Wednesday, May 5, 2010

08 - The End

The end of this semester came quickly. It was a bitter sweet one filled with revelations, disappointments and encouragements. I a lot was learned from this unique step into creativity. I learned more about artists and more about how real they are. It's strange standing in front of someone that you are, not only interviewing yourself, but also studying about in the classroom.

I will be continuing this path of commentary-free documentary next semester. The topic of how much of it will be of artists is in the air though. I'm not sure weather or not I will try some other people or stories that I am personally interested in but building a better portfolio while, at the same time, getting my work into an educational institution is quite the achievement.

For the time being however, I need to work on more practical skills like making a respectable resumé.

Till Next Time...

Nurture Boy

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

07 - VRC Interview 02 - Richard Armendariz

With a more experienced hand and slightly stronger will, I was able to complete this interview piece of Professor Richard Armendariz. Unlike the Malaquias piece, this one was not rushed (at least not in editing) but that isn't to say it was easier.

Working with the Malaquias footage was slightly easier. Easier because the goal was much more set in stone. It was an interview where we gave a background of the artist, some advice to students, and then a promotion of his gallery opening. It was a simple plan that I had lots of guidance with.

However, the Ricky piece was a more hands off approach. I didn't really have a guideline other than "advice for students " and "3-5 minutes" this lead to a lot of self motivation and difficult decision making. It meant I had to decide what advice would resound the most with those who saw and and how to clearly present that. In turn, what that meant was, I had to leave a tremendous amount of footage on the cutting room floor. I had so many things I wanted to put in but I simply could not fit it in either for length, for clarity or for editing reasons. It was too much footage to fit into a 3 minute piece, yet too little to fit into a 5 minute piece. So I had to leave all sort of goodies such as information on his famous green mug, his art collection, his growing up stories... even the detail in his carvings.

On the plus side I and the VRC will have the additional footage in case I found myself permitted to revisit the project. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this heartwarming lesson on finding your own art style to marvel the world.

In the end this

Sunday, May 2, 2010

06 - Studio and Watching the Sunset

Today I woke up with the intention of recording additional footage of Professor Richard Armendariz at his studio/home and that is exactly what I did.

I arrived at his house at 11:06am. The lawn was splendid with lush green and bountiful trees. I knocked on the door and Ms. Armendariz answered the door. Soon I was lead to the garage... Ricky's studio where I began gathering footage to enhance the traditional interview footage. It was a very successful endevor and I got a more robust feel for his influence and tastes. Also getting to see his work up front, I was amazed at how the images online did it little justice. His work is truly breathtaking. Breathtaking because of the mesmerizing skylines he painted and because of the carving process and how the items carved in seem to belong to the painting.

I look forward to incorporating this into the final interview.


I set up my Camera to watch the sun set at 7:45. It was a slow and beautiful progression. I am ashamed to say this but: was the first sunset I have ever seen.

I guess I never really marveled at the heavenly bodies. I never understood the desire to lay underneath the stars or sunrises. I did however enjoy the beauty of clouds. That's probably more to do with the fact that lots of digital illustrations call for a clear blue sky more so than the others.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

05 - Luminaria, Alternative Ink and Professor Armendariz

I don't remember talking about Luminaria. Its a long time after but I feel I must mention little about it. I arrived with my girlfriend after walking through the torrent of people just coming and going in a downtown San Antonio that is filled with colorful lights; fitting enough for the occasion I guess. The event was hosted in a nice huge area. It was less hipster open air, and more modern. I personally like that direction although I assume many would disagree.

The works of art amazed me and frankly made me feel constantly inadequate. Techniques and ideas that, while I know how to copy them, I would most likely not have ever made. Not to mention how nice the works of my fellow classmates looked in a gallery setting. Too bad about the missing projectors.


I am not a fan of field trips. They consist of me moving to uncomfortable locations, a constant stream of improvisations and the uncertainty of if I will be able to find my way back to I-10. This one was fairly easy and quite rewarding. The studio was short, simply and chuck full of "we know what we're doing." I mean, there was a print in the studio by Caesar Martinez! It's like name dropping but subtle!

Anyway I was impressed by all the detail our guides, "Chuck" and Jennifer told us about. The dedication it takes to make a proper copy of a work is something work focusing solely on. When you hear chuck explain the need for constant color correction for their monitor you hear someone who has paid so much attention to his trade that he is able to fix problems that are in realms far past normal recognition. It makes me feel as though I should be as effective of my goals.


