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CHUPACABRA | A True Story

Retracing ground from a story in my past that took place in Mexico. Getting ideas for production of a possible film. This story is essentially notes for myself regarding making the audio book I created into a movie.

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  1. I'm in Guanajuato, Mexico now & retracing the events in the Chupacabra story. Looks like many of the places from the story are something else now or closed. So, I'm looking for alternate but very similar replacements. Also getting cards in case I have to do this on the cheap & need to negotiate lodging discounts for a skeleton crew. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but winging it anyway.
  2. Only casually mention these tunnels in the story, but I simply must find a way to work them in as a location.
  3. "Subterranean" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico
    "Subterranean" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico
  4. I wonder how true to a based on a "true story" you have to be? I'm asking because I'm thinking I'll combine the events from two visits here into one in order to cut all the NYC scenes that aren't really that important to the story. Or, perhaps get through them via montage.
  5. In the Chupacabra story, there are two visits to Guanajuato about a year apart with a visit to NYC between. Thinking I will combine the events of both Guanajuato visits into one and get through the NYC visit with exposition. Still true to the story and eliminates the need to do any principle shooting in NYC. The NYC part is mostly setup anyway & not that important to show. Gotta plan on a low/no budget on this... and it will likely force more creativity anyway. There's a surreal scene that takes place in this cavernous bar called Chez Santos Ladies Bar. It was looking like it was closed & nothing but a blue door there now. But by chance, I wandered by there when the door was open & discovered its still operational. Got in touch with the owner about using it for a few hours if I make this happen. Score! :)
  6. There's a surreal scene that takes place in this cavernous bar called Chez Santos Ladies Bar. 

It was looking like it was closed & nothing but a blue door there now. But by chance, I wandered by there when the door was open & discovered its still operational. Got in touch with the owner about using it for a few hours if I make this happen. 

Score! :)
    There's a surreal scene that takes place in this cavernous bar called Chez Santos Ladies Bar. It was looking like it was closed & nothing but a blue door there now. But by chance, I wandered by there when the door was open & discovered its still operational. Got in touch with the owner about using it for a few hours if I make this happen. Score! :)
  7. Oh yes! Was planning on making a trailer for this once I've got more content from this trip... especially from the desert. But a friend in Puerto Vallarta mentioned I make a YouTube video as well. Since I'll need to make one anyway for a Kickstarter or Indiegogo fund raising campaign... maybe I should make it right out there in the desert where most of the story takes place?
  8. "Escuela" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
    "Escuela" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
  9. "Security" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
    "Security" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
  10. "Punto Azul" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
    "Punto Azul" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
  11. There is such great scenery to use here in Guanajuato and was planning on a few montage sequences to show the setting... but now I'm thinking that since the main character in the Chupacabra story is me, and since I'm a photographer who was fighting through extreme pain and the fog of deadly painkillers trying to get location shots... maybe I'll show off the place as the main character wanders the streets looking for locations? In the actual story, I did did exactly that but I didn't actually shoot much due to pain and the weight of the 5mm gear. That doesn't mean that I didn't at least scout the place though. Perfect! I was hoping to find a way to lengthen the time show of the Guanajuato location.
  12. Location reference photo ~ Momia Museum: In the Chupacabra story there's a scene at this mummy museum. 

When the locals ran out of room in the cemetery they dug up the peasants who couldn't pay to be moved to the new cemetery. Because the soil is high in minerals they're fairly well preserved. So now the rich city makes money showing off the poor. Ain't that how it always seems to go with the wealthy? ;) 

It's not a key scene, but I've just got to work in this location in the film.
    Location reference photo ~ Momia Museum: In the Chupacabra story there's a scene at this mummy museum. When the locals ran out of room in the cemetery they dug up the peasants who couldn't pay to be moved to the new cemetery. Because the soil is high in minerals they're fairly well preserved. So now the rich city makes money showing off the poor. Ain't that how it always seems to go with the wealthy? ;) It's not a key scene, but I've just got to work in this location in the film.
  13. "So Funny, Forgot to Laugh" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
    "So Funny, Forgot to Laugh" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
  14. Hmmmm... Getting crew & actors put up & transported around is going to be tricky. Might ought to get some contacts down here in Mexico for at least some of the help. Every time I mention that I'm just having a look & taking snaps for a possible movie shoot, they get very helpful & start talking about money. May need to plan on small, inconspicous run-n-gun crew so that I don't have to start paying for bogus permits and such. ;) Definitely going to need someone who's fluent in Spanish & able to negotiate Mexican style.
  15. Location reference photo: Guanajuato Market - They've got a good market here that will be good for some flavor & a second level that will be easy to get some high angle shots from.
    Location reference photo: Guanajuato Market - They've got a good market here that will be good for some flavor & a second level that will be easy to get some high angle shots from.
  16. Location reference photo: Guanajuato Hospital - Sweet! The private hospital that almost did me in 13 years ago is still there. Better not let them read the script before I ask for permission to shoot there. ;)
    Location reference photo: Guanajuato Hospital - Sweet! The private hospital that almost did me in 13 years ago is still there. Better not let them read the script before I ask for permission to shoot there. ;)
  17. Location reference photo: Guanajuato Red Cross - This is where the quacks sent me to pay 3 pesos in inject me with who knows what. 

