Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alto del Alianza final scenes

Making this post is still hard for me for looking at this images not only makes me proud of the achievement of such beautiful images created by us all: great actors, awesome tech crew, wonderful extras and the Army and my best visual effort put in it, but also the memories of my gone fellow friend. But as my colleagues and friends say, the show must go, for years of paramount effort and tireless months and months of non-stop hurdles and victories have been placed on this film. His effort and all of ours. A personal dream that I can say I share with many people that has worked with me to make it true and real.

The last battle scenes to be shot for the film.
Now with all the post-production and digital effects put in it looks something like this:

Retpuching Caceres' make -up.

Water distribution to all extras.

The burning sun.

Chilean infantry.

"Everybody down!"-shouted the chilean officer.

The heat was strong.

Explaining actor moves.

The camera rig.

Applying fake two-day beard to all extras.

Pepe playing chilean colonel Pedro Lagos.

Pedro as a peruvian infantry officer.

Andres A. Caceres warming up.

Caceres before a saber swing.

Josue, long-time extra as a chilean soldier.

The hand-held shots.

Good ol' extras and friends Cesar and Gustavo.

Mariano Santos and the Guardias de Arequipa.

Explaining moves to the chilean Carabineros de Yungay.

Chasing the Carabineros de Yungay. Front: Bolivian Colorados.

Army officers in charge of their soldiers as I explain the scenes.

The extras.

More explanation. Chilean Carabineros de Yungay and Cazadores del Desierto.

The Tacna-Arica train station sunset just after we were done.

Showing scenes to the extras.

The train scenes.

Chilean soldiers before leaving to Arica.

Break time with Col. Pedro Lagos.

Screen capture: Carabineros de Yungay.

Screen capture: Mariano Santos.

Screen capture: Chilean officers.

Screen capture: Infantry charge.

Screen capture: the battle at its best.

Screen capture: Caceres saber swing move.

Screen capture: chilean troops charge.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Silent days

Again, as many times, I've been away from the net and from blogging due to filming schedules. This time Tacna has welcomed us and we all arrived there happy weeks ago. Ready to film and ready to make history by doing it in one of the most heroic cities in Peru and also in the real scenarios where the battle took place.

It has been really hard times for me and my crew. It still is for me emotionally and in other areas as well. It is hard for the family of our beloved Carlitos to handle this and whom I'm giving my company and support in these moments of grief. Accidents happen even to the best of professionals and as of me, I did my very best to be next to you, my beloved friend. These are the events that you wish you could foresee into the immediate future and tell something will happen in order to save all who are around you. Events that happen in a split second and you wish you could go back in time and make it all correct. Just a minute before...just one minute. What is a minute? Nothing....Going back one minute in time makes no change to anyone, but can make the difference in events like this. Nightmares that you wish you could wake up from but when opening your eyes again you see its reality. How fragile can life be? How can it be possible to be here one minute and not the next? I know accidents happen as everyone tells us and that we should just accept it, but....how can it happen in such a daily task? Like they say: even the best of hunters lose their prey from time to time. But not Carlitos...he was very detailed in his job.

I thank all who have called me or written me all these days worried about the news that as of what I know have been all over the media. I haven't been online for weeks and with all these even worse for I have to take care of the ordeals this fatal event brought as a consequence. It is very hard for me and specially his family and for those who have been and still are working in this film and who knew him personally: a very professional person and very much into his work and with this dream. Somebody truly noble in whom I could rely and confide this meticulous task and area called Special Effects.
You went ahead before us to the land of Glory, Carlitos. Now...after the pain caused by such a loss and after much thinking, I am left with the satisfaction and honor of sharing these long two years of mutual work and friendship with you and more than proud of relying on your craftsmanship and talent for it. I was next to you until the very last moment looking after you. All of what's possible was done, I did all I could, but the Lord decided to take you with Him to continue your life with more dignity. So long my army friend, my very good friend. Now I have one more reason to make this film the best it can be and without a doubt it will be in memoriam to you.
I'll miss you so much Carlitos.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rifle replica making and production coordinations

These days are as frantic as they can be.
As the date to go back to Tacna again gets closer, many things start to not work out well. From overprized costs to carry my wardrobe to weigh problems with the sacks and bags we are gonna carry into the truck. And to top it all off, lodge and local transport has kinda failed and need to find other options fast before we go in a few!

I thank the Lord I managed to get an sponsor to carry the crew to Tacna and back but they wouldn't take our equipment. "Too risky" -they stated, for they thought things were delicate and could get broken during the land trip. I explained that it's just wardrobe. Our film equipemnt like cameras and monitors will go with us as hand baggage. Still they only allow us 20 of those sacks....and we got like 50!

This weekend I drove around downtown for hours looking for an alternative transportation to take our stuff without weigh or size issues....and I think I found one after many days of hassling and negotiating today. I just hope it is safe and secure. It is really a lot of wardrobe (500 + uniforms plus accesories) and equipment.

These days have been between doing inventory to checking and helping with the making of 86 rifel replicas that resemble the Grass model the Chileans used during the battle of Alto del Alianza. So far it does look good. Pedro Nuva, being a hobbyist armorer himself, helped us all by putting the cannon, trigger and loading mechanism onto 86 rifle wood bodies I got myself for this.

I am happy with the results. They will look good on film during battle scenes and they are resistand to beating and hard hits. I hope they dont break during the scenes. Extras get wild after many takes between bullets and close fights. The adrenaline it is.

Now, all is almost ready to go back to to our heroic southern city.

Tacna, here we come!

UPDATE: Seems like I finally found another lodging place for us all to stay. It's almost 3am and just got back a positive reply. Still working and sleepy as hell....but we got a place to stay finally! A door closes and a window opens :)

Packing till late hours of the night.

The rifles.

So much to take to Tacna.

Pedro showing the prop rifles.

The rifle cannons paint-drying before getting attached to my wood rifle bodies.

Working hard: the noble ones.

Pedro and his craftsmanship. A good friend.

Pedro and his workshop.

Tightening the cannon to the rifle wood body.

Looking credible.

The parts in mid assembly.

First tests.


The rifle wood bodies I got myself.

First work-in-progress without painting yet. Looking good.

The real ones to mimick.