Day 11: Chores and More
Eleven days in and it was about that time where people start freaking out because their shirts suddenly started smelling a little bit funky. So on a recommendation from our professors we set out this morning, plastic bags under our arms in hopes of finally not having to rewear the same pair of pants for the third time in a row. However, when we reached our destination we found out that the laundromat wasn’t open until 9:30. So instead we dragged our stuff to class. Thankfully David let us take a short break mid morning so that we could drop off our laundry. However, when we went to the laundromat again it was still closed so we spent around 30 minutes wandering around Otavalo in search of a open laundromat. Finally we found one and quickly ran back to our class.
Our class today was about the technical aspects of film. So we reviewed proper framing, composition, and when to change the frame of the video. We also learned a bit about the history of cinema verite and some of the early equipment filmmakers used to make documentaries. We also reviewed some of the typical rules of filming such as the rule of thirds and the 180 degree rule where the camera should stay within 180 degrees of line of vision so that the viewer finds the scene more immersive and is not disoriented when the camera cuts from one angle to another. After review of these rules we split up into our groups of three so that we could film a small video interview focusing on perfecting the technical aspects of video making.
Once we split into the groups we ate at one of the local restaurants down the street. The entire meal was only $2.50 for a chicken soup and a plate of rice plantain and beef and juice. The meal was good, even the chicken heart and spine in my soup tasted great. While eating lunch my group decided that the best way to focus on the technical aspects of filming would be to interview one of us so that we wouldn’t have to worry about communication issues. We also decided that I should act out a persona for our interview so that it would be more interesting and a little humorous. So for our video we decided that I would play a parkouring dentist who would agree to show a few tricks and interview for the “students”. We found a nice park close to the central plaza of Otavalo where not to many people were around and started our filming there. It was a lot of fun to play a character for the purpose of the film.
After filming we spent our time exploring the city of Otavalo, picking a direction and walking it. Along the way we walked past several bakeries and the smell oozing out of the store was irresistible. The bread inside was even more divine, the taste was so good that only a couple minutes after walking out of one bakery we hopped into another to grab another quick bite. Soon we were darting from bakery to bakery in order to try new and delicious breads. Quickly our stomach began to outweigh our appetite and we decided to collect our laundry and then drop off our stuff and explore the abundant clothing and shoe shops around Otavalo. In those stores we found several hilarious knock offs to laugh about, from the Alexiender Wang’s to the Hollysters it was a great time.
After all the fun we returned to the hotel to write the reflections for our first week, or about 10 days, in Ecuador. The reflection was due at midnight and so everyone on our dialogue was cramming in those final sentences.
It was an intense silence in the lobby of our hotel as we furiously pounded at our keyboard hoping to finish by the deadline. Thankfully, through some divine luck we all managed to finish on time and the fire of the hearth warmed our backs as we trodded off to sleep, fatigued but eager for the next day.