Student director Jordyn Borrego listened intently over headphones as she watched the camera move into place for a scene in her upcoming film, “Desire.”
“Sound. Camera. Action.” The scene started.
When it was complete, she said “cut,” and started reviewing what had just been shot. It wasn’t the first take, either.
They weren’t having trouble, though. It’s just the process of filmmaking.
“Ok. That’s good,” she said quietly. “Let’s go to the next scene.”
She was directing a film she wrote called “Desire.”
It was her second year of the Youth Film Workshop Weekends for school-age students leading up to the 4th Annual Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival March 9.
“I always have fun with this,” said Borrego. “It’s my dream.”
Staying on schedule
But it’s not easy staying on schedule and being flexible enough to adjust a shot or change the dialogue to make a better movie, she said.
She is one of five alumni who are back in the workshop and taking the lead this year.
“Last year we pretty much had to lead with everything,” said Rogelio Almeida, an award-winning filmmaker, and co-leader of the workshop. “But this year we have these five students who are back, so we are giving them a lot of responsibility.”
“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” he said in a loud voice after the students had a few minutes to go to the restroom and grab a snack.
We asked what was the hardest thing for the students and leaders.
“It’s staying on schedule,” he said as he started hustling the students out of the room and outside for another scene.
In the world of filmmaking, every minute costs money in equipment rental and pay for all of the people it takes to film a scene.
“In the business, they say you’re losing money,” Almeida said about allowing the schedule to spread out too much.
That’s not the case for the workshop where they are using his equipment, but he said staying on schedule is a part of the learning process.
We talked with the student actors about the biggest challenges for them.
Their responses centered around being patient with the process.
They would have to wait while the crew reviewed what had just been shot, then quickly get back into character for another take as the director and crew worked to perfect the scene.
“Sometimes the scenes take a long time,” said Xochilt Plascencia. “It’s hard to stay patient when it seems like a scene was good but they want to do it again.”
But if the two leads in the film were impatient it didn’t show.
Isabel Aguilar and Miguel Gallegos would stop and quietly wait between scenes seeming to concentrate on staying in character so they would be ready for the next take.
Lesley Morales was running the camera for that film.
“The biggest challenge is just getting the right shot,” she said. “You have to listen to what the director and others are saying, but there comes a point where you have to tune them out a little to concentrate on the shot.”
Experienced actor and award-winning filmmaker Victor Caballero is the other half of the leadership team for the workshops.
He said the value for them is in teaching the fundamentals.
“It’s like a refresher course,” he said. “When you teach, you have to recall the basics and then present them. It forces you to remember fundamentals.”
“We love it,” said Caballero.
He and Almeida were subjects of our coverage of last year’s OKCine Latino Film Festival.
Follow THIS LINK to get full information on the upcoming festival to be held this year at the OCCC Capitol Hill Center at 325 SW 25th Street.