Today was another one of those magical days. Absolutely beautiful weather…huge skies…insane sunsets…and that sage scented air that clearer and bluer than any place else in the world…
Mark and I flew into Albuquerque early Saturday morning and got right to work after weeks of planning with Gregg Anaya’s help…setting up location, interviews and arranging to pickup up equipment.
We stopped in at the movie supply rental place and picked up our lights, battery, mounts and cabling…we’re on our cells and computers constantly arranging our meeting and dealing with logistics and scheduling.
We showed up at the Indian pueblo cultural center, viewed a wonderful Zuni exhibit on mapping after listening to the curator speak..
We met and had meetings with the directors and archivists from IPCC, Zuni museum and UNM…we also met many wonderful people who we told about our film and met folks who offered their services and were willing to help us ..wether it was sharing valuable information and contacts or offering there services as grips, cameramen, editors, archivists and animators.
Sunday morning was breakfast and a strategy and note taking session sprinkled with a few web searches and phone calls…we made our way the the rattlesnake museum where the owner offered to share information with us if we helped him clean the rattlesnake cages..then back to IPCC to film native dancers and view the 100 years of federal Indian interaction exhibit…we pored over documents related to treaties, the Dawes act, Indian schools, mining laws, bia, land allotment, and religious suppression ..and made copies of all these documents.
We then met a young native buffalo dancer who we thought would be perfect for that nights shoot which required some face painting, some huge boulders, and fire..which he agreed to do..
We then needed to find our location, which was proving difficult as it was high fire season so shooting on federal or reservation land was out of the question..we decided to drive up into the hills to try to find someone’s private property that had then topography we required and their willingness to allow us to use it
We lucked out after searching and knocking at a few doors..we found a wonderful location..the owners of the home were very gracious and supportive. Gregg Anaya painted up Aaron our buffalo dancers face, he donned his regalia, we set up all our tripods, cameras, cabling and lights …hooked up our playback which is the song trail of tears that we wrote with john trudell ….and proceeded to film Aaron against the rocks and fire….the scenes looked incredible. We found ways to get effects we needed without spending money on fancy equipment…we had someone wave their fingers in front of the lights to mimic the effect the fire would have on Aaron’s shadow…we bought cheap aluminum poles that taped together to get the crane and boom go pro shots we needed…it’s always more rewarding to get results when you have to use ingenuity and imagination to make a shot happen..l
We finished up about 10 pm…had another quick strategy session and retired for the night…tomorrow were visiting a gigantic de-commissioned uranium mine that supposedly has a petrified anaconda snake laying at the bottom of one of the pits…well be hiking a few miles to film that…then up to pajuati village to talk with Gregg Lewis, former AIM member and Alcatraz occupier…well be working together on creating what will be the shadowtrain guitar…which we will auction off to raise money to help fund shadowtrain filming