Behind the Scenes of My Guam Film with Brandon Li

Jessica Peterson

Behind the scenes of my Guam film with Brandon Li

Back in March, I gave you a sneak peak at the Guam film I worked on with Brandon Li. We’ve just launched the film as the trailer to a documentary I am producing for The Guam Culture Guide. Take a look…

American Soil, Chamorro Soul is a modern documentary film about the people of Guam. Through interviews, the film reveals what Chamorro culture means in 2015 as three generations of Chamorro people describe the cultural Renaissance in arts, agriculture, and cuisine. You can read more about the film on The Guam Culture Guide.

The talented Brandon Li directed, shot and edited the trailer. We filmed about 15 locations in one week, with an impending typhoon lending drama to the sea and landscape.

You will notice from the pictures below that there are no elaborate sets. Brandon hasn’t a single piece of stabilization gear — no Steadicam, shoulder rig, tripod, or even a monopod. This technique allows him to capture candid moments wherever he goes. In fact, people assume he’s just a tourist. I’ll reveal some of the filmmaking lessons I learned from Brandon in a future post. In the meantime, check out his blog, Run, Gun, Shoot.

Brandon also talked about life on the road as a nomadic filmmaker.

Take a look behind the scenes of our whirlwind shoot in March. (All photos shot on my iPhone 6 Plus and edited in Google+!)

IMG_9033brandon li on guamIMG_9144IMG_9036IMG_9118IMG_8969IMG_9082IMG_8965IMG_8988IMG_8956IMG_9055(1)IMG_9138IMG_8981IMG_9072IMG_8966IMG_9085IMG_8971IMG_9046IMG_9043IMG_8983IMG_9089IMG_8959

Watch the film now!


  1. Allison
    May 27, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I’ve never really given much thought to Guam. Sounds like a thought provoking documentary, and your photos are amazing!

    May 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Jessica, are you still on the island? Hurao Academy is starting back up and they’re aiming to help families achieve full Chamoru language immersion through their program. You might get some good shots or footage for your documentary!

  3. Lasia Casil
    Lasia CasilReply
    May 30, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I would just like to clarify that all the pictures of the “natives’ in loin cloths are paid actors at local amusement park. You can find out more information about the park here

  4. Todd at
    March 13, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Congrats Jessica, this looks fascinating! When does it come out?

    I haven’t made it to Guam yet, but it’s on my list. If you’re interested in a guest post (that also promotes your film) I’m open to it.

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