Week 2 – Racing to Werner Herzog

THE STATS

Distance: 1200km

 Cities visited: Salta, Humahuaca, Potosi, Oruro, La Paz

Screenings: 1

Spanish: getting better

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This Ford Ka might not look much but is the stallion of our trip and has performed valiantly in the first 1000km of our 12,000km journey. It might only climb hills at 20km per hour but by george it’ll speed down those hills at max 90!

Needless to say, each leg is taking a little longer than our new GPS app Skobbler will lead us to believe.

Before we set off we had our final screening for the cast and crew of Rules of the Game.

salta screening

Location: El Teatrino

Audience: 80

Reaction: Fantastic!  Everyone had brought their families and friends so the audience was a real mix of ages and the oldies bloomin’ loved it.  Lots of laughter, applause, jumps….sets us up well for taking this film on the road….

Lessons learned: TAKE MORE PHOTOS.  The best photos are at the times you don’t want to take it, the times you look like a tourist and might even offend…..taking photos is a bold business.

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So off we raced to meet Werner Herzog in La Paz who was giving a free talk as his latest film is being shot in Bolivia. We covered 1200km in 3 days so the only chat I have about that is: Bolivia’s scenery is stunning, and we have quite a lot of film of us in the car.  A good exercise on how to use our kit.

It turns out I hate taking any sort of direction about how to use the camera, Dani is much better at filming than me, which is really annoying.

So we arrive at the theatre for the talk and Dani gets stuck into buying a couple of tinnies for the queue…only to get stopped by the police and told we were not going to be allowed in because you’re not allowed to drink on the street.  Much pleading later and we got off with a warning but beware Brits abroad with a habit for drinking tinnies whenever the occasion presents itself!

Herzog didn’t talk too much about the film he’s going to shoot, instead he allowed the audience to ask as many questions as they liked.  This meant the talk turned into a bit of a love fest with one fan shouting out ‘You saved my life, I would be dead without you, I love you!’.

Others asked Herzog to predict the future of cinema in the next 25 years – a tall order – but it comes from him predicting in 1984 that the internet would be the biggest thing to happen in the next 25 years, so his aptitude for prophecy is held in high regard.

Here he said again that the internet is going to change the industry the most as a distribution method.  The internet will be the way in which audiences can come and find independent films – a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers but hard to live a ‘pure life’.  And by a pure life he related this to sticking to your own ideas, not being a people pleaser.

He advocated walking on foot to get closer to reality. The bigger the engine, the less you need to stop and engage.

We recorded most of the interview – absolutely legal apparently – so will upload it soon.

Post chat we started to get on the case of meeting the young filmmakers of La Paz and were taken out on the town by a group of make-up artists, editors, stop motion filmmakers and political activists.  We went out to a local bar full of middle aged men as Friday is ‘Bachelor Night’ every week so generally only men go out.

Bolivia 1st impressions

– lots of mountains….Potosi is the highest town in the world at 4000m….my lungs are rubbish up here.

– food = peanut soup, stomach…not sure of which animal, sweet and sour empanadas, fried chicken…lots and lots of fried chicken, smoothies.

– police are NOT friendly, they might give you directions but probably not worth the risk.

– lots of foreign films come and shoot in Bolivia but their own film industry is only just starting.

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