Previous to this, I started watching art house films in Seattle, 1984 until present. It was from these movie going experiences I started to notice how films are constructed, the importance of good film shots, and how live events are recorded. Now I’ll tell you a bit about the making the Vietnam Memorial Documentary Film called ‘A Weekend to Remember Film.’
Making of the Vietnam Memorial Documentary Film
Armed with this knowledge movie going experiences, I decided the “run and gun” approach would apply to start filming “A Weekend to Remember; 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.” After shooting only 10 and half hours of movie clips, I had my work cut out and started with the first rough cut posting on YouTube.com exactly two weeks after Veterans Day, 2007.
Some of you know who of Maya Lin, the architect who designed the memorial. After the dedication in 1982. Filming about a Veterans Day weekend has been limited to national or local news services. Here’s a little known fact: “The Wall” was built in Constitution Gardens in Washington, D.C., through private donations from the public, and dedicated in 1982.
If you research the internet there isn’t documentaries about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C. since 1982, readily available. You may find some video or film about the speeches made on Veterans Day at the Memorial or Tomb of the Unknowns. But what I did this because I want to preserve our history as it happens and to help educate others why this Memorial is so important to “the Vietnam generation.”
The public at large has no idea what happens during an important event. How thousands of veterans and their families reflect, remember, or the healing that is taking place and the love for each other because of our common experience. Since that time, I met Luis Villalon-Meunier in early 2009.
Mr. Villalon was born in 1946 and is a graduate (BFA 1969) of The Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester NY), where he studied Photography and Film Production.
Luis worked as a News Cameraman Reporter for NBC affiliate WROC TV8, where he covered local and network news, including the presidential campaigns of Presidents Ford and Carter, and interviews with international newsmakers who ranged from Gen. Moshe Dayan to writer Truman Capote, and movie legend Lilian Gish.
In 1979, he was hired as Director of Photography by Guastella Films, the largest and most successful film production company in the Caribbean and the US Hispanic market.
Luis was approached to do 2nd unit photography for the Disney film “The New Swiss Family Robinson” in which he worked with David Carradine and British actress Jane Seymour. Since that experience, he has worked almost exclusively as Director of Photography in Independent films, as well as in short subjects. He is currently filming “8 Guns for a Dead Girl”, a short dramatic film shooting in San Francisco for director Phil Mayall. Coming from a motion picture background (Panavision/Arriflex 35 and l6mm) Mr. Villalon has successfully adapted to new digital techniques, using the Canon MKII D5 for this project.
He has also self published “Images”, a book of his still photography, shot in the US, Canada, Spain, Mexico and the Caribbean.