Fiesta … But What Does It Mean?

I video-taped a dance performance several months back. I shot three performances of the same work from different angles. The client finally requested a chance to look at what I had. When we were working out the date to review the footage, I suggested today, Thursday. It would give me three days to clean my place up once I returned from the NALIP conference. You see, this apartment is in pretty bad shape. She agreed. But because I’m a notorious procrastinator, I put the house work off until last night and this morning. My office, the little breakfast nook off the kitchen, was a holy horror. My plan? Move my computer into the living room. Problem solved. Just clean up one room. It worked out fine. We reviewed the material and made a few decisions. And so now, Thursday night, I’m trying to figure out if I want to keep my computer here. I’ve set things up on my little TV table (the television has been moved to a closet, as I never use it). The table has shelves — my stereo is down there — so I can’t sit close. But it has possibilities. Maybe I’ll leave it here … besides, if I moved things back into the other room, I’d feel obligated to actually clean the place.

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There’s a filmmaker in Fort Worth whose blog I read. Recently he wrote about a friend who was working on a feature film shot in HD on a Canon camera. A camera, not a camcorder. A DSLR (that’s Digital Single Lens Reflex). The Canon 5d Mark II can shoot 12 minutes of HD video. And it’s already set up to take prime lenses. No need to invest in a bulky mini 35mm system. It reportedly works very well in low light conditions. About 2500 bucks — body only, no lens. The down-side? It shoots at a “frame” rate of 30 — 24 isn’t an option. Also, it can only shoot 12 minutes of high def video. But what does this mean? Can it be upgraded with a larger memory card? Or is this some sort of internal storage which needs to be dumped to a laptop once filled before production begins again? Not a deal breaker, that. It’s simply a work-flow concern. But I’d like to know more.

The footage I’ve seen is lovely.

Local filmmaker Jesus Sifuentes, mentioned something to me about either this camera or his interest in Nikon 35mm lenses. I can’t remember. From his blogs and his Tweets I gather he’s selling off his Panasonic HVX and is actively ordering lenses. Sounds like he’s moving to the Canon 5d Mark II. I need to call him up and get his take on shooting movies with a DSLR. I believe I also heard Dagoberto mention something about this camera quite some months back. This sounds reasonable. Dago always has his ear to the ground and knows the major trends within the film and video world before they hit the mainstream.

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I’ve lived a Fiesta-proof life these last four days I’ve been back in town. Fiesta is that weird two week-long city-wide generic booze-up. According to Wikipedia Fiesta has “origins dating to the late 1800s. The festival begun as a single event to honor the memory of the heroes of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto.” Heroes? Well, to each his or her own. But the thing I find hard to reconcile is the almost universal appeal of Fiesta to the local population. You can meet the most cynical San Antonio son of a bitch, and sure as shit he’ll get keyed up when you mention the impending Fiesta. “Oh, man, the Oyster Bake is gonna be killer this year. Have you got your tickets to NIOSA, ’cause mi abuela is selling them for her church.” (I have no fucking clue as to what Oyster Bake or NIOSA actually are — sure, they’re parties, but what’s their significance?) There’s a “Battle of the Flowers,” river parades, masked balls, and something called Cornyation, which may or may not be a gay event (or, perhaps, a straight-friendly faux drag booze-up your grandmother wants to go to). Because I don’t like crowds, I have sampled very few of the Fiesta events. I tried to check out the Flambeaux Parade last year. Rode my bike downtown to watch. But it was an insane crush of humanity. I fled. Last year I did take part in Incognito, a masquerade ball. It’s sponsored by URBAN-15, and I was there as a volunteer. But the two events I always partake of are the King William Parade and the King William Fair. The parade comes down my street. And the fair happens about five blocks away.

As I’ve said before, the King William Parade is the closest thing this city has to a gay pride parade. It’s heavily represented by the local arts organizations — no surprise that this group skews queer. It’s our freak parade. And I love it. It’s filled with my people, from my neighborhood and my community.

Sunday I have to head back to Dallas to lower myself back down into the salt mines of the auction house where I slave away as part of the Rare Book Industrial Complex. I do believe Eisenhower warned us, yeah? What can I say? It keeps the collection agencies off my back. And the work’s rather fun. But the biggest problem is that I’ll be out of town during the early voting period.

My goal is to get back to San Antonio for election day. It’s imperative that I cast my vote for mayor. Do I vote for Napoleon Madrid, or against him? Do I love him, or do I hate him? Is he a brilliant performance artist? Or a delusional simpleton? His claim of an IQ of 180 and his intention to bring “perpetual energies” to San Antonio has me on the fence.

I can see I have a lot of thinking to do. And, I need to make sure I’m back in town by the 9th. Actually, it’s most important for me to vote for the mayor ot San Antonio no matter who that candidate might be. As long as he or she isn’t Trish DeBerry. We need to stop thinking that voting for candidates with business back-grounds is a good idea. Government isn’t a business. It really isn’t. Reference the last eight years.

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