Here we have a series of short documentary videos produced with little impedance and even less cerebral intrusion. The videos were indeed lots of fun to produce and I did have lots of support in the form of university professors willing to give me credit for them and the art department which reimbursed me for the DV tapes and provided most of the actual recording equipment and a computer hard drive. I also had the indispensable help of Marco Ortega who provided his camera for some of the shoots and also countless hours of advice, critics, support, and production help on the videos.
The project began with Dr. Rex Koontz about a year and half ago, when he asked me to produce a short video concerning El Paso architecture and city life or lack thereof. Working with Marco Ortega, we were using analog equipment and a USB capture device to produce these works. We went out and attempted to get a few shots, more than anything, to establish a mood for the shoot, to get an inspiration, anything at all - we were desperate! Our first days of shooting coincided with the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead on November second. We took footage of El Paso ceremonies and married those with shots of flower stands, saints, and families all celebrating those days in Juarez. Because of the amount of video we shot and the subject matter, we decided to make the entire project on the Day of the Dead.
Some time passed
and we made other videos. Dr. Koontz approached me again about making a series
on downtown architecture. At the same time, we received all new equipment to
make these videos a reality - the DV camera and tapes, computer hard drive,
video editing software, and firewire card for our computers. I used Canon ZR-10
and Sony Digital 8 consumer model camcorders for the videos and edited the short
movies on a Maxtor 80 gig firewire drive using Apple’s iMovie 2.0 video
software. Dr. Koontz also gave me a sample of what he wanted done: the style
of shots, editing, and length. I received a sheet on the subjects he wanted
done and what sort of visual information he was interested in for each of the
In as short a synopsis as possible, I would say that Little Pedagogical Films are about looking up at local El Paso architectural and sculptural forms. I tried to let the images speak for themselves like a visual haiku poem while at the same time maintaining an integrity to the larger project. These were a series of shorts on El Paso history which could be used as study aids by students in several seminar classes taught in the Spring 2001 at UTEP by Dr. Koontz. One class focused on the art history of the Border region while the other class examined the role of the El Paso/Juarez border region in the larger forum of the Western Hemisphere. The films also had to be short and concise so that viewing them via Dr. Koontz’s web sites would not be a problem. Each of the video pages will have short comments concerning production and musical choice.
Click on each to view.
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