2 RR filmmakers earn recognition from state film office

May 12, 2019

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Actor’s drama film an ?Illumination’

Rio Rancho resident and recent University of New Mexico graduate David Baca was just named one of the finalists for this year?s New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase for his drama ?Illumination.?(Roberto Rosales/IFDM Instructor)

Freshly out of college, University of New Mexico graduate David Baca is already making strides in the entertainment industry.

Besides his work as an extra in such films as “The Magnificent Seven” and “Sicaro: Day of the Soldado,” Baca has written several screen plays and has experience as a sound engineer.

Earlier this month Baca’s film “Illumination,” a drama he helped write, shoot and finance, was selected by The New Mexico Film Office as a finalist in this year’s New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase.

The Observer sat down with Baca, a Rio Rancho native, to talk shop and ask how he finds inspiration.

Observer: Where did the idea for doing “Illumination” come from?

Baca: Technically, it was my senior thesis. I’ve always been sort of a filmmaker; I’ve always been driving toward that and have worked on many, many films before.

This idea started out as a horror film, and after many drafts, I started to just not like the story anymore. So this story is based around not having any good ideas.

It’s a metaphor about finding a good idea.

Observer: For those us who haven’t seen the film, how long is it and what is it about?

Baca: It runs about 13 minutes and is about this factory where all the workers have ideas. Our main character can’t have any ideas. So it’s her journey of having to try and find a good idea.

Observer: Did you work on this alone, or did you have collaborators?

Baca: I wrote 52 drafts of this screenplay, and it wasn’t going anywhere. So suddenly it dawned on me that this story could take on the metaphor of a light bulb going off in your head when you have a good idea.

So this film kind of wrote itself in a day.

Soon, I knew some people from school that would be willing to work with me, so I had a cinematographer and a sound engineer on board. Me also being an actor, I knew people I have worked with already that I thought would be good for the different parts.

Observer: Where was the film shot?

Baca: The entire movie takes place inside of the Albuquerque Journal. After we got permission to shoot in there, it was a pretty grueling process because the only open days for us to shoot where Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon before everybody came in to do their jobs. I think we ended up doing three Sundays and one Saturday.

We used two locations, but the bulk of the filming was done in the Journal. That was a pretty hefty process in terms of preproduction.

My timeline was three months to complete this work, so I was always trying to move the project forward. I had a month to edit the film in terms of framing, picture coloring and sound design.

Then I had a friend compose a unique, one-of-a-kind violin score for the film.

Observer: What was the crowd’s reaction to “Illumination”?

Baca: It was wonderful. The first time people watched it, it was amazing.

I wanted this to be like a Disney and Pixar film but shot live action. The film virtually has no dialogue; it’s all visual story.

It has a lot of sound design, so it’s not a total silent film, but the goal was to not use dialogue to forward the story. It was really amazing to see the audience’s reactions to the different story beats.

When you physically hear people say something, like some audible recognition to a story beat that you put so much into and you realize that they realize it, I don’t think you can really compare it to anything.

Baca said he is already hard at work on putting together another screen play and looks forward to collaborating with his friends on future projects.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Mothers, time given inspire video

Rio Rancho resident Chad Matey plays a few licks on one of his prized guitars. Matey?s music video, ?The Greatest Gift of All,? made it to the finals at the 2019 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase.(Stephen Montoya/Rio Rancho Observer)

Rio Rancho resident Chad Matey is a self-proclaimed music lover who credits many people for his growth and inspiration as a song writer and videographer.

Yet no one in his life has inspired him more that his mother. A little over a year ago, Matey had an idea to write a song about the time his mother gave to him as a way of spotlighting the importance of that very act.

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Film Office announced that Matey’s music video, entitled “The Greatest Gift of All,” was a finalist in the 2019 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase.

The Observer sat down with Matey to talk about his inspiration and the process of making the music video.

Observer: Where did the inspiration to do this video come from?

Matey: My mom passed when I was 10, and there were some thoughts and feelings I was having after I went back home to Pennsylvania. Basically, I wanted to highlight that the greatest gift of all was someone’s time.

I started thinking about all the time she spent with me and my sister, volunteering at my school as a librarian. I had a lot of vivid memories, and a lot of it was that she was willing to give up her time.

Time is the greatest commodity in this world; there is nothing greater than time. I mean, that’s you have, really.

So that was really kind of the theme. I wrote the words to the song really quickly. Then I started thinking about making a video.

Observer: Why was making a video for your song so important to you?

Matey: Making a video seemed like a good way to encapsulate the entire idea of the song. I have friends who have moms that have passed and had a rough time with it.

Plus there were moms along the way that kind of filled the void in our lives. I tried to remember them as well by displaying images of them in this video. It was my way of letting them know that they were special to me.

Observer: How did you go about writing the song?

Matey: I played the guitar, the bass and have a drum program on my computer and just played around with it on my own. I also did the harmonizing vocals for it, layering the effects for it.

After I had put it all together, I have a friend that’s pretty good at mixing and he helped me refine it.

Observer: What kind of equipment did you use to shoot with?

Matey: I used my iPhone for the whole thing, (laughs) I just used some filtering and editing on the phone?that was it. I think if you have a good song and song quality, that really helps, too.

You don’t want to lip sync too much because matching up the lips with the words is tricky. I just used the parts that worked and when I was off, I would pull away and put in another image.

All-in-all, I am proud of the end result and plan on writing more songs in the future.

(Link to video: https://youtu.be/g8ba5cBXZMY)