Posts Tagged ‘Roselle Pineda’


Showing Today A MI PATRIA – A Tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal

June 19, 2012

I’ll be presenting today the Sesquicentennial Editions of A MI PATRIA [Rizal’s Poetry in Film] translated into four languages: Filipino Sign Language, English, Filipino and Spanish. I would like to thank all those who supported, helped and participated in the realization of the project meant for Deaf Filipinos as well as the Blind to help them in appreciating Rizal’s work. However, responses of the hearing persons are equally positive re appreciation on the other hand, of the Filipino Sign Language used to interpret Rizal’s nationalistic poems.

A mi Patria Features:
Lynn Cappal, Catherine Joy Patriarca, Maria Elena Lozada, Graceren Pearl Santiago, Emmary Glor Batain, Janile Bustamante, Patrick Silver Padao, Joanna Canuto, Christina Betito, Melvin Jason Sibay, Relvic Joseph Taray

POEM READERS: English / Filipino


POEM TRANSLATORS: Spanish to Filipino / English

Production Staff:
Direction, Editing, Research, Concept & Treatment: Miranamedina
Camera: Dennis Balan (Deaf), Rem Vocalan
Choreography: Myra Medrana (Deaf)
Production Design: Rex Flores
Music: Diego JM, Roselle Pineda, Divine Leano
Sound: Bert De Santos
Make-up: Nelson Demetillo
Asst. Director / Production Manager:  Cathy Genovia
Production Assistants: Jojo Sia, Jr., Tom Salvador
Editing & Technical Assistant: Ritwic Bhunjun, Fiona Borres
Writer [Introduction]: Janus Victoria
Voice [Intro Narration]: George Castro
Interpreters: Febe and Jun Sevilla
FSL Consultants: Raphy Domingo (Deaf), Myra Medrana (Deaf)
Hearing Consultants: Vim Nadera, PhD., Marie Therese A.P. Bustos, PhD.

DLS-CSB to Interpret Rizal’s Poems in FSL

Below were some of the Deaf reactions after the screening of the film. [Source of the video and to see more photos during and after the screening click:


I Edited TIKOY’S DIRECTOR’S CUT of Manila Kingpin. Slow-Paced daw? Talaga?

December 22, 2011

At last! I’m done with all the necessary NCCA paperwork and accounting requirements that I need, to clear the liquidation of my expenses for the film grant on Project Rizal. It has occupied my time for days on end, and finally managed to submit them yesterday afternoon! I now have time to write and react on the hullabaloo about the re-editing of Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga  Story.

The other night, as I arrived home from a session with my Rizal film’s indie, alternative music scorers, Roselle Pineda, UP Arts Studies Professor / artist and JM Diego, vocalist / musician of Los Indios Bravos band, I received a text message from Tikoy asking me to read the statements made by Gov. Jeorge Estregan about Manila Kingpin. Gov. repeateadly stressed on the film’s need for re-editing dahil nakakaantok daw? 2hr 40 mins, some other online reports stated. And that they needed four editors to re-edit it? “NAMAN!” sabi nga ni President Benigno Aquino. But was he really referring to the Director’s Cut? Or, the Producer’s Cut that he supervised in editing?

For everybody’s information, the Director’s Cut, or the final film edit approved by Tikoy is 1:52 mins long, nearly as long as our film, Gawad Urian Best Picture, “Segurista.” Without question, we met the line producer’s requirement of six 20-min film reels. Manila Kingpin, like any of Tikoy’s film that I have edited was cut based on what we thought would suit international standards. Like all the other films he directed, we cut it based on WHAT THE FILM DEMANDED, NOT WHAT THE PRODUCERS WANTED IT TO BE. As such, he wanted unnecessary scenes out [dapat lang di ba?]. Exposed to international films, he knows quite well the universal standards and film criteria, himself having served as a jury in foreign festivals aside from being the founder of the annual CineManila International Filmfest—that offer good, quality films to the Filipino audience, something which cannot flourish here because of producer’s interferences, tastes or business motives.

Conflict of interests and purposes of the Director [after quality] and the Producer [Return of Investment or ROI siguro] finally led to an agreement that there would be a Director’s Cut and a Producer’s Cut. I concentrated on the Director’s Cut; my assistant worked on the Producer’s Cut. “Brutal” editing must be done, we decided because of foreign film festival length requirements. “BRUTAL!” yes! That’s precisely the word Tikoy used. As a result, some of the sequences had to be sacrificed, including what the producers liked, wanted, or loved perhaps. They were either HEAVILY TRIMMED DOWN or EDITED OUT for the following reasons: 1) removing them would not affect the story in anyway; 2) tele-novela acting; 3) corny dialogues; 4) unbelievable, amusing, at times laughable acting antics that reminds of the usual, traditional action fighting scenes which Tikoy were trying to avoid; 5) return to nega persona or the previous acting image of Gov whom Tikoy directed so well that his former image in films [na mala-demonyo] turned into a different man. Truly, a re-invention of Gov’s image. You have to see it to believe.

In fact, after watching the raw footage during the first shooting days, we could already see the great chances of Gov to win an award as Best Actor, his first (?) in case. May panghihinayang lang that time because news got confirmed that Asiong did not make it to the MMFF. Anyway, all the supporting actors of the film are exceptionally good [real good choice indeed!] that they are most likely to be nominated for their acting too. But I would like to salute John Regala —and I’ve said this before in my earlier post—for being most consistent and excellent in his acting as Totoy Golem. For that, I pray that he wins the Best Supporting Actor Award. And I pray the same thing for Gov because honestly, he deserves it.

