Una Pura Verdad – A Photographic Narrative by Daniel Milnor

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Una Pura Verdad – A simple truth – is a Photographic Narrative of New Mexico by Daniel Milnor. In September 2012 Daniel asked me if I would film a mini-documentary about his long-term New Mexico photographic project. I am happy and proud to now be able to release the documentary movie Una Pura Verdad. Please make sure to watch in fullscreen and HD.

Una Pura Verdad Credits

  • Directed, filmed and edited by yours truly, Flemming Bo Jensen.
  • Original soundtrack music composed and performed by David Goldberg of Santa Fe, NM.
  • Additional Zozobra footage by Amy Kawadler (you nailed it! and thanks for the equipment).
  • Audio mixed at Moremax Studios in Copenhagen by Frederik Birket-Smith – thanks so much my friend.
  • And a big thank you to my friend Laura Gerwin and her family who let me use their holiday home in Santa Fe as my editing base. Most of the editing took place over 8 days around the clock in this great house.
  • Thanks to Charlene Winfred for great constructive feedback

Making of Una Pura Verdad

The movie was filmed over a period of 4 days in New Mexico, September 2012. True documentary guerrilla shooting, I basically stalked Daniel with a camera like a fly–well not on the wall– but Daniel’s shoulder. Shot entirely handheld, on a Canon 5D Mk II, primarily on the great run-and-gun doco Canon lens 24-105mm f/4 IS. Audio was captured on a Zoom H1 recorder mounted on the camera. We used the Zoom with a lav-mike for the recording of the voice-over.

There was very little time to prepare for this shoot, but I had some rough ideas in my mind. I wanted it to feel cinematic, to look cinematic and to have a stream-of-consciousness style voiceover instead of the standard talking-head interview style. Daniel is a master storyteller and it was important to me that his narration, his storytelling in raw unscripted form was the driving factor. I also wanted the movie to be as much about New Mexico as our hero. My decision to not record any interview shots did add a few extra challenges in editing, as you cannot just cut to a talking head when you go from one scene to the next, but I am happy I stuck to my idea.

The very important voiceover is a story I pieced together from hours of recording Daniel. I basically had Daniel sit alone, turn on the audio recorder and record stories about himself, the project and New Mexico. I then listened to hours of audio over and over and over again (NOT recommended if you want to stay sane!) and wrote down all the bits I really loved. I then assembled the voiceover from small stories, small snippets, sometimes just a sentence here and there and pieced all of this together and created the final voiceover for the film. Took a lot of time but I wanted a non scripted raw voiceover.

I edited entirely in Adobe Premiere, the movie only has minimal colour grading using Premiere’s fast color corrector, wanted a raw documentary look to the movie. Entire movie is shot handheld, some clips stabilized in Premiere.

David Goldberg, a Santa Fe based photographer and musician composed and performed the beautiful original score, thanks David, a great collaboration. Have a look at David’s music website – and also his photography.

I arranged and mixed all the sound effects, voiceover and music – these final tracks were then exported and brought into the amazing Moremax Studios in Copenhagen where my friend Frederik Birket-Smith worked his magic on the audio resulting in truly crisp gorgeous sounding audio. Thanks so much Frederik.

I have been involved in documentaries before but just as a camera man. Being the first documentary I directed, edited, filmed and produced I made hundreds of errors, good old fashioned learning-by-failing. But many things also worked out well, I loved working on this movie, have poured hundreds maybe thousands of hours into it and I am happy with the result. Feel it is one of the best things I have ever done and am pumped for more.

Thanks to everyone involved in Una Pura Verdad, it was truly a labour of love for me, and more documentaries and movies will definitely be forthcoming.

30 Comments on “Una Pura Verdad – A Photographic Narrative by Daniel Milnor”

  1. This is absolutely brilliant – all elements…Daniel’s shooting, Flemming Bo’s work, the visuals, the audio. Really, really special. I’ll watch this time and again to be inspired. Fantastic work by all involved. I hope you submit this to some places/festivals for recognition. ~ Mark

    1. Thanks so much Mark, means a lot to me to hear this coming from you. It has already been shown a few places by Daniel, and I am actually considering submitting it to indie-film maker festivals. Thanks again – keep your eye out for sequels!

  2. Fantastic work, congratulations to both of you! Many thanks for both creating this and sharing it with us. I’ve watched it many times already and will definitely refer back to it.

    If you ever plan on releasing more of these (even in rough edit from your vast material) then I’d love to see more.

    1. Thanks so much Paul, thrilled you like it so much! There will definitely be more movies forthcoming from me and Daniel, although I doubt I shall ever release anything in rough-cut, I am way too perfectionist for that 🙂

  3. Great to be able to peel back the layers and see what it takes to make a piece of work that will be remembered for generations. Bravo!

