Day 15: ¡Cámera, Sonido, Acción!
Despite an unusually early start to the day, there was a palpable excitement in the dining area as everyone rushed to get on the bus to head over to APAK for a jam-packed day of filming. Even with everyone’s hurry to finish their breakfast, we managed to arrive late (shoutout to Eva, Amar, and Eesha for helping the bus driver figure out directions). After reaching APAK, my team loaded into our bus and drove out to start filming our dance video featuring the Sisa Huaicu.
We arrived at our first location in Imantag a half hour later: the house of a woman who had been designing
costumes for traditional Kichwa dances for many years. She had an entire armoire filled with ponchos and other outfits used for the dances. Setting up our cameras, lights, and sound equipment was such an interesting experience for me, given that this was my first time on a real set. This entire process was made so much easier by the fact that we had spent the day before making up a storyboard and shot lists that determined camera placement and the scenes we wanted captured for our 40-second spot(that may seem like a short time, but, wow, did a lot of planning go into that). After setting up the equipment, it was time to start filming. But to do that, we had to have someone check that
everything was running and ready for taping. But who should that be? For this first sequence, that responsibility fell to me, and I got to fulfillmy childhood dream of saying “Lights, camera, action!” Well, in this case “Cámara corriendo? Sonido corriendo? Acción!” and let me tell you, it was one of the highlights of my trip so far. We then went to film our opening scene, for which we wanted a graffiti wall in the background. We started rolling, and Mateo, our main actor, dropped his sick beats.
One location change later, and we were in the center of a public square, getting ready to film some of the Sisa Huaicu’s dancing. Seeing all the bright colors of the dance costumes work in unison with the vibrancy of the square was surreal. It’s no wonder we had a small crowd of people forming around our set! After getting the shots we needed, we broke for lunch and wandered around the square for an hour.
Our next location was our last, and one that I will never forget. We took the bus up to a soccer field that stretched to infinity, the view completed by a beautiful backdrop of Imbabura. The children from the dance group ran to take turns riding on the donkey that happened to be near the field, and the rest of
Sisa Huaicu got dressed for their performance. This meant the filming crew had a few minutes to take in the scenery, though I honestly don’t believe that even a few hours would have been enough to absorb the beauty of everything around us. Soon enough, the dancers were setting up to perform, and we readied the cameras and sound equipment. Watching the bright colors against the blueness of the mountain was mesmerizing, but soon enough, the dance came to a close. We again boarded the bus, this time to drop off our new friends and travel back to Otavalo.