Dan in Beijing

Dan is a senior cinema-television major who is producing, writing and directing a TV show with Televisa during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Movie premiere in Venice

L1040590.jpgThis amazing summer is about to end, I’m already late for school, but I couldn’t let this opportunity go. Last Friday The Burning Plain premiered at the Venice film festival.

L1040454.jpgI discovered new feelings; it was amazing to walk with my co-workers to press junkets, press conferences and other events.

Friday morning there was event after event, but it all exploded at 6 pm when we all left the hotel in the cars that drove us to the red carpet, and that is when the magic started.

L1040621.jpgWalking the red carpet knowing I was part of this movie was so incredible. Entering the salad grande and watching the movie there was an experience I will never forget.

And then the final moment – as the first credit appeared on-screen, a roaring multitude clapped for a record of 5 minutes nonstop. Even with all the cheering and clapping I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, until it finally came out.

The first time ever my name appeared on the screen, and even more important is on what screen it appeared. I started crying with happiness, and Guillermo Arriaga afterward called me and David B and told us to feel proud because it was our movie, too, and he thanked us for making this happen.

L1040505.jpgI will never be able to thank him enough for the most amazing moments in my life so far and this big opportunity. Now it is time to go back home and prepare the new projects – the new movies I’m going to be working on, the three TV shows I promised myself for the South Africa world cup, and also the North American premiere of the movie next weekend at the Toronto Film Festival.

I will never forget these moments.

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The end of the Olympics

Dan-pool.JPG We are almost done. All the stress and anxiety is turning into relief and happiness, and I’m finally starting to realize how crazy all this has been. As we prepare the last TV shows and run around to broadcast Mexico’s medals, I finally got to see some of the events.

Dan-stadium.JPGToday I was lucky enough to see Mexico win a gold medal and the feeling was one I will never forget. The emotions and the goosebumps ran all over my body as I cheered and sang my national anthem.

All of these journeys have been bizarre – I got to run with Rafael Nadal running away from the press, I got to have a beer with Olympic medallists, I got to feel the emotion of a mother cheering for her daughter as she struggled to win an Olympic medal.

Dan-track2.JPGI still can’t believe I still have to give interviews each day – Mateo (the star of my show) and I have been interviewed for media everywhere – Spain, Argentina, Norway, etc. Every newspaper in Mexico has talked about us, and I still can’t comprehend the impact of the show.

And today as we prepare to work for the last days I find myself excited about the next adventure, thinking about Venice and the Film Festival, about seeing my name on the big screen of the Palazzo as the film comes to an end.

Dan-IMG_0044_2.JPGAnd the day after I have to run to the airport to make it on time to class. Today I got a report where it shows the TV show has been the one with the highest rating on this Olympics broadcast for Mexico and that the show is the one that made Televisa win the rating war against Tv Azteca. I have been congratulated by the bosses and asked what are my plans for Televisa for the World Cup.

I wish I had more time to tell everyone more stories – I’ll post some more stories and more pictures soon.

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A TV success

Dan-IMG_0007.jpgI have been trying to write for days, but I haven’t had 5 free minutes. Yesterday it was the first day that I actually got to see one of Beijing’s sights, Tiananmen Square.

Dan-IMG_0013.jpgI only saw a little bit, but I got to shoot part of the show there. It was so fulfilling to shoot a TV show knowing that for almost 20 years you were not able to take photos at or of this place, and I was able to shoot a whole TV show.

The Chinese police keep checking everywhere what we are shooting and doing, but especially there – I had 4 agents following me, plus a bunch of secret police. It’s a little bit funny – one of them kept trying to look like a tourist but you could see the earphone. Still I was kind of nervous.

I’m also excited to share with you that the TV show is a success in Mexico. I get calls and emails 24/7 trying to get interviews and/or info about my reporter Mateo, the little kid, and me.

I heard today that 8 out of 10 TVs in Mexico that have been tuned to watch the Olympics have been to watch my show.

Dan-IMG_0017.jpg I still can’t believe the amazing experience this is, and all the people I meet have amazing stories. My lead cameraman, Jorge, has been in Televisa for 24 years. He has covered everything from the tsunami to the war in Iraq. He was there when Saddam’s statue fell.

