Posts Tagged ‘Asiong Salonga’


Asiong’s Assassination Sequence_Manila Kingpin

January 7, 2012

I found among my files more Thumbnail sketches used in Manila Kingpin. One of the scenes I enjoyed visualizing was the Assassination Sequence of Asiong Salonga. For a storyboard to be made, one has to know first the physical setup of the place. Since I was not in Pagsanjan when it was shot, the place was just described as rectangular with a long table in it – and that the actors would be seated facing each other. That was enough information. List of sequences are usually forwarded to me, days or a day before the shoot.

Sequence 77 Storyboard_Asiong's Assassination Where some of Important Scene Nuances were Deleted in the Producer's Cut

However, it is most ideal that the artist or visualizer sees the actual setup. Because camera movements [especially track shots] and its/their placements need to be highly considered. As I’ve written before, thumbnail sketches prepared for our films, unlike in advertising, are highly flexible; it is used by the director as guide, and can be discarded anytime, if and when what the storyboard demands cannot possibly be done. Everything is at the discretion of the director. In place of storyboards, a shooting script can be used instead which I did for El Presidente. As Nora Aunor’s scenes were shot while I was at the height of editing Manila Kingpin, and I had no time to doodle, I just forwarded a list of shots indicating the image sizes and the camera movements. In Asiong, drawings and list of shots were mixed when a master shot was already established. In my mind and Tikoy’s mind therefore, our ideas meet when he implements whatever I have visualized. Our collaboration starts before actual film edit.

Page 2_Assassination Scene Storyboard

Exceptions to scene storyboarding are love and fight scenes – all that are Tikoy’s domain. As you would have noticed, in the previous storyboard, I called Erning’s Habulan or Chase Sequence, I stopped when he was put in the sack. Details were thought of and added by the Director. This practice has helped me a lot in editing Tikoy’s films, and mine as well.

I’ll later post the storyboard of ULTIMO ADIOS, 90-95% of what I imagined or visualized before the shoot were used. Storyboards are useless in docu film making as you won’t know what will happen. Actions are not predictable as in narrative filmmaking. You just need a skeleton guide of ideas or direction for a docu. The timeline is most useful. These are the two devices that I have been using.


La Paloma Lyrics 2011 Filipino Version Compared

November 1, 2011

Hours after writing my previous post La Paloma Lyrics by El Rey, I received directly from Rey Ventura the copy of the lyrics that I was referring to. I also found the copy that he gave me with the script that we were working on at that time in Pagsanjan. Date: May 31, 2011; another copy with dedication was dated May 26 [to post later].

To compare, I am posting what Rey wrote, and what Ely Buendia sang. [ Please click to read La Paloma]. [Highlighed in yellow are the actual lyrics sang by Ely.] Evidently, Ely who concentrated only on the first three ‘stanzas’ [if we may call them stanzas, like in a poem]— for recall purposes I guess— did use Rey’s lyrics especially the first part with very, very slight change [only some word omissions]. The thought and idea of the second ‘stanza’  in Ely’s, is yes! basically that of Rey’s too despite changes in the texts. It revolves around the same topic. Same goes with the third stanza. Here, I can imagine a writer who submits an article to a newspaper or a magazine publisher, who then passes it to an editor. When published, the byline is still credited to the writer who sent it for publication. In that context, the credit of La Paloma 2011 Filipino version goes to Rey!

Anyhow, credit goes to both Rey and Ely who came up with a wonderful piece of song. And of course to Tikoy Aguiluz, Kingpin Asiong director for pursuing the idea to get Ely Buendia revive “an old song whose popularity over the years,” according to Wikipedia, “has surged and receded periodically, but never subsided.” Above all, to Asiong Salonga himself who was mesmerized by the song and a true-to-life “La Paloma” in his life, and Gov. Jeorge Estregan Jr. for his seeming obsession to remake a film done several times.

