The Missions: Socorro
One of the first films Dr. Koontz wanted was of the El Paso/Juarez missions. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any footage of the Juarez mission, but I did make two films on the missions in El Paso. The Missions are an example of some of the earliest western architectural forms in the New World. They are undeniably important for study by those interested not only in architecture, but also in religions studies. These are examples of holy places built by the Spanish friars to begin their evangelical conversion of the Native Americans.
The video for Socorro did not come as easily as it did for the Ysleta Mission. I went on several occasions to photograph the interior of Socorro Mission but was never able to get anybody out there to open up for me in the time I had to do the video. I did shoot plenty of exterior shots, but was really interested in the interior because the original vigas still support the ceiling of the Mission. I was going to use the same techniques I used for the Ysleta Mission of going from exterior to interior, but my lack of interior shots forced me to utilize stills for the vigas instead. In doing so, the video takes a life of its own and blends the use of two digital elements: that of digital video and also of digital stills. For the still pictures, I used the text Portals at the Past and scanned several photos of the vigas, the interior of the Mission, and also a floor plan. This has become a focal point for the short video and gives the piece a certain symmetry.
The music I chose for Socorro
Mission is from the soundtrack of an Japanese produced film entitled Macross
Plus. This is a sci-fi anime whose martial themes and emotional undercurrents
required a musical component that could carry and reinforce the intentions of
the creators of this saga. I chose the opening theme by Yokko Kano since it
thematically introduced the complex nature of this war film. I felt that this
reiterated the evangelical mission of the friars who were accompanied by soldiers
of the Spanish army in a precarious land.