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Jenny & Lalo: Production Stills

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“Jenny is a young woman growing up in East Los Angeles. When she realizes that she is pregnant, her boyfriend Lalo devises a plan for them to leave Los Angeles and travel north. But there’s one big problem; they belong to rival gangs.”

 

This is the basis for the movie Jenny and Lalo, shot over four days at various locations throughout Los Angeles. Created by writer/director Janine Salinas Schoenberg, this script was selected by the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women for co-production.

Allow me to introduce a few of the key players:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 1

Writer/Director Janine Salinas Schoenberg, approximately 8 months pregnant during the shoot.

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 2 Eddie Ruiz Ava Berkofsky

Producer/co-star Eddie Ruiz as Lalo and Director of Photography Ava Berkofsky

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 3 Jacqueline Real

Actor Jacqueline Real as Jenny

 

Our first day was entirely spent shooting interior shots. The sun was sweltering and we had no air conditioning; it was hot hot hot! The interiors lasted well into the night but the crew had no problems fooling the camera into thinking it was still daytime:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 4 Dusk Flag

 

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 5 Ava Berkofsky Kelly Stevens

Hollywood magic turns dusk into day

 

 

Day two of shooting included two locations. The first was shooting on the street with a discrete unit:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 6

 

The neighborhood was full of colorful people who were friendly and happy to assist in the filming:

 

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 7

 

We even had the chance to mingle with Mariachi…

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 8 Mariachi

 

 

 

Following the street filming we traveled to a location near Monterey Park for a sequence involving Jenny and Sabina, played by co-producer Christine Mantilla.  Here we see some of the crew setting up lighting and planning out the shots:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 9

 

 

Here is actor Jacqueline Real getting into the character of Jenny:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 10 Jacqueline Real

 

 

Day three was also split between two locations.  The first was in a pedestrian passage under Los Angeles’ famous 110 Parkway, America’s prototype freeway.  Here we see assistant DP Alicia Fischmeister handling the high-tech RED video camera:

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 11 Alicia Fisch

 

Just outside the underpass, script supervisor Kellie Marino watches the monitor next to director Janine Salinas Schoenberg with the film’s composer Adam Schoenberg, makeup artist Kat Fernandez and sound assistant Cory Nakabayashi looking over their shoulders:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 12

 

Following food service, the crew set out to light the dark Elysian Park for the sequence to come. It took several generators and many powerful lights to make it all possible:

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 13

 

Here, some of the crew is hoisting a large lighting fixture up in the air:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 14

 

 

Once the lighting and set dressing was finished, the extras were brought in for filming:

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 15

 

This sequence culminated in Jenny being beaten by the crowd and polished off with a nice shiner by Elia Saldana, who plays the rival gang’s head honcha:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 16 Jacqueline Real Elia Saldana

 

We used every minute of the time permitted by the city to film that night in the park.

Day four, the final day of shooting, took place in the basin of the LA River underneath the 6th Street bridge. This location, made famous by Grease, Terminator 2 and Gone in 60 Seconds among countless others, is fabulously photogenic. The large shapes, long tunnels, water and bridges all add up to a recipe for cinematic success. Here is the crew at one end of the tunnel opening into the river proper:

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 17

 

 

The first scene shot involved Jenny frantically running from one end of the tunnel to the other as she discovers Lalo in the river bed. This was a challenge, as I had to run backwards with the crew, stay out of their way, and hope that the D3′s focusing system would work its tracking magic all at the same time. The camera performed perfectly, maintaining focus lock on her eyes throughout the several takes:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 18 Jacqueline Real

 

 

While this scene was being shot, the crew prepared and dressed the next spot. Here it is before:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 19

 

and after dressing and prep:

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 20

 

 

Any crew looking to film at this location will be happy with their results. Below, Eddy Ruiz contemplates his character’s situation directly under the 6th street bridge:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 21 Eddie Ruiz

 

 

Spilling out from the tunnel into the river bed, the crew prepares for the last scene of the day:

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 22

 

 

Without giving away the ending, let’s say that the lovers end up in each others arms, washed by the LA River’s current:

 

 

Jenny and Lalo Janine Salinas 23 Eddie Ruiz Jacqueline Real

 

 

Four days, 2 camera bodies, 4 lenses, 64 hours and more than 4,000 photos taken for this project. There are more to view by clicking on through the Flickr links at the top and bottom of this post. Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to look out for Jenny and Lalo at film festivals world-wide starting spring of 2014!

 

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