  4. Man, you continue to surprise me. This documentary is just excellent. Haunting and yet somehow soothing for my all senses. Daniel’s way of working is mesmerizing and definitely inspiring – i dare to say you transported that very well onto the video. Wish it was longer so one could immerse even more into Daniel’s process. Anyway kudos to you two guys. Looking forward to the forthcoming movies.

    Also i’m with Mark – you should submit this to the festival you’re talking about.

    1. Thanks so much Radek. I’m quite happy to keep surprising you, at least when it’s good stuff 🙂 I love that people want it to be longer, makes me think we did well and kept it interesting all the way and there’ll be interest in continuing the story.

  5. Hi Flemming
    Long time no seen…

    Great work from both of you. It´s amazing you shot it all handheld – no shaky hands,-) Nice story – told in the right way.

    Take care.

    Best regards
    René Demuth

  6. Hello Flemming
    Just watched the movie for the second time. The film is very present. David’s quiet words and voice makes it very credible. It is as if he is talking directly to me alone. He says that he does it because he wants to do it. Not something that he been issued and paid by someone to do it, he just want / need to do it.
    You have done a fine job with the film. It has, among other things, a quiet and comfortable rhythm and yet with a modern look. I feel that you get it all at the same time not too much unnecessarily.
    Too often we see movies with endless repetitions – rapid short clips – breathless speaker. These films are intolerable, and certainly not something for one when you are plus 60;-)
    Good luck with future projects
    J im
    Hej Flemming
    Har lige set filmen for anden gang. Filmen er meget nærværende. Davids rolige ord og stemme gør den meget troværdig. Det er som om han taler direkte til mig alene. Han fortæller at han gør det, fordi han ønsker at gøre det. Ikke noget med at han er udsendt og betalt af en eller anden til at gøre det, han har bare lyst / behov til at gøre.
    Du har gjort et fint arbejde med filmen. Den har blandt andet en rolig og behagelig rytme og dog alligevel med et moderne udtryk. Jeg føler at du får det hele med og samtidig ikke for meget unødigt.
    Alt for ofte ser man film med endeløse gentagelser – hastige korte klip – stakåndet speaker. Disse film er ikke til at holde ud, og slet ikke når man er plus 60 😉
    Held og lykke med kommende projekter
    J im

    1. Hej Jim, mange tak for dine kommentarer, det sætter jeg stor pris på – det var vigtigt at filmen var personlig, cinematisk og IKKE MTV-video-klippe-agtig. De bedste hilsner, Flemming

  7. Wonderful. I enjoyed this tremendously. I agree with other commenters, it left you wanting more. Hope we’ll see it in the future. “Run clever boy”, indeed.

  8. Loved the film and it’s great to have the back story. I think you achieved the cinematic goal. Will be looking forward to parts dos, tres…

  9. Hi Flemming, really very good indeed- well done. What else is in the pipeline film wise? I didn’t have much time to look at your Dokumentar book before going travelling for the past 3 months in asia with just an M6 and a fuji x100. I do like the book a lot, the editing of images and sequencing works really well. Oh well back to the UK snow and hours of processing and scanning!

  10. More great stuff that keeps me yearning to slough-off the soul-sucking daily grind and to reacquaint myself with the Land the Enchantment so that I might seek and preach my own western desert gospel. You and Daniel – and a few others – are proving to be a great inspiration for – thus far – a select group of souls. Keep preaching and shepherding the flock, companeros!

    1. Thank you so very much Tad – I do not like the word preaching, I just do my thing and write about it, but I know what you mean 🙂 Just do not follow nor the preacher nor the flock – follow your own dreams.

  11. Congratulations, Flemming – very impressive! You’ve managed to capture Daniel’s restless drive (as I see it) for the Project in a lovely, calm movie.

    Skilful camera work, well chosen audio including reflective and appropriate music all contribute to the serenity of a video which I remind myself is about a Project which has a wild element to it and which, I suspect, would not have been easy for Daniel to envisage through to completion.

    Like others, I have looked at it a few times – because it’s so easy to watch. Makes me want to see what Daniel has come up with!

    1. Hi Greg, thank you very much for your comment. I am glad you are enjoying it so much. I think the wild element is a very important part of New Mexico and the project, and happy that it is coming across. Watch this space for more videos 🙂

  12. This is wonderful. I was already hooked to your style since I watched “Beyond” and this is a masterpiece. It’s the quintessence of freedom. It’s accurate, caring, illuminating and reflect the professionalism and the passion of all of you.

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