It has been a busy first quarter of the year at Casa Mariposa. Hard to believe we’re three months in to 2016, but the calendar on the wall insists that today is the end of March. Tomorrow is April 1st. Time for an update of sorts.
Just a few hours ago, my partners at PRC Productions and I had a very productive meeting with the Assistant Executive Director of KRWG-TV. Not only is our oral history documentary series “Pláticas” doing well in its first season on the air, there are plans to rebroadcast it once it has run its course, so it will be showing throughout the summer. Even better, season two has officially been picked up and will be slotted either at the end of this year or the beginning of next.
That’s good news, considering how hard we have been working to step up our game and raise the bar on the next season. Because the first season was really an amalgamation of ideas pulled together over the course of four years, it is not without its problems. Knowing that we now have a platform and are growing an audience for the series, it has given us the opportunity to shape the product and redefine it more acutely into a serious documentary format. That’s sort of been my job as co-producer and director of the series.
The first thing we did was break it out of Las Cruces. Whereas the first season was centered on the pioneer families and local legends of this, the second largest city in the state, the next season will take us throughout the Southwest, discovering the myths, stories and cultural tales that have shaped our desert environment. Already we have traveled to and from Mescalero, El Paso and Columbus in search of stories that would be of interest to viewers – some via events such as the Pancho Villa Invasion Centennial and the Bataan Memorial Death March, others from the historians, archivists and those who carry on the oral tradition.
Plans for the future will take us all across New Mexico and into Arizona and Texas. There are so many stories out there in danger of being lost to time and ennui. Our goal with “Pláticas” is to get those stories before they disappear, from the mouths of storytellers themselves. Should the series be picked up for a third season, we may expand beyond the tri-state area, but right now we’ve got a lot of ground yet to cover and I do believe in being as thorough as possible. Still, I can’t help but feel we’re making history here, both literally and figuratively.
There’s another side to this story, too. Part of the reason for our meeting this morning was to find out if the folks at KRWG would be willing to help us expand our reach and get the series onto other PBS affiliates throughout the Southwest. They have very graciously agreed to do so, which means once we have the second season finalized and are ready to launch it, they will help us move it beyond Las Cruces. Very important if we are going to build a broader fan base.
In the meantime, work progresses on our other big project, “Lady Belladonna’s Night Shades,” an anthology series we at Borderlands Media are working on at the suggestion of one of the larger VOD markets. Acquisition of short films continues and I am thrilled to be working with some of the most talented young filmmakers the state has to offer to get the pilot off the ground. In the coming weeks we will be finalizing locations and getting our hostess locked in, then I’ll write the bridge script and we’ll shoot everything needed to link the films together. I’m hoping that we will be wrapped on the pilot by mid-summer, if not earlier.
Finally, though not at all associated with PRC Productions or Borderlands Media, I was asked once again to submit one of my short plays into the local community theater’s One-Act Play Festival. That play, “Living The Dream,” was chosen as one of six that will be produced in early May. This time around, I will be directing, too, which means working rehearsals into my already very busy schedule. My first read-through of the script with my actors is tonight, but I have every confidence that they will have no problems at all wrapping their creative heads around the material.
So, as usual, there is a lot going on hereabouts. Lots of promise. Lots of expectation. And lots of hard work. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.