PRE-PRODUCTION JOURNAL


Y'ALL ARE GOING TO LOVE SAN ANTONIO

4/14/00

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Joseph & Jon at the Alamo

"Y'all" is one of the greatest American vernacular expressions.  It conveys familiarity, affection and all-around Southerness as it trips off the tongue.  I can't get enough of it.  Oddly, it never once appears in the Evenhand script, which was written by a Texas native.  I expect that will change once we get Texas actors ad-libbing their lines like mad.

The Nuyorican reading was a great success.  Without exception, the actors did a terrific job and the audience was riveted from beginning to end.  Mike Jones (the writer) was pleased, too.  Both Jon and I have a renewed excitement for the project -- it really came to life on that little Lower East Side Stage.

This past Saturday, Jon and I went down to San Antonio to scout locations and meet potential crew members at the invitation of the San Antonio Film Commission.   Kathy Rhoads, the Film Commission Director, met us at the airport and escorted us around and about the city and treated us to several delicious meals.  We were very impressed by the level of interest and attention paid to us and our needs as filmmakers, especially since we are wee little indie guys.

We fell in love with the city.  Downtown has some real architectural gems -- old theaters and office buildings that somehow survived the edifice purgings of the fifties and sixties.  And, of course, there's the Alamo, which is right smack in the middle of the city.  But, of course, we will not be filming anywhere near all that nice stuff.  We'll be in the worst part of town where, as Officer Morning says, "Action is, how shall I put it, a bit more sudden around here."

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It's always Christmas in San Antonio

Kay Cruz, the former Director of the Film Commission, drove us around some of the less affluent neighborhoods.  We saw some interesting stuff, but kept asking if there was a worse neighborhood.   Finally he took us to the area around Guadalupe Street and it was definitely worse.   It's a Latino neighborhood, with incredible character.  Most of the houses appear to be one room shacks, dating from the late 19th century.  In the immortal words of Sven Nykvist, the great cinematographer, "There are many possibilities for pictures here" (that's what he said to us when we took him to Fleishmanns, NY before our evil producing partners made us FIRE HIM from Julian Po).

- Joseph Pierson
 

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