies us with horses and the gathering of many extras for massive scenes. Independence day is coming and all institutions are wholly devoted into marching rehearsals for weeks and weeks that clash with the carefully planned schedule. Making actors and hundreds of extras coincide in time and space is not only time-consuming but frustrating when the entity changes plans without telling you or consulting you at the last second. "Orders are orders" - they say, and can't fight against that as it's understandable...but forces me to stay in one location for weeks and weeks waiting for the right day or time to come, prolonging and delaying my schedule for weeks, upsetting me in the end and building up a lot of tension and stress, for time is running and each day isn't cheap for I have to feed and move many people around. Need to finish this in a couple of months. Usually don't mention this for many say that even writing it down is like declaring a statement to happen or bringing uneasiness into your life...but well, life is what it is and all isn't roses, smiles or sunny skies. I even see myself in the mirror and can see the stress taking its toll on me. Aging a bit faster than normal I guess. Funny how long exposures to deep stress ages you quick. No wonder we see here a president enter office looking younger and by the time he is out he looks worn out and with grey hair. Running around trying to make the people that decide is very emotionally consuming. Makes you feel alone in all these. I know I have friends here that help me a lot. Can't deny their lovely support and may God have them in their list of favorites but....can't help feel alone.

Wish I had a magic wand to arrange it all to fit and finish this quickly. Would have been done like seven months ago but....things are like they are. When all this is done, it will be a bliss and even though I tell everybody that it will be like the last day at school, I'll personally be happy to finish this ordeal called "institutionalized stalling". Being at the mercy of people who don't see you as a priority is simply so frustrating.

But this dream...this crazy dream is slowly coming to the light....and it's worth every wrinkle and tear.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

More chilean officer scenes

Writing here from location. Internet signal comes and goes very bad and its so weak its exasperating. So I just post some pics to show progress. Want to get out of this location soon to move on to the next 6 left. Love the valley scenario here :)

Making the tent.

Rehearsing lines with actors.

Our cute little companion we found here on location.

One more scene completed.

Building Maldonado's mother hut.

Putting the side walls for the hut.

...and the ceiling.

Explaining the required intention to actors.

Map with enemy tags.