México

Documentary Footage Captures The Romanticism Of Mexican Cities In This Short Travelogue

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If you’ve ever been enchanted by Mexico, take a glimpse into the world of Guadalajaran audiovisual producer Erick Flores Garnelo (who we interviewed previously). As a filmmaker and videographer, Erick catapults us into a whirlwind tour of his country with Fotogramas, travelling through every Mexico city in a feat that took seven months to shoot. “I was searching for memories, feelings, and thoughts,” he muses. “Things that I wanted to hold on to and never let go…”

Condensed into 3 ½ minutes, Fotogramas is shot in a compelling way. The camera seems to tumble into the next frame, creating the illusion of a seamless, continuous sequence. Careful attention to editing makes this possible, by borrowing techniques from some of the most remarkable filmmakers ever known. Using naturalistic imagery with the shaky realism of a hand-held camera, Erick propels us into his image as we follow the flashes of street life as if it were our own eyes taking in flickers of what will become memory. Whether he’s filming choreographed dancing in the street, a group of men resting in a plaza, the shadows of umbrellas, or the stillness of a neo-classical marble statue, the camera is constantly in motion. It is Erick’s eye, longing for the next story to take hold. Ultimately, it’s a romantic tale that he presents.

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We caught up with him to find out more:

The Plus: What inspired the making of Fotogramas?
Erick Flores Garnelo:
Every year I like to do a video with my girlfriend, Paola. We’ve been together for 9 years, so it’s a way to express how I feel about her. When I heard the song Vintage Frames by Kai Engel, back in March, I knew what the concept was going to be. When I travel, I do it for work and most of the time she is not with me, so I wanted to show her what I see. She has always been my major inspiration.

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TP: How did you compose your images?
EFG:
I do a lot of street photography. At the beginning I wasn’t good but now I believe I’m a little bit better. I wish I wouldn’t miss opportunities or fail a shot through lack of technique, but sometimes you have to let go. It has taught me how to compose very quickly and to flow with the surroundings. First I see something that grabs my attention, and then I compose with the elements that I’ve got. I try to keep some symmetry.

TP: How long did it take to shoot?
EFG:
It took about 7 months.

TP: What obstacles did you encounter along the way?
EFG:
I had too little time to shoot in every city, maybe a couple of hours and I had to look for something that fulfilled my eyes.

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TP: What is your favourite city in Mexico?
EFG:
My favourite city is Guadalajara, there is no another with the same textures, stories and contrast as La Perla Tapatía. But there are cities and towns that are awesome: Tijuana, is a city full of colour and people of everywhere, you can find a lot of stories; San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful town, where nostalgia is everywhere with tonnes of red and yellow; Chihuahua is a calm city but the downtown area have some magic and Veracruz has colours and cool people.

TP: What other projects can we look forward to from you?
EFG:
Right now, I’ve been developing some projects with my friends Miguel and César, and sending our latest documentary, Rubén, El Evangelizador, through festivals. We have put online Oso Tapatío, which has been in some major festivals here in México. You never know what is going to be your next project, but as a street photographer, you have to keep your eyes looking; the stories are there but you have to be ready to listen.

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