Sunday, August 5, 2007

After much anxiety shooting Walang Paraiso, finally it'll be seen on screen on Cinemanila. I couldn't be any happier about it =)

Endless months of pre-prod and storyboarding with enzo. The daily location hunt, casting calls are the sweat, blood and tears of Elisse our PM. Nerissa's very steady wrangling on set was crucial and the two are just great! The principal photography was a juggling act but well executed by the three: Albert, Maisa and Ruel. Albert bringing on so much luck at the MRT sequence, the whole scene was an experiment in serendipity including the guerilla shoot in downtown Manila at almost midnight. Joy who arguably wanted to kill me between days for providing her a measly budget for PD surprisingly delivered more: a full-functional wardrobe team, set design and tons of props. So lucky!

But after 27 hours together, energies and tempers just languishing, the actors are still riled up for their scenes. Perry seems to be on so much adrenaline, I dunno, he never gets tired at all and easily slips into character like second skin. Therese is just funny, she's so wind up, she's so madaldal! my gosh! like an energizer bunny between takes. and Rham? well everybody just agrees, Rham is just intense! Kuya Amante is so consistent and seriously, he's not the guy you should cross, he brings on the pretty serious stuff on set. Just back from a funeral from an 8 hour road trip and still he's ready for anything.
Now the whole project of finally getting to shoot your first short is not for the fainthearted. This is the result of years being behind-the-scenes fervently waiting for the right time. It will really strain a number of relationships, burn holes in your pockets (not just yours) and emotionally drain your whole being. Friends will fight for you, linger around or just pat you in the back and say "I hope you know what you're doing now." I think what is crucial is getting a good team of people who believe in the project you're doing. And in the end, all the hardwork is worth every notion of a dream realized.

The Official Selection CineManila Young Cinema Programme 2007.

August 8 to 19 2007 at Gateway Mall Cineplex 10 in Araneta Center, Quezon City August 17 to 19 Boracay

1. Libingan (Ramon del Prado)
2. The Calling (Christopher Gozum)
3. Three Boys (Ming Kai Leung)
4. Delusions (Ernest Michael Manalastas)
5. Parang Sirang Plaka (Real Florido)
6. Bingit (Michael Christian Cardoz)
7. Kasila (Sherwin Desierto)

1. Afterbirth (Reginald Vinluan)
2. Umbilical (Jason Joven)
3. Sa Kanlungan ng Impyerno (Milo Tolentino)
4. Ambulancia (Richard Soriano Legaspi)
5. Qwerty (Paolo Dy)
6. Walang Paraiso (Ivy Tayag Baldoza)
7. Tres Pas (Janus Victoria)


All-Indie Film Festival @ TitusBrandsma

“Walang Paraiso” was screened last night at the 10th year Anniversary and the yearly All-indie film festival of Pelikula @TitusBrandsma, the highlight of this year's event is Nerissa Picadizo's music video “Nice”. A dear tribute on the first year death Anniversary of actor/filmmaker Kuya Elmo Redrico. Ka Elmo in particular gave a memorable and extraordinary performance in Tad Ermitaño's Local Unit.

Among the films screen, I love the Calling by Christopher Gozum which is in Competition this coming CineManila Int'l Filmfest. An atmospheric short that deals with an OFW working in a factory in Pusan who has to heed the Calling of his Visayan grandmother to return to his town and assume his destiny as a healer. The short is technically and visually stunning and evokes the filmmaking clarity of Kim Ki-duk. Chris Gozum is last year's alumni and Philippine representative at the Asian Film Academy which funded and produce his short.

Other films of interests, the whimsical and heartwarming short Babae by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo. How can you compress so much Life in a 25 minute short? It feels like a full-length feature and a tongue-in-cheek documentary that just rolls out the punches. The visually curt and direct Boy Who Loves Flowers, insightful considering its length. The intense and cautionary tale of Lunes ng Hapis by Nick Joseph Olanka is unforgettable in its own right.