December 12, 2013. From the author...
It had been a while since my last film. This, our latest film, has been an adventure. From the beginning, I knew this would be my greatest cinematic challenge yet. I would go where I had never gone before, let alone to make a film, the Big Bend Ranch State Park. Desolate, dry, insanely hot, and deprived of any water or food — this would would become my canvas.
I began scouting in February. My story called for a very desolate place. The kind of place one could easily be lost in and never be found. I needed a place that could challenge a person's body, mind, and spirit, and this is what I found. After scouting over an area bigger than a lot of eastern states, I found a place that looked perfect. When I asked, this was actually a state property. All it took was a few calls to some friends in Austin and I had the ball rolling. The Ranger at the park, Mr. Rod Trevizo, spent days with me as I discovered specific locations that I wanted for Ruth's story. After a few rattle snakes and flat tires, I had a map of my locations for Book of Ruth. It would take a total of seven trips to the Big Bend area, four trucks, a lot of sunscreen, a year's worth of gasoline, and more determination than ever before to make this film.
One of the most remarkable things about this film was its very small crew. I have worked on big and small sets over these past seven years, and I still often remember my very first crew from La Tragedia de Macario. The objective was to create a film under the formula that created my very first film (La Tragedia de Macario) and to avoid the big crew approach. This would not be a production, this would be a painting, and I needed a few brushes. My crew was composed of five people (including me). Alex Walker would be the Director of Photography, Stephen Villela would be my Producer, Carolyn King would be my Art Director, and Mikaila Hernandez would be my Sound Gal. This small group of unreasonably dedicated individuals would rally up in the middle of nowhere to create a painting in motion, our film.
It has been a while since I've heard more powerful words than I love you. And when I got present to the power of human love in a condition that strips away all our stories, reasons, and justifications, I got present to Book of Ruth — a powerful and irreverent love story. In the story, Ruth loses her father, love, and her faith, she then embarks on a journey where she becomes lost in the desert. Surrounded by silence and a vast emptiness, she meets a friend, and together they will discover an unreasonable form of love. Ruth would walk a hundred miles, without food or water through the desert for a fighting chance to have to most basic of human rights — to love and be loved in return.
June 7, 2013 — Our film, Book of Ruth, continues. We have completed principal photography. Two weeks ago, we filmed at Big Bend Ranch State Park, and wow, what a beautiful and majestic location. I'm surprised it isn't more utilized for motion pictures. Maybe it was the 108 degree weather or maybe the rattle snakes, but filming out there was not an easy task. However, my team of remarkably committed filmmakers met every challenge with a relentless effort that I've come to expect from them. We chased the sunsets, raised to locations, jumped through boulders, and burned our skin off, all for the love of filmmaking. Thank you Rod Trevizo (Park Administrator) and the Texas Film Commision for all the help with making this wonderful location available to us.
And now, we head to Laredo tomorrow. We are excited to begin filming in a new town for us. Thanks to the help of the Texas Film Commision, The Laredo CVB, and our friends of Julia Vera, we will have no trouble conquering our tasks at Laredo.
We will continue our film, and to Go Boldly.
Today, April 14 of 2013, marks an important date for CineVeliz—we have officially engaged our seventh full-length feature film, Ruth's Journey. This film brings new challenges to us and to me, the director. The task is to create a full-length feature film in a very remote area with a small crew. The location... El Solitario, a remote and harsh desert land in the heart of Big Bend Ranch. The team will be comprised of only five people: Pablo Veliz - director, Stephen Villela - producer, Alex Walker - director of photography, Carolyn King - art director, and Mikaila Hernandez - audio recordist. To read more about the film team click here.
Synopsis of the film: A young woman loses her father, her mother, and her faith. She embarks on a journey in search of her father when she becomes lost in the desert, where she meets with God. Director Pablo Veliz’s “Ruth’s Journey” explores the complexities of faith and doubt as the story unfolds a young girl’s desperate attempt at understanding her beliefs, love, and meaning.
Principal photography for our new film is to take place on May 22, 2013 and continue till late July. The film will be shot in several locations across West Texas and in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.
Stay tuned for more updates.