All Photography & Videography by Destiny Mata

Sunday, April 3, 2011


So I shot a short montage of the West Side of San Antonio Texas & my film won the 2nd Annual Neighborhood Film Project! Yeah, it was pretty cool to win but the coolest thing of all was being able to document a neighborhood where my grandparents started there business, Guadalupanitas Cafe a local Tex-Mex restaurant on the West Side of town.

Shooting this film was a crazy experience especially because I'm the biggest slacker in the world and decided to shoot it the day before the deadline. Everything and anything that could possibly go wrong went wrong, luckily I had an amazing crew of friends shout outs to Leda & Diego for putting up with me and experiencing this new journey entering the film world.

I didn't initially have a game plan on how I was gonna tackle this project. I just knew I wanted it to be raw and capture moments of the daily working cycle of that area. I wanted each frame to be visually beautiful as if I were composing a photograph. I started off shooting my abuelita making empanadas and I told the workers at my grandparents restaurant what I was doing so they suggested I shoot the bakery across the street. I went over there and asked Don Chewy the owner of Cinderella Bakery if I could film him while he was working. At first he was hesitant about allowing me to go behind the counter but I was persistent and kept asking until he finally gave in and I got the shot that I needed. The second location was at Giovanni's Pizzeria. This was a mess. The battery to my camera was dead. I was beating myself up about that for a good hour but I had shot so much that I couldn't give up now. Having Leda & Diego there for support and help also made it a lot easier to cope with the mishaps. We hung out let the battery charge for an hour. Which actually worked out since I had no idea what I was gonna shoot for my night portion of the video except for the Virgin Mary mural & the Virgin Mary Mosaic candle on Guadalupe Street. I needed some night life interaction. While we were waiting for the battery to charge Leda sees a group of teenagers dancing outside the Guadalupe Cafe. So I tell Leda go ask him if we can shoot them! She goes and finds out the guy whose in charge of the youth program and he gives us the go.

The night didn't end there... I headed over to my friend Alejandro's house where we spent the rest of the night editing. Thankfully everything was for the most part organized so it wasn't that difficult to edit.

But all in all I had a good time shooting this film & definitely learned a lot about the process of film making. I must say the most gratifying part of this whole experience was to see the expressions on all of the people who took part in the film while watching themselves in the film.

Don Chewy owner of the Cinderella Bakery watching the film via my laptop:

The Kids at City Life watching the film at the Guadalupe Cafe:

One of the kids jumped and pointed at the projector when he saw himself dancing:

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