Dan-IMG_0023.jpgAlso I get to hang out with Olympic medalists and TV celebrities from all around the world I have admired since I was a little kid. It’s an amazing feeling to walk the halls of the hotel or the IBC, and they walk to me and say “Senor Carrillo” or
Senor Productor” – it’s an amazing sensation of achievement even if there is not a big one there.

Dan-IMG_0029.jpg It’s funny the show is such a success because it took me 7 months of pushing and pushing the show, and no one had faith in it, and now everything is starting to change. It was 7 months since I first talked to Mexico’s sports anchorman in the leading sports newscast after working on some re-enactments for the Olympics. I was walking around the office in Mexico City, and I was checking the plans for the Olympics broadcast ( Televisa is the company that invests the most in this event).

Dan-IMG_0031.jpg There was nothing kids-related on the programming so I asked for 24 hours to come up with an idea, and that was how “Reporteritos” was born. At first I invested in the project and I shot a pilot.

And also I found out today that after Venice I might have to make a quick stop in Toronto since the film I worked on, The Burning Plain, will be presented at the Toronto Film Festival. Congrats to Guillermo Arriaga!

El Reporterito in the news:

- On Es Mas

- On EX Online

- On You Tube

- On You Tube

<a href="http://www.noroeste.com.mx/movil/index.php?id=80&id2=&txt1=EXPRESI ?&txt2=ESPECT?ULOS%20CULIAC?&id_pub=401479″>- At Noroeste.com

- At Milenio.com

At tabascohoy.com

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Days that last 30 hours

Before I tell you guys a little more about China, I would like to start with the beginning of the summer.

Since last April things have been completely crazy in my life – there are mornings that I wake up (if I even go to sleep) where I just sit and try to realize that this is actually happening.

After spending two months working in the major motion picture The Burning Plain with a good friend and mentor, Guillermo, the perspective of my dreams changed. I started seeing people whom I admired and idolized not as untouchables, but as co-workers, and even got lucky enough to call some of them friends. Job opportunities kept appearing as days went by.

After crazy days running around L.A., learning more than I could ever have imagined and getting my first film credit, I was re-hired by Universal Music Latin America to fly south of the border and shoot three new music videos. I took this chance to allow two of my good friends at SMU to get a professional break (I asked Will to be my Director of Photography and Rob to create the Special Effects). After pushing both of them by shooting three videos in four days, I wasn’t even done when I had to jump on a plane again and go location-scouting to Russia, Sweden, Finland, England and Denmark.

And finally one of my last stops of the summer, currently I’m in Beijing working for Televisa, directing, producing and writing a series of episodes for the Olympics broadcast show I created. As my boss said to me on the first day: “No pressure, not that many people see us – only more than 300 million …”

Well, actually there is pressure, and things are crazy. Days seemed to last 30 to 40 hours. As the countdown clock was ticking for the Olympics to start, more and more stress desperately took over the halls of the IBC. I got here on August 1, and I started working on my episodes I prepared months ago right away. First of all I would like to mention that one of the main sections I take care of involves directing and producing an 8-year-old. It’s cool to actually be the youngest producer in the history of the Olympics and have in my show the youngest reporter of the Olympics, but it’s too much work to work with kids.

After finishing the first four episodes, I found myself almost about to cry when the boss asked me to change the whole focus and structure of the program. It was back to zero … I felt frustrated. Here I am by myself in a country where I hardly understand anyone, missing home, wishing I could be resting at least one day of my summer, and I was feeling worthless, but that didn’t stop me. I woke up the next day and filmed all day.

Yesterday I showed one of the new episodes to the boss, and everyone went crazy, reviews were amazing. Now there is a bigger problem – I was asked to change my originally 15 episodes planned to 30 episodes.

So here I am sitting in my hotel room in Beijing by myself, tired and stressed. I haven’t seen any sights except for the ones I film in – but I love it. I love what I do, I’m excited to go out every day, and I can’t wait for the debut of the show tomorrow.

I’ll try to post as much as I can and keep everyone updated. There are many amazing things about this country and culture I want to tell everyone about. And photos will be up soon.

If anyone is interested in watching the show, the show is broadcast by Televisa. In the United States, check Univision and look for “La Jugada Olimpica.”

Zai Jian (goodbye).

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