The Interview Footage of Mr. Armendariz is quite difficult. Difficult in the fact that I cannot figure out which story-combination I want to go with. There is a lot of things covered but it clashed with all the other ideas I am trying to incorporate into the video. I'm simply going to have to watch this footage over and over again until a storyline emerges.

Also... He is amazingly eloquent.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

04 - VRC Interview 01: Malaquias Montoya

After working brute force though the final stretch I was able to put this together. It served a lot of goals in getting more skill and expertise in video creation.

Shooting the interview was technically the easiest part; meaning the a majority of the hassle came in the form of abstract, imagined fear. Thankfully, Connie (Executive Producer) and Rebecca (Interviewer) helped me get the equipment set up; Rebecca even helped me with the camera. Once the interview was done, I was able to reflect on what a wonderful team I was blessed with to guide me.

Now came the self-education part. I never truly realized how much work goes behind cleaning up an interview. So much structuring, editing and, depending on the subject, removal of the "um's" and "uh's". In the end I was able to cut it down to a sequence that would address the requirements.

The final and most adventurous part of this endevor was shooting B-Roll. I needed shots of students working in the studio, Professor Malaquias teaching and shots of San Antonio. For an entire week The HD Camera was mine and together we walked around the art building, we walked around San Antonio Down town (assisted by my lovely girlfriend, Jessica) and Professor Malaquias' Wednesday 8am class; all the while recording shots that would fit in with the video.

After popping in the B-Roll and fixing the errors, the video was posted the weekend before Spring Break. I felt accomplished and it's all thanks to the lovely people who supported me the entire way.

Next up... Interview with Ricky Armendariz!

Monday, March 8, 2010

03 - Malaquias and Procrastination

Entering into this project I can't say I wasn't aware of my problem. I procrastinate.

This is a very frightening problem to me. It shouldn't be, sadly it is causing some problems. The only thing I can truly be happy about is that I did in fact make some progress. I should be glad that I am typing this. I should be glad that I have edited the video. I should be glad that I have a girlfriend who would spend a Saturday with me going downtown and shoot San Antonio landmarks. These are things that should help to offset the amount of work left.

Mr. Malaquias, the gentleman in the interview, is one of those men who have really come to know how they operate and are able to use that system effectively. It is a trait I seriously envy. Sadly I am still developing so I am nowhere close to a sanguine level of living. At least that means I can learn about more and more things easily.

Speaking of learning, editing this work was quite educating. I found out how much work I had to do in order to make the cut down final piece be coherent, all the while, eliminating parts of the conversation that were unfit for whatever reason (including “um's” and politically incorrect phrases) and using B roll to cover up my edits. It works out fine for now. I only hope I can finish this before the spring break.

This week my focus is on completing all my B Roll shots which include:

Malaquias teaching

Malaquias Working in lab

Student on the computer

Student working in lab.

General shots of the Campus.

All this before Luminaria... so...

I better get to it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

02 - Remix Manifesto

Now that's one of the most promising kinds of documentaries.

Most documentaries shown on Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc. are more of what I'd like to call corporate Documentaries. Excluding the blockbusters like Supersize Me and Michael Moores works, they are the most profitable documentaries. However , while they are interesting to the majority of people, they don't truly connect with me on a personal level. However this documentary, in addition to some others I have come across by chance, feels like it belongs to me more than any other.

The idea of owning ideas is a frightening concept in the long run but it sounds tantalizing in short term. However, being the empathetical idiot I am, I keep on considering the other side. Why would a label want to much money and why would they deny the artist any of the gain. In a way it's no different than the people working at multimillion dollar companies making minimum wage. If a company grows, there's no incentive to help you grow.

I guess all that does is help create a dog-eat-dog mentality where the workers and customers try to screw over the company thinking "they can make it back" or "they are jerks". The company takes this as a threat and replies in their own ways which may or may not hurt them back. The sad part is that the company, being a unified group as opposed to being a random set of individuals, usually wins. Reminds me of that story about a bundle of sticks being stronger than each twig.

Maybe we could work the other way. What if everything is bought, all the companies make all the money and buy each other out. There would be the end where no one can buy anything else. The people at the lower end may not be able to increase rank and become the bottom masses. Maybe they complain to the head and then the head creates better surroundings. Because if they loose them, the other big companies will hire them. And if there is no labor, they will not be able to...

actually there are too many holes in that logic... lets stop it now.

The point is that everyone works out for what is best for them. Especially those who care less how others feel. It's no different from any other specie on earth. Besides we all die. So nothing really matters. That should be a comforting statement, instead of a depressing one.

PS: Shooting the first interview this week. I'm going crazy!