Project: “Warning” Featuring Xelina Flores for Poet Laureate Film Project
Director: Daniela Riojas
Producer: Daniela Riojas
Designer: Daniela Riojas
Director of Photography: Marvin Jimenez
Music Composer: Alex Paul Scheel (of Pop Pistol)
Lead Actress: Xelina Flores
On making the piece: Working on this video piece for “Warning,” a poem by Carmen Tafolla, has become a gratifying encounter with San Antonio’s cultural consciousness. Her poems exemplify the richness, livelihood, and sometimes saddening historical context that makes us more aware of our current placement in the world. “Warning,” though short, is packed with truth about the marginalized “Texan Indian,” searching for pieces of the earth that make him whole. I chose the female lead character, ritualizing and protesting, as a way to diversify the same emotional weight within dual contexts.
Journal notes: Saturday, January 25th was the most major date on my calendar this month. I’d been in pre-production for about 3 weeks preparing all props and set design for this video. My vision of it required a sort of spiritual journey of my own and I took to using my hands to make the sacred, ceremonial objects that would be used and worn in the video. The energy I put into this process was exhausting but well-worth it considering the outcome. Also, to my special privilege, Xelina Flores agreed to play the lead role and she did an absolutely perfect job! Despite the chilly weather and her getting a pretty severe cut on her ankle during the last scene of shooting, Xelina was a champ and created an entire character with her powerful aura. It was also my first time working with Marvin Jimenez, who brought along his Canon c100 Cinema Camera (the camera I’d be dying to use for this production), and with a wide array of rigs and lenses that were making me salivate. All in the all, the experience was superb!
The final video will be screened in March at SaySi at a commemorative celebration for San Antonio’s Poet Laureate, Carmen TaFolla. Keep yourself updated on my events webpage.
Here are a few stills and behind the scenes from that day and well as progress shots of the props:
Self-Portrait with preliminary framework of headdress
Handmade Ceremonial Headdress
Handmade Ceremonial Paintbrush
Xelina and Marvin Jimenez
Marvin Jimenez getting some details shots
Xelina in downtown San Antonio, turning heads
Trying to keep the rest under wraps until the screening