Been down to Mexico again, but this time I was working on a new screenplay based on a true story that happened to me about 14 years ago.
Got attacked and punched in the face on the first night, and there was some shooting at the border and some killings just prior to my arriving in the San Luis Potosi area... but overall it was an extremely productive trip.
I hitched a ride in the desert and while sitting with my ass flat in a pickup truck bed, the driver hit a speed bump at high speed which bruised my tailbone... so I still can't sit for long and need to complete the last 15-20 pages... but I'm almost finished and got great contacts, location images, and location video clips.
Gracias Christine & Angelina :) Felt a little more dangerous this time. Last year I went to the state of Michoacan and stayed in it's capital city Morelia which is supposed to be completely controlled by one of the cartels, but I didn't really feel danger. Since then, I think the battles between some of the cartels has heated up in the central part, in and around the state of San Luis Potosi all the way up to the Texas border... and I could feel it this time. Was glad I was not carrying a dSLR camera and only a compact... didn't want to look like a possible journalist for sure. It's nearly impossible for me to blend-in down there, and being a white guy with military-cut grey hair in my late 40's... I kept hoping I wasn't suspected to be DEA. Hard to pull off the backpacker hippy look these days ;). And at the border, I got about 30 more suspicious questions by U.S. immigration than anyone else on the bus.
I really feel for our Mexican neighbors having to live with that every day. Keep in mind, I was NOT in the tourist areas which are likely very safe, but I also don't think Americans should kid themselves that the cartel scourge that plagues Mexico can't and won't spill over the border into the U.S.
Someone needs to spend less time fighting in other countries overseas and focus on stomping this stuff out before it's too late.
@Ed, thanks! It was a last minute sort of thing. Hadn't even finished editing my Colombian photos (still haven't) but saw a cheap flight to Puerto Vallarta along with an invite to stay at a friend's place.
@Sandra, actually didn't have a plan until just before I left. I'd recorded the true story last Summer but hadn't done anything with it. Before I left, I'd gone ahead and done a quick audio edit and compiled the chapters into an audio book. Several listened to it and seemed to really dig it, so I decided to use the trip to push it a bit further. I spent most of the trip approaching it as a scouting trip to revisit the story and get some location shots. That's it. Then, I kept pushing and ended up starting a screenplay version of the story and got it to page 96. I need just about 20 pages more to wrap that up and also got contacts in case I get some funding to actually make it. Will just have to see. At minimum, I think the iBook version will be pretty cool, but I'm biased. ;) Thanks!