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Shooting Script for El Presidente

August 20, 2011

Just finished and sent a copy of a shot list for Tikoy’s shoot today with Nora Aunor and Jeorge Estregan Jr. —  it is actually a shooting script because it includes and lists the image sizes and cam movements. It is just stretching one’s imagination, thinking of how it will appear on screen in motion, pre-edited in the mind. I have no time to do thumbnail sketches anymore. I can’t use the scanner because my monitor malfunctioned and I haven’t replaced it until now.

But whatever I send to him are not always followed. It is just a guide like all else I have done from Bagong Bayani and Segurista days. Normally, since they are just imagined, especially if I have not been to the place, some cannot be executed, for ex. when the place is small, and I imagined a shot in motion, and other technicalities related to physical setups. He asks me for shot lists so as not to forget any shot. It gives him assurance that nothing will be missed. They are just suggestions from my end. Because when we work, it is give and take. We exchange views, objective in them.

Flexibility and director’s judgments on the set always prevail. His imagination must be rich, his decisions must be quick to adjust to the actual needs. The shot list is just a reminder, well sort of. It assures any director who is using it not to miss a shot. Sometimes, the coverages are aplenty, sometimes scanty because of factors well beyond control, i.e. lack of time due to skeds not being followed probably because of production designer’s needs that has to be finished, slow lighting setups, punctuality problems by some actors, or actors having to leave because of TV tapings, and the like. When that happens, missing shots during editing are listed. They form the bulk that will be shot after all the major sequences are done. We call them remnants…that come in form of inserts, sequences at times, missing threads…they are crucial needs most of the time. They are very important.

Tikoy maybe the only film feature director I have worked and working with because he knows that I understand the needs of the film he is doing. And we respect each other a lot. He is very creative. He wants to try new things, takes path not usually taken. He is a warrior. Above all, Tikoy Aguiluz does not need a visual coach when he makes his own movies! Whoever has that thinking must be nuts!

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