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I was hired for job in Chicago, Illinois and Whitewater, Wisconsin working with an abstract expressionist artist. The artist's name is Manuel Guerrero Mora and his paintings are simply amazing. But even more amazing, very few people in the United States know about his masterpieces or his unique talents with a paint brush.

This first video of four was shot in a restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of these films is to help promote Manuel in the US and show people his work. The videos will play on his website located at Manuel joined me alongside his good friend Lucho. Both Lucho and Manuel are from Pesto, Columbia in South America. Manuel has a personal connection with Chicago. He simply loves the city, its melting pot culture and unique architecture. In addition, he enjoys Chicago's many fine dining experiences. The name of the restaurant displaying Manuel's work was Carson's and they are famous for their ribs. These ribs are so good, that during a recent presidential visit, they were ordered for take-out and brought to Air Force One! You can see the Carson's website located at I ate at this place and yes, it is worth the trip just to try them.

Inside Carson's was a small room. This room was in the center of the restaurant and it was unlike any other room I had ever been inside.

As I walked in I was overwhelmed with color. I felt as if I had stepped into the Jungle. I could almost hear the sounds of a live tropical ecosystem. I actually suggested that the owners should pipe in wild sounds to compliment the paintings.

Manuel was really into my EX1 Letus films and I was really interested in his abstract paintings. We instantly became friends and even though he spoke very little English, we shared a common language as "artists". I could actually feel the colors jumping off the canvas. Some of the painting reminded me of dense jungle and rugged mountains. Others portrayed a different take on the great American city of Chicago.

One interesting note to the paintings in this short film: all of these masterpieces where painted during the summer of 2006 in a small cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. Manuel locked himself in the small house and painted non-stop from 4am to 11pm for a month and a half straight!

I brought my dolly and track to Chicago and used the system with my Vinten Vision 3 tripod and my Sony PMW-EX1 XDCAM. I also had a Letus Extreme 35mm lens adapter mounted with rails to the camera. I primarily used my fastest prime lens for this project, the Nikon 50mm f1.4. I set the saturation in the camera to +50 and did some color grading in post with Magic Bullet Looks.

TRT: 3 minutes, 57 seconds
File size: 89.1 MB
Type: Quicktime mpeg4 720p HDTV

Music: "E Lucevan Le Stelle" (from Tosca) by Giacomo Puccini
Thanks to Carson's Restaurant - Chicago, Illinois and Norman Skul for allowing me to post this video.

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