Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vicente and Juan Diego's final scenes

Wrapping up the last parts of the war survivor scenes with Reynaldo, Pold and Flor de Maria. I am greatful to Raul Zambrano and family for lending his beautiful turn-of-the-century house for the shots. This is the third time with Pold, fourth time with Reynaldo and first with Flor de Maria. Pleasure working with them. Always nailing it.

This time we finally used that old trunk I bought at the Surquillo antique/flea market back in 2011. While looking for old stuff for these scenes I stumbled across the trunk and saw it as a perfect prop for Vicente's memories placement. Beautiful one. Pricey but worth every cent. At the cachina I got myself after much searching some very old newspapers dating from the very early years of the XX century up until 1929, specially the ones that talked about the Plebiscito, the Tacna and Arica situation and the "chilenización" that took place in those decades after the war.

Beautiful old trunk. Perfect for Vicente's memories.
Newspapers from the Tacna captivity decades. This dates to 1911.
A thorough search worth every penny.
After two and half weeks staying there and being close to all those amazing places that Barranco offers is such a gorgeous experience, specially knowing it was a war zone back in early 1881. Much of the houses similar to this one were burnt down in the big fire after the Lima siege. Raul lives there almost since he was born in the late 60's but his family lived there even longer and he was telling us all those stories his grandfather said about the house and the backyard specially. The backyard consists of a wooden pergola surrounded by dry old soil covered with fallen leaves that drop from creepy looking fig trees. We were all waiting at night when there was time for some relax and beers for some gnomes to appear as the tales go. Funny stuff. His grandfather also mentioned something about a big hole in the back where many old rifles and tunnels connecting to the side houses were found during some gardening many decades ago. The rifles were from the war and were put there with silverware and precious stuff the owners hid as the chilean soldiers ransacked it all.
Being an old neighborhood, Barranco is not only a sight to see but also a plethora of stories and old tales from the war.

Coming home now. Feeling a bit stuffy and have runny nose. Seems like a big cold is about to come.

Flor de Maria's makeup session.

Script walk-thru.

Juan Diego and his mother.

Scene check up.

Panoramic view.

Vicente's wife. An old "rabona".
Final day at 4:09am. A full day and a half film session.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reynaldo and Pold: Two generations and their views of the past.

Starting the second week of filming on-location at one of the most beautiful districts in Lima: Barranco. Started with short shots of Chilean soldiers dismantling and destroying the electric batteries that power up the mines in Arica.

At last, working on one of the few remaining scenes of the film with Reynaldo Arenas and Pold Gastello as Vicente and Juan Diego respectively. Funny fact that I asked them to be in the film around a year ago and finally the time has come. Pold plays Juan Diego, Vicente's only son and Reynaldo plays Vicente, an ill bed-ridden, 75 year old war veteran beaten by life.

Doing the part of a war survivor and his son, Reynaldo and Pold are such a joy to work with. This is our third film together and so much like the fact that I get to work without the pressure of time and space as we are filming in a turn-of-the-century house in Barranco, just a block away from its plaza and close to all the old and warm places Barranco is so much loved for. We all (but actors) stay to sleep here as we start very early. Love old houses. Some here think there's some stuff going on at nightime but haven't heard or seen anything.

Their parts are truly vital, as their scenes delicately knit and connect all the dots for all the duration of this feature.

Making a 1929 room.

Making Reynaldo look 75.

Script go-thru.


Vicente's dormitory.

China ball as a fill light.

Making gray hair.

Screen capture: Reynaldo as Vicente. 1929.

Screen capture.

Screen capture: Pol as Juan Diego, Vicente's son.

Screen capture.

Screen capture: Letters from the past.

Screen capture: Teachings.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More wardrobe in the making

Frenzy stuff all around preparing things for last week shots together with choosing the right fabrics for the new Timotea Vernal, Alfonso Ugarte and Rosa Vernal ballroom dance scene. So far, so good.
Makes me remember those months back in 2010 when buying fabrics for all the uniforms. The prior maker for the actresses wardrobe did a great job but wasn't fast enough and the stalling simply got on my nerves so we had to find another one that could do the job.

Lima's downtown fabric stores are a great spot for finding good deals on amazing fabrics. Just the colors inspire to make dresses better than what you had pictured initially. I know some people would ask themselves why I'm doing this all (shopping for fabrics, designing them, etc.) when there are other professionals that could do it. The answer is simple: work-style and budget. Maybe a few know that I'm making this feature fully self-funded and we are all able to do it by cutting some corners and applying all the learned experience of years in the field, and one of those things is making things yourself. A pro actor in a thater group (or troupe) does and applies his own makeup, dresses himself and takes care of the art department himself. Perhaps some would think its just pure ego but its not. It simply oriental teachings. I am not a costume designer and my time with other stuff in the film really fills up my day, but I'm putting in practice all those studies at theater school back in the 90's. One thing that the ETUC taught us is that an actor should do it all in the field and we were taught that way. No wonder our courses were on make-up, prosthetics, wardrobe, singing, lighting (for theater but I use the film techniques on this), even ballet dance (just basic. A course I disliked though :P ) and above all: mysticism in everything. What I mean is the respect one should have for all aspects of one's job and the discipline to endure long work hours. Our teachers used oriental discipline on us normally found on the Kabuki or No japanese theater and the essence is what remained in many of us. I thank all those theater years. Without it I'd just be knowing film tech stuff and not the artistic stuff too. :)

Anyway, doing tests for Juan Diego character's wardrobe also. Year set to be 1929 when Tacna returned to motherland Peru, 49 years after the battle of Arica.

Still half-way done, the progress seems to be going well.

Timotea's dress half-way done.

The back side. That border is a bit darker than expected. Need to check that.

Lucrecia's dress in the making.

Timotea's dress. Showing details to the maker.

Choosing the right fabrics.

One gets inspiration from all things.

Juan Diego wardrobe. 1929.

The texture in this one is amazing.

Have in hand a picture from the era.

The semi-shine of these fabrics will look good on Rosa Vernal.
The textured fabric for Rosa Vernal's dress left and right sides.
Difficult decisions. Beautiful fabrics.
How finishing touches will look like this.

Choosing the right fabric colors for Rosa Vernal's dress.