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Movie Jobs - First-Hand Accounts from the Set of Gabriela.
Alodie Fernanda
Gilbert Kelly
Pablo Violeta

Acting Jobs


Interviews with crew of the indie feature film Gabriela.

Pablo Santiago-Brandwein- Key Grip/ Best Boy/ Loader

I was originally hired as a PA. Then a began to work as a grip, best boy, boom operator, camera loader, camera assistant, extra. So I was the all around handy man. My favorite lines [as an extra] were: Dos margaritas para los enamorados. I’ve worked mostly in small films for my friends in college and in some places in high school. This is my first movie. Miki [the second Camera Assistant] did most of the loading but I probably loaded between 35-50 magazines. Yes, it is quite a responsibility, you don’t want to fuck it up. It doesn’t make me nervous to load because I’ve done it for a long time. I was more nervous about [light] metering; you don’t want to give a wrong reading to Adrian and then have the film totally over-exposed. Individually, it wasn’t difficult because even though I had never worked on a feature, I’ve worked on a lot of shorts and my own projects. But it was difficult at times to be at two places at the same time. Sometimes when we’d have breaks for camera crew that would be the time the grips are working. Or when the grips were resting, that when I’d have to do something else. I had very little rest time and after two weeks of that, then I started to wear down. I managed with lots of coffee.

I was born in Mexico City and grew up in the south, in Chiapas. Then about ten years ago I moved up to San Diego and went to high school there. Then I went to the University of San Diego. I was originally going to study literature and become a writer, but then I ended up doing film. Then two months ago I moved up here.

Why did I want to work on it? Well, the fact that they wanted me [attracted me to this project]. Mostly, I wanted to learn more. I wanted to see the dynamics of a bigger film crew. The projects I’ve worked on, it’s 3-4 people and we do everything. I learned more about different positions. Like I said, before we did everything, so I learned more about the different duties for each person. Besides that, I learned a lot about lighting, especially about the different equipment they use. It’s a lot easier to come up with different lighting schemes. Well, I would like to be a DP at one point, but like everybody else, I want to make my own films. I don’t have a project or anything, but I do want to make films. I’ve already made five shorts, but I haven’t made a feature.

I think it was a great learning experience. I think one of the important things for me, is that I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted, in many ways. Well, I had the freedom to move around, if I wanted to help camera, and little by little they trusted me more. Then I’d help the grips. If it was a more structured shoot, then I probably wouldn’t have been able to [change positions like] that. Also one of the interesting things about the film was we had so many people from different parts of the world, from different cultures. To interact and understand everybody’s accent, well mine included, I thought was great. I thought everybody worked really hard. It was a very positive experience for me. Yeah, I’m getting use to the city of Los Angeles

Interview by permission from the producers of Gabriela.




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