These Cinemagraphs Stop Time in Guadalajara, Mexico

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Since his childhood, the answer to that question for filmmaker Erick Flores Garnelo has been the ability to stop time. And that is exactly what he has done with these cinemagraphs of his city, Guadalajara, Mexico. His film “You’re My Music in This Silence”, is both a fascinating, contemplative portrait of the city, and a glimpse of his life within it.

The filmmaker, who is also an avid street photographer, has made a name for himself in the online spheres of Vimeo and Instagram, and has been Staff Picked more than once. He has made numerous experimental films incorporating the key ingredients of the streets and Paola.

“You’re My Music in This Silence” was produced with a Canon 5d Mark III and a Helios 44m-4 58mm f2 lens – not the most advanced filmmaking technology by today’s standards. But this is testament to the fact that Erick’s cinemagraph film is an exemplar of the ability to create a visually stimulating film using the foundations of beautiful images: attention to light, colour and composition. The film is nonetheless an enchanting cinematic experience.

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We loved his cinemagraphs, so we met up with Erick to find out more about his creative process.

THE PLUS: The Helios lens is a vintage Russian lens known for its swirly bokeh. Why did you choose it for this film?
Erick Flores Garnelo:
In the past years, I have seen what you can do with the lens. The bokeh is one of the things that I was looking for; but also the colours and the look and feel of it. I tried to go beyond my skills and put some limitations on what I was doing. One of these limitations I decided would be this lens; the others would be the aspect ratio and the use of Magic Lantern.

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TP: Which came first, the music or the film?
EFG:
The music. I wasn’t going to use this song but I chose this one because it was more contemplative and had this dreamy atmosphere that matched almost all the shots that I put in the video.

TP: What was the post-production process like?
EFG:
The first thing I did was to colour correct all the shots. Next, I made some of the shots into cinemagraphs in After Effects and then when I knew the shots I wanted as my material, I edited them to the music.

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TP: The film is full with contemplative scenes. Are you a people watcher?
EFG:
Yes, I do street photography every day. I have an obsession about how things look with light, especially people’s reactions and faces. There are stories behind every scene that you may not know but for which you can have some empathy. I mean, life is about self-discovery and having the best possible interaction with the world. So I feel like I know myself a lot more when I do these things.

TP: Why do you want to stop time?
EFG:
When I was a kid, I always thought about what super power I wanted to have: I decided it was the capacity to stop time. Nowadays, with all the things you can do as taking digital photos and videos, you can make it happen. But now, as a grown man, I can tell you that there is always something to see that is beautiful and that we don’t see because we are living to fast; trying to become as successful as you need to be. Life is about the little things that make you happy and the people that surround you that are your partners in life.

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TP: Tell us about the city, Guadalajara? Do you like it?
EFG:
Well, all my life until I got to college, I had been living in different places and I never thought that I fit. And in my experience, I can say that the places are made by the people who live in there. I met Paola and she has been my home ever since. And I am grateful that we’ve been living here, because it has its own wonders; beautiful things that make the ordinary, extraordinary.

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