Not certain I need to show it in the film, but the act of going to a pharmacy for just muscle relaxers, then being sent to a doctor for a script, then back to another pharmacy, the off to the Red Cross to get the poison injected... well, it was just so absurd. Think I'll show it.
    Location reference photo: Guanajuato Red Cross - This is where the quacks sent me to pay 3 pesos in inject me with who knows what. Not certain I need to show it in the film, but the act of going to a pharmacy for just muscle relaxers, then being sent to a doctor for a script, then back to another pharmacy, the off to the Red Cross to get the poison injected... well, it was just so absurd. Think I'll show it.
  18. Location reference photo: Guanajuato Establishing Shots -  Was thinking the hill up by the Pepila statue would be a great vantage point for some city skyline establishing shots, but the parking lot by the cemetery behind the mummy museum where I made this one... just might be a bit better.
    Location reference photo: Guanajuato Establishing Shots - Was thinking the hill up by the Pepila statue would be a great vantage point for some city skyline establishing shots, but the parking lot by the cemetery behind the mummy museum where I made this one... just might be a bit better.
  19. "Tiny Town" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt

I was originally thinking establishing shots from the Pepila statue would work well until I got some sample shots from the cemetery. But, now that I got a few on the path below the statue, I'm liking the drama much better from that vantage point.
    "Tiny Town" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt I was originally thinking establishing shots from the Pepila statue would work well until I got some sample shots from the cemetery. But, now that I got a few on the path below the statue, I'm liking the drama much better from that vantage point.
  20. Getting a bit discouraged thinking of all the logistics and trying to do this on my own. It could be something about Guanajuato that's weighing on me. I love this place, but it seems after only a few days I'm feeling claustrophobic here and pining to leave. Maybe it's the narrow streets and noise that has nowhere to go but to bounce around the concrete. There are several key people and help that I'll need to do this right that I don't see how I'm going to get a good core group as passionate about this story as I am. I know money changes all that, but I haven't been the most skilled fund-raiser to date. I suppose I need to just stop looking at this as a whole project and just focus on the pieces... with faith that the further I move the ball down the field, the more likely I will find the help I'll need.
  21. "Pasillo Truco" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
    "Pasillo Truco" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
  22. Ran into a TV crew & chatted on the phone with a woman who handles production here in Mexico. Was told she handles big films here in Mexico & works with Mel Gibson a lot. I explained my project has no funding, crew, actors, or even a finished script yet... but she was still interested even if this is a low budget indie. Also connected with a local woman here in Guanajuato who as experience in film making, production, negotiating permits, rentals, etc. and she speaks English! Going to meet her mañana for coffee to put a face with a name. Coming right along considering all I have is a story, the will, & some location photos. Will keep pushing the ball to see how far I can get. :)
  23. "Iglesia Amarilla" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
    "Iglesia Amarilla" ~ Guanajuato, Mexico © 2012 Skip Hunt
  24. The meeting with the Mexican woman who could easily function as my person "on the inside who can get things" (Shawshank) went great! I really feel like I could trust her to get it done without getting greedy & making sure we don't get taken advantage of. Our quick face-to-face went on for 4 hours. She's also cool with helping get information, making arrangements without charge, etc. before I even get any funding, just as long as its not costing her anything. I assured her that any real work would only be after I had secured at least some budget. She's also able to help with the desert and Real de Catorce portions. I also found the clinic where I had to get the physical therapy during the true story. It's not very interesting since they added a parking lot, a new facade, and a second floor. But, the bottom floor still looks like I remember so it should work out fine for those scenes since I don't really need to show the outside anyway. Got some location images but hardly worth adding at this point. Looks like I have everything I needed from Guanajuato including an excellent bi-lingual project "fixer". Getting burned out on shooting here at the moment and am starting to get redundant, though I also got some video clips to use as reference as well. Time to move on to the desert where most of the story takes place, and hopefully get a lot further in the screenwriting where it's nice & quiet with no internet to distract. Will be out of touch for awhile while I get more desert location shots and then move onto Real de Catorce for another day or so of final location shots. Real de Catorce is just a rough jeep ride up the mountain from the desert where I'll be "working". Should be able to update from there. Thinking doing my funding plea video for Kickstarter or Indiegogo might be cool to do from the desert if I can find decent spot & get my pitch together. Might as well give it a go regardless since I'll be there. I can always redo it once I get back to Texas if the pocket camcorder quality does't cut it.
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