The Third Trimester of Prosthetic Padding

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Today we wrapped on part one of the SAL Film Festival promo. But, wait, there will be four interconnected pieces in all. And so after three days of shooting, it's now up to the Sams (Lerma & Bayless) to edit all this rich goodness down to a taut 90 seconds.

We met down on Camden St., not far from the San Antonio Museum of Art. Sam wanted a highway overpass in the shot, and we had a perfect view of I-35 passing above.

One shot called for the camera to be mounted on JJ's hood, pointed at him while he's driving. Andy loaned us his car camera mount. This is a recent purchase he has yet to use himself. It looks pretty sketchy, and I knew Russ was dubious trusting his baby to the device; however, once he slapped the contraption onto JJ's car, he was impressed on the no-nonsense of those suction-cups. We strapped it on and hoped for the best.

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Before we got our first shot off, Araceli Lopez showed up. She wouldn't be needed until the next location, but she came to keep us company. She'd driven up the previous day from San Benito, way down in the lower Rio Grande Valley. The script called for a pregnant woman, so she arrived with some prosthetic padding putting her not just camera ready but apparently ready to drop a young'un then and there.

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We also received a visit from JJ's parents. The whole family had been downtown earlier that morning for the Komen Race for the Cure. I tried to take a photo of JJ's mom taking a picture of him but she's kind of lost in the distance.

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Here we have actor John Mayoral chatting with Dar before we called him over for his bit.

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The craft service buffet might look a bit suspect — you know, with those three or four healthy grapes thrown in as an afterthought — but, trust me, there was a whole pile of grapes earlier that morning.

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The next location was the unemployment office. We did a quick run and gun at a mall over on Austin Highway. We considered roping some of the locals citizens wandering about in as extras, but after a lanky intoxicated man in flip-flops with his, how shall I say, “orientation” meter, set to Glamourous Miss Nelly, walked past us with a saucy quip directed to Araceli's belly –“Goodness, girl, you're about to pop! It's going to be a boy, 'cause you know I'm gifted in these matters” — well, after that we realized that although the neighborhood was ripe with just the sorts of characters one would likely encounter in line at the unemployment office, it also became clear that these sorts of people might not be depended upon not to just wander off whenever, playing havoc with continuity. This is one of the reasons that the line at the unemployment office was so short — Dar, JJ, Araceli.

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We burned through the scene. Sam had to get to work by one. I'm afraid he might have had to call in and make sure that the news production truck didn't roll out into the naked city without its shooter.

This little piece, as short and ultimately as ephemeral as it is, has some very gifted actors throughout. I was very impressed with Araceli. I'm always a bit disinclined to work with actors who have so far to travel. I can't afford to pay them. And it can seem a little exploitative. But I'll certainly keep Araceli in mind for future projects. She's beautiful, talented, smart, resourceful, and had no trouble keeping up with JJ's brilliant rapid-fire ad-libbing.

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There were a couple of films I wanted to see at Cine Mujer, but unfortunately I didn't make it out to the Esperanza Center until after eight. I watched a sweet little narrative feature from Brazil called Antonio. It's about four young women in the slums of Sao Paulo trying to make it as a hip-hop group. It came out in 2006. Directed by Tata Amaral. It's a beautiful piece. Sao Paulo, even in it's impoverished sectors up on the hills, is just stunning. What a backdrop!

I do believe I saw Janet Vasquez of the San Antonio Film Commission in the audience, but before I could go up and talk to her, I lost her in the crowd.

I'll definitely be there tomorrow for some more films. It begins at 3 in the afternoon. There is a documentary at 4:30 I'm looking forward to — Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad. It covers some of the action that happened in the big teachers' strike in Oaxaca.

See you there.

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