The short feature 'Graciela, Mano de Gracia' directed by Andres Piñeros
A short film that tells the story of a group of characters who are embroiled in a robery that solves in a magical way thanks to thebeliefs of Marta, a woman to whom despair has led her to seek answers in hidden places. The short film is part of a feature that is in development.
Beginning of a journey :
Shooting a film in a different country is always an adventure with a lot of surprises. The script contained only a couple of pages but it was written in a very cinematic way. There were a lot of clear images in it and a lot of suspense between the lines. It was our first collaboration (director, producer and me) so we decided to spend a lot of time in preproduction. The location scout was quite intensive and while we were doing the scout we collected all the images to make a precise storyboard. For most of the locations, especially the exteriors but also for the streets were the bus should drive and stops during the robbery we didn't have permits, so we knew there will be some surprises.
Luck with the chaotic weather and precise storyboard prepares you for the surprises
After I spent a couple of days in Bogota I knew there is no steady weather, except for a few raindrops that came reliably every day at noon. The weather changes quickly, the sun comes and goes and our concept was to work with a small crew without a lot of equipment in order to be flexible. It was a hard task to make the light consistent with no big artificial light sources. Therefore it was even more important to find the right locations and we were crossing fingers for the best weather. At the end we had the perfect conditions during the shoot. Rain during blue hour on the bus parking lot, clouds during the bus scene and a dramatic sun before rain during the shoot on the terrace (devils place).
If the sun is shining during the day, the light looks clear, bright and white. I guess it is because of the altitude in Bogota. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed, because the story is already very hard and brutal and the light can make it uncomfortable to watch. I wanted to give the opportunity to understand all the characters, even the gangsters. We decided to use a Gold filter. The filter added a very nice tone to the skin, the costumes and the set design.
The bus robbery
The climax of the film is a robbery of a bus. Two gangsters are jumping into a bus and robbing people. Andres organised a bus for that sequence. The bus had very nice interiors that fit our color palette perfectly. The hallway in the middle was quiet big, very good for the fast handheld camera sequence. The robbery takes place inside a dead end street when the bus is standing. In terms of lighting a perfect scenario. The dead end was surrounded by big houses, so the light could be controlled quiet easily. In case the sun was coming out my gaffer Bogey rigged his Best Boy a silk to soften the direct sun on top of the bus (while he was standing in the dead end street)). This light setup was beautiful, fast and efficient.
Last but not least I would like to mentioned that I really enjoyed the collaboration with the whole cast and crew. I jumped into the project and I was stunned how many nice and interesting people I could met on this set. The quality of work was unbelievably good! Thank you all so much for being part of this project!
Photos by the lovely Sinah Ober
Cast: Alejandro Norato, Luz Angela Pedraza, Jhon Rivera, Jose Miguel Abril, Fabian Mammoth
Director: Andres Piñeros
Producer: Sinah Ober
Production manager: Federico Piñeros
Production Assistant: Catalina Giraldo
1st AD: Paloma Duplat
Script Continuity: Sinah Ober
Screenplay: Andres Piñeros
Production Design: Daniela Rojas
Director of Photography: Konstantin Minnich
Gaffer: Rodrigo Garcia
Best Boy: Christian Contreras
Electrician: Jose Miguel Abril
1st AC: Daniel Triviño
2nd AC: Jackson Gomez
Data Wrangler: Camilo Constain
Steadycam: Henry Nitola
Set Sound: Daniel 'Kaiser' Castilla
Trainee: Michael Kraeft