Wikipedia further states that La Paloma has “been produced and reinterpreted in diverse cultures, settings, arrangements, and recordings over the last 140 years. The song was composed and written by Spanish composer Sebastián Iradier (later Yradier) after he visited Cuba in 1861. [Take note, it was during the birthyear of Dr. Jose Rizal. Therefore, exactly 150 years ago.] But Iradier may have composed “La Paloma” around 1863, just two years before he died in Spain in obscurity, never to learn how popular his song would become.

The influence of the local Cuban habanera gives the song its characteristic and distinctive rhythm. Very quickly La Paloma became popular in Mexico, and soon spread around the world. In many places, including Afghanistan, Spain, Hawaii, the Philippines, Germany, Romania, Zanzibar, and Goa where it gained the status of a quasi-folk-song…It may be considered one of the first universal popular hits and has appealed to artists of diverse musical backgrounds.

The motif of “La Paloma” (the dove) can be traced back to an episode that occurred in 492 BC preliminary to Darius’ invasion of Greece, a time when the white dovehad not yet been seen in Europe. The Persian fleet under Mardonius was caught in a storm off the shore of Mount Athos and being wrecked when the Greeks observed white doves escaping from the sinking Persian ships. This inspired the notion that such birds bring home a final message of love from a sailor who is lost at sea. This theme that a final link of love overcomes death and separation is reflected in La Paloma. While the lyrics may not always be true to the original, the soul of the song seems to survive all attempts to recast it in whatever new form and shape there may be and is able to express the tension between separation with loneliness, even death, and love.

It’s November 1. All Saint’s Day. I have just readied the flowers and the candles that I’ll take to Manila Memorial Park to offer to our deceased loved ones…thinking of our loved ones every so often especially on this day, is like that of La Paloma’s theme afterall…that a “link of love overcomes death and separation.”  We continue to remember, until we find ourselves six feet below the ground. What a thought!


30 Sequences Edited_KINGPIN

July 25, 2011

As of last Saturday, a little over 30 sequences of KINGPIN, Asiong Salonga story remake, Tikoy’ comeback film have been edited. That’s the first cut edition, or what others call a rough edit. When juxtaposed with other sequences, they are still subject to trimming down, and further editing to make the edit tighter. Having over 24 days of footage [as of this writing] definitely adds to viewing time before edit, lengthening the edit period automatically. With more scenes to shoot, the amount of materials would eventually be like editing two films. Most of the major action scenes are edited…a few minor ones remains. Dialogue scenes are faster to cut but requires more thinking as to where the best possible cut should be, especially if there is dramatic action going on. Emotion has to be timed. Pacing is quite important. In action editing, it is more of physical cutting of the images, though of course, we can do jump cutting of shots too. When two camera set ups are there, editing takes longer time because viewing of materials doubles. That’s the difference between editing using celluloid as materials. The expensive cost of film limits the coverage. Use of cards spoils a filmmaker as I have noticed. They indulge…nevertheless, it is more challenging for a film editor to be faced with tons of footage, and even more challenging when continuity problems are there. Yung nga lang nakakainis din because they waste our time as much as they have wasted their time, effort and production costs while shooting because of simple neglect. Continuity is quite important…the work of the one responsible for it should not be taken for granted.

And the film editor’s role is as important as anyone in the production team, one of the most important in fact. Film editors can make or break a film… when given footage with continuity problems, we turn out to be surgeons at times. Ha hay!!! Anyway, I intend to edit overnight tomorrow…

By the way, google yielded what it says to be the  photo of the real Asiong Salonga. For materials on movies earlier made about him starting from Joseph Estrada to Jeorge Estregan Jr. [who is doing the fourth remake now but with a story based on AS story, and quite unlike the earlier movies,] and headline news about his death, please click OCTOBER 7, 1951: \”ASIONG SALONGA,\” TONDO\’S No.1 TOUGHIE, SHOT DEAD