Filming Border Town

Production has wrapped up on the music video Border Town from Lisa Montes debut album "Wildfire". The music video was filmed on location in San José and Gilroy, in Northern California, at the end of July during the “hottest weekend” in recorded history

The concept for the video was to utilize unusual camera movements to create a highly dynamic video with as few cuts as possible in only 4 scenes that the script called for. Without doubt, the most difficult of these was the “Cantina” scene, a 120-second long continuous-take that was choreographed as a dance piece and that included 16 actors, 9 crew-members, a Steadicam Operator, and placing a 100-lbs ramp in the middle of the take by 2 grips that had to remain invisible to the camera

Filming was done with an Aaton A-minima, a small and light Super 16mm film camera that met the challenges presented by the complex camera moves called for by the script

The “Cantina” setup presented many challenges and a high degree of complexity. It called for filming indoors at nighttime, in a restaurant full of glass wall-panes with the camera revealing more than 200 degrees of the interior. This called for the installation of a 15x15-ft lighting truss installed in the ceiling to allow total freedom of movement for filming. We then loaded the camera with a very fast Kodak Vision2 500T-7218 stock, a film with a beautiful color rendition and superb image

Abel Cine's Ian McCausland, in Burbank, helped us put together a camera package that weighted less than 10-lbs fully loaded, including film, lens, batteries, and video tap. They also gave us an intensive, personalized training session on how to load and handle the A-minima

In the 3 days of scheduled production, about 1,000-ft of film was shot. The footage developed at Monaco Digital Film Labs in San Francisco, and prepped for digital scanning. Production Insurance services were arranged through Mike Wilson, Complex Corporation, of San Francisco

Production Team


Rafael Rivera


Eric Willis


Donovan Gates

Assistant Director

Enrique Juliá

Focus Puller

Mecky Creus


Glen David Miller

Key Grip

Helge Dinslage


Will Parry


Matt McDonald

Sound FX Editor

Mas Sanchez

Production Assistant

Amparo Lorenzo

Production Assistant

Marisa Maldonado


Aaton A-Minima S16mm Camera

Canon 11/165 Zoom Lens

Kodak Vision2 50D (7201) and 500T (7218) film stock


SteadiCam Flyer

Bartech Focus Device

Kessler Crane

Arri & Kino Lights