Monday, November 29, 2010


We have finished week one here in Palenque. We drove 10 hours from Mexico City and saw amazing nature on the way. The ride felt much shorter and it gave me a chance to get to know some of the people I am going to be working with for the next month. 

The movie is called Los Ojos Azul and is about a young New York couple who travel to Chiapas to follow in the guy's anthropology grandfather's footsteps. 

When I first read the script I realized that we would be visiting some amazing places, Karen and Zach go to the ruins and they go to the market in San Cristobal so that means we do too! Certainly can't shoot Queens for Palenque. So sign me up! 

Palenque street.

I share a room at the Hotel Maya Tulipanes with the lovely Marietta, who is also down from New York to shoot stills and behind the scenes. This is the view from our balcony. Mmmmmm... I like it a little bit down here.

We are shooting the first part here in Palenque, a town known for its Mayan heritage mostly in the form of ruins. Our location the first week was a beautiful eco hotel called the Chan Kah. 

Grip staging in paradise. Learning that film making is absolutely universal. We pretty much do it the same way all over.

The RED camera is not a fan (no pun intended) of tropical heat and needed a little extra cooling off before she could perform again.

When I need a little cooling off down here I just order a Michelada.

This is one of our principals. The sweetest little girl! A Mexican hairless Xolo dog. I'm a little in love.

We wrapped week one around 6 am saturday morning. Just in time for the Saraguatos to begin their morning racket. They're howler monkeys and they are all over around here.

Days off are like mini VK's around here and saturday was sleep sleep sleep. Mosy down to the pool for some laps. Drag my tired ass to the super market to pick up some of these lovelies...

Hello old friend.

And lolligag back to the pool for some quality time with my new friends. About 30 percent of the crew speak English. My 2nd is fluent and so is most of production. The rest I have 3 word relationships with. Por favors and gracias gets you a long way. But I'm trying my damndest to learn more.  I'm making a list of useful words for set communication. Up, down, left, right, before, after, more, less and numbers so I can call for lenses and other things... But just like when James and I drove the Baja peninsula a few years ago with Ebba, who kept insisting on breaking down, I ended up learning a lot of car Spanish, this time I'm learning set Spanish, words I'll never use again, Pisarra for instance - is the slate, or clapper. Disco is our hard drive and tarjetas are our flash cards. Ruben, our 3rd camera, is a jolly man and he knows very little English so we are parrotting each other trying to learn so we can make life easier on set. 

Sunday was set aside for our nature hike. 10 minutes outside of Palenque are the ruins but also pretty dense rain forest. A jungle is awesome enough on its own but here whenever you look down you realized that you are stepping on ruins. When Mayans ruled here there was no jungle but a thriving city!

Our fearless guide Victor knew everything about what plants produce color pigment that the Mayans painted with, to what leaves make a good hang over tea, to "shits from animals" to which vines make the best swings. Diabetes isn't gonna stop this guy from hiking the jungle every week. Go Victor!

Balsa tree

Smoke on the water

DP Sebastian is the Bushmaster. Named from a poisonous snake Victor told us about. "In 1 hour the peoples is dead."

Kajsa makes concrete bird baths from molds of rhubarb leaves. These would make some killer baths, fit for Emus!

Howler monkey. As close as we got unfortunately, but we heard them alright!

Mayan tomb!

This jungle was full of Indiana Jones stuff! 

One last snap of Victor!

Today we are off to shoot at Agua Azul! Yes we are going to work but no one can stop me jumping in as well!

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