1 January – day 4

We had agreed to go to the park around midday to do some general filming, but things went wrong. Alejandro and I have a rule that, if he feels there is a conflict, or there is danger, all he has to do is ask we leave and we leave. He is the specialist, the guy who has been working in the street environment for more than 10 years, and one little problem with the park is that there is only one entrance/exit. So I trust that if he feels we should leave, then that’s what we should do.

We hadn’t been filming for more than 20 minutes, when he turns to me and says: “Do you have a lot to do?” “What’s on your mind?” I say. There were some strangers roaming around, and he was feeling unsafe. So we left, without thinking. We crossed the street, and went to have a coffee at the Service Station there. I was a bit bummed about this for two reasons. Firstly, I really needed some material from the place where Sujeylin lives. IMHO this is a requirement for a trailer: to show someone’s home situation. And secondly, when we go to film the real thing in March, we need lots of access to the park and can’t really afford to have to leave every so often. Later on in the week, this became an item on the agenda of a production meeting, and I think we’re covered now… (more on this later)

So, alternatively, we asked Sujeylin to come with us to the NGO building, so I could record her reading the letters Juan Carlos has sent her from jail. This wasn’t the best idea either, because of the strong wind that was blowing, but we read all the letters and no doubt this material could come in useful at some point.

Finally, in the afternoon, Alejandro helped me get around in order to take more photos for the exhibition, and I did a very nice series on the traffick light culture.

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