Interviews with crew
of the indie feature film Gabriela.
Alodie Lopez- Set Decorator/ Prop Master
I was going to Ithaca College in New York. Coming out here was
completely on my own. I came out here first semester and interned
for Vincent and we kept in touch second semester. Then he was
starting to shoot right when school was over. So I hopped on a
plane and came over. I didnt know what all my responsibility
were when I was first given the opportunity to be a set decorator.
I just like decorating, I like making things look presentable
and pretty, so I was ready for it whatever it was. Im a
responsible person, Im a hard worker so I thought I could
handle whatever it was they gave me.
There are so many different- all people are different so usually
Hispanics are portrayed in one way whether theyre a maid
or a gangster or a thief and she was real. She is a career woman,
she had positives and negatives. She was a normal person like
Adrian, the DP, is definitely a demanding person. And Id
have to say that the Crafts Room [set] was definitely the hardest
for me. I spent a lot of time dressing it and then when the shooting
was actually happening, I was running all over the place moving
things around depending where the camera was. Climbing up and
down ladders, so that was a hard day, a very demanding day. We
pretty much try to go over what his ideas are and then we dress
it. Usually hell comes to check it out and hell tell
us where the cameras going to be so we know exactly what
spots need to be looking nice, no empty spaces and stuff. Then
once the cameras is actually set up, sometimes its different
from where he thought it was going to be, so then things have
to be moved around depending on where the actors are, how tall
the actors are. Things have to be raised or lowered or moved a
little to the right because you cant see it with the camera.
Definitely, I kind of knew that I wanted to do it before, but
I didnt know exactly what it consisted of. So now that Ive
done it and experienced it, its definitely something I want
to pursue once I graduate. Ive done it on student films,
like friends of mine, stuff like that, but Ive never done
something this big.
Theres only so much you can learn in a classroom or from
a teacher, even when you work on a student film and do it yourself.
But to go out there and do it with people that Ive never
met before and having to work together and the bond that you form
with the crew. Like, Ive seen what I can do and I feel like
I did a really good job for my first time and I know Im
just going to get better and better as I work on more and more
films. So to start pretty up there, I think for my first film
I can only go up from here. So it was definitely an amazing experience.
I loved everybody on the crew, I made friends, people I want to
keep in touch with, so many hard workers. There are so many people
on the crew I admire. I couldn'tt have imagined [the experience]
to be as good as it was. Being around so many people is inspirational.
Working with all these people, so hard working, and theres
just such a vast array of so many types of people. French people,
British people, like we had so many Hispanics; hearing Spanish
on the set was just so exciting. This is the first time I can
see myself living out here. I want to come out here after I graduate.
I want to go finish school, get that done and then come back out
here and start at it again.
Interview by permission of producers of Gabriela.