Careers are always strange and unpredictable things. When I went to film school at UCLA, I never imagined that I would someday be writing scripts for videogames; it was, after all, the era of Pac-Man and Centipede. Power pellets and poisoned mushrooms aside, neither game was a media experience heavy on narrative.
The first time I came to Santa Fe as a Visiting Professor of Screenwriting, more than a decade ago, I (like nearly every tourist) visited the City Different’s beloved Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (typically known as the Santuario), the ancient Catholic church set along the Santa Fe River. Built at about the time the Declaration of Independence was being signed, the chapel served Santa Fe’s poor farmers alongside the river bank just west of downtown, and was devoted specifically to Our Lady of Guadalupe — whose own semiotics knits together Indian, Spanish, and Mexican cultural identities and puts a distinctly New World stamp on Catholicism.