Monday, November 30, 2009

Larry's papers

Going through Larry Itliong's old correspondence that is stored at Wayne State University UFW archives. Seems that Philip Vera Cruz, one of the Pinoy VPs of the UFW and Larry had disagreements. In a letter to Pete Velasco, Larry writes, "Brother Philip and I have never hit it right altho (sp) God knows I try my best to adjust myself to gain his trust and confidence."

Was it disagreements among the Filipino leaders of the UFW that also led to their diminishing potency with the UFW?

We have the actual hand-written draft of the wire informing the UFW that Larry was quitting. And the UFW's telegram back acknowledging his resignation. It's all very civil, no bad words, only blessings. This was on October 15th 1971.

Yet I'm just reading now another letter typed on September 8th, 1967 that Larry writes to Cesar Chavez apologizing for telling the members he resigned before telling the UFW Board. This appears to be one of the "many resignations" that Andy Imutan referred to in his interview with us. I'll have to look through the transcript with Dolores Huerta and Richard Chavez to see if they concur with Andy on the multiple resignations of Larry. What does this mean about Larry that he would quit the union many times? Were their legimate reasons for him being so disgruntled?

Putting things together

So, as Andy goes through the clips and now, the archival material, the question remains how we're going to be able to pay for all of the archival material. Do we need to continue to write grants? Yes, I think so. We have enough money to pay for Andy, the editor, and a little left over for some of the archival licensing, but what about for the sound design, the color correction, what about if we actually do get a chance to do some animation work, or motion graphics? Can we afford it?

Sigh, I think it's back to the grant-writing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

And the first day of editing begins

It starts with a paper edit. three column script with Video, Ideas and Audio that I've created. I've got the Video which consist of all the names of the photographs and film, video archival materials which we've gathered so far, and then the idea, which is basically the outline of the documentary in each cell, then the audio which is the different quotes from the interviews we've gotten so far. If you're interested in learning how to create a documentary, then you're interested in that.

Andy is starting to lay this off into a sequence, and I'm basically now actually motivated to start reading some of the amazing material we gathered at Wayne State University last year when we traveled to Detroit.

I've got this amazing flyer that says, "Elect Larry D. Itliong for Dipatcher Local #37, ILWU." It's got this great photo of Larry with a round panama hat, sporting a thin mustache, Clark Gable style. "Militant. Frank. Capable" it says at the bottom. Got to think about how to use that. Also have a few letters written in Tagalog that he's written to some people.

Wondering how to use the information I find out about him from these letters which were part of the Larry Itliong papers at Wayne State University. How do I paint a picture of what he was like. From the sounds of some of the letters, he did a lot of fundraising, more than he imagined he would as co-director of the UFW. He was after all the most experienced with working with large labor groups, so he often did the asking.

I feel like I need someone who was more of a peer, who can tell some great anecdotes about Larry. Jonny did a great job of talking about his father, but I also need someone who was working with him too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Editing Really Starts

We've chosen an editor for the documentary, and in one week's time we start the process. I've got to come up with a paper edit, a script based on the interviews we have so far, and Andy, the editor is going to start cutting based on that. Whew, it's going to be a long process of editing for three months! Can you believe that, three months.

I've bought a few other books to help me with the research and the paper edit, "Little Brown Brother" and "Philip Vera Cruz" by Syd Valledor. Plus, I'm surrounded by historians who have supported us in the past with their knowledge.

It's a good time to be Filipino. Manny Pacquio is an incredibly beloved boxer who moves gracefully around the ring even as he hits like a sledgehammer. Plus, you have people like Arnel Pineda, Charice, people who are really putting Filipinos in the mainstream consciousness.

I guess the connection for me is really that they are they are OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers, although of a different sort. But like the farmworkers, they work really hard to get where they are.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Renewed interest in the film!

You pin all your hopes on a specific grant and then don't get it. That's what happened this summer. I wanted to get the Open Fund Call grant from Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and two months later, I got the third rejection letter for the project. It seems like the most appropriate organization for the film, yet the outside panel that comes in to judge the projects didn't think so.

A history documentary isn't a sexy thing for any channel anymore. Even PBS is moving away from them, so the dilemma is, how do we make this a documentary with bite!

My friends who are at CAAM sympathized with me about the grant. They are rooting for it, see the need for more Filipino programs and urged me to try for the completion funds which they judge internally.

Well, we got funding from them! WOOHOO!!! I really really am grateful for trusting me with this project and with the funding to do it. I feel really honored.

By the way, if you're not a facebook fan of the documentary, please join up!