Now, what about the Producer’s Cut  which I think must be the “FIRST” edit that Gov could be referring to? [Read: “…nakumpirma ang usap-usapang hindi nagustuhan ni ER ang unang pagkaka-edit ng kanyang pelikula.” Source: The truth is, sequences removed or not used in the Director’s Cut were put back according to my assistant who worked under the producer’s supervision.  Hence, it ended up as no different and as long as the original first cut which was 2hr 30 mins long. That was how the Producer’s cut ended up; that was the producer’s edit. E di mahaba nga! Obviously, they themselves did not like what they have edited? So, they got four editors to re-edit it, they say…” para hindi raw antukin ang mga manonood nito sa haba.” (Source: Governor ER Ejercito rejects Tikoy Aguiluz’s demand to remove his name as director of Manila Kingpin).

The Director’s Cut could have been readied for preview during the CineManila Film Festival had the producer willed it; but clearly they have shelved it. [Showing it would have proven the wrong info that they are feeding the people]. Tikoy deserves to have the Director’s Cut on a film that has sapped a lot of his creative energy to introduce a change in Philippine action movies in terms of look, and content, and hopefully spark their return in Philippine cinema. That’s where his name should be kept. Not on a version that he was not a part of the total creative process. Not on a version that he is disowning.

Lengthened or placed back on the re-edited version to be shown on December 25 therefore, as I can imagine them would be sequences of Carla Abellana (I wouldn’t be surprised if the additional scenes shot included her); those of Philip Salvador’s, and the scene with Asiong’s other woman named Fe. Unfortunately, if they did not, or could not understand the concept of Tikoy re the floating of “Asiong’s soul” in the morgue scene, that would be cut short or would suffer from the fast-paced edit. I too can imagine the possible shortening of the build-up of sorrow or its aura during Asiong’s funeral scene. I just hope that the fast-paced edit would be applied only when necessary so as to avoid having “trailers” within the film.

I worked on Tikoy’s version – the Director’s Cut. When he gave his stamp of approval on the film’s final edit, my work [which started from pre-production period, specifically from the writing stage] ended. Tikoy, a serious creative Director knows what is best for his film and will do everything to achieve his goal for the sake of the film first and foremost. Together as a team, we have been doing that. Manila Kingpin was no exception.

[Sign the online petition: Release the Director’s Cut]

[Click to see our photos during the last day of Director’s Cut EditLast Day Edit Fotos)

[To read a related post, click editing-a-tikoy-aguiluz-film_manila-kingpin-directors-cut]. This blog was written after I watched the Producer’s Cut which made me gauge what the film lost. It is in fact, the first cut which I shortened to become the Director’s Cut minus all the superfluous or unnecessary scenes/shots enumerated above. The editing work that can only be rightfully attributed to them are the senseless visual transitions like the fades in/out, the additional seq [only one sequence, mind you!] that they have added, and… [well, the rest are listed in my other blog]. So, for them to claim that they re-edited the film starting from scratch is not just a lie; it is an illusion. No wonder, reputable online sites still credit us as part of the production team despite the producer’s announcement, manila-kingpin-the-asiong-salonga-story [in]; Manila_Kingpin:_The_Asiong_Salonga_Story [in wikipedia]; fullcredits#cast [in].

[An update to this blog. It’s September 2012. Nine months after the above controversy erupted is the strange move to include my name in the editor’s list of 2012 FAMAS winners which confirmed, therefore proved the lie re the claim on the  “starting from scratch” Manila Kingpin re-editing. Including my name in the list of 2012 FAMAS awardees? [click to read] is nothing else but a  recognition or an admission of the fact that there was NO 100% revision or re-editing of the Producer’s Cut or “doing the WHOLE post production process all over again..” as what this post-prod group claimed. You should see the First Cut of the Director’s version to understand what I mean!].

Enough on this matter.

Let me now fully spend my time working on my small film [with a budget of less than a million] on the writings of the greatest man who ever lived in Laguna — RIZAL! A Poetry-in-Film Project, I am working on four language version translations [FSL, Filipino, English and Spanish] of five of his well-known poems. In fact, I’ll have the official launching of my short film, the 132nd translation but the first-ever interpretation in Filipino Sign Language of ULTIMO ADIOS this coming December 29 at the Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago, as part of the National Celebrations of his martyrdom. Descendants of Saturnina Rizal, his eldest sister has already accepted our invitation to join us in the program. Since Gov. Estregan is Laguna’s Governor, I hope he could watch my “slow-paced” film, ULTIMO ADIOS for him to have a feel of how silence, slow pacing, and music ONLY could keep an audience awake. Without Ratatatat scenes! No fast cutting except when he was shot to death of course! Fast-paced cuts and rhythm are not the sole reasons why the audience are kept awake, mawalang-galang lang po! Lav Diaz, may gusto ka idagdag?

Though small and “slow-paced” my film is, I can guarantee anyone that it can move sensitive and nationalistic Filipinos. My version is a film for all seasons, all ages; it is meant for all people- irrespective of race; for the marginalized and those who are not, for both students and scholars. It is a timeless film meant for those, who like Rizal truly and deeply love his country and his people. When fully finished, the omnibus film where Ultimo Adios is a part of will be titled A MI PATRIA or INANG-BAYAN.


Ultimo Adios in FSL to Show in Fort Santiago???

November 20, 2011

I do hope so! That our film, Mi Ultimo Adios shows at the place where Dr. Jose Rizal wrote it as tomorrow I am going to meet with the curator of the Rizal Shrine at Fort Santiago, Ms.  Zarah Escueta. I first met her before shooting Ultimo Adios in FSL at the Fort in May 2011; I met her again during the NHCP meeting last Friday, November 11 before my presentation of the film that was largely shot in Fort Santiago. We are going to discuss about the possible showing of the film on December 30 itself, Rizal Day, the most appropriate day for screening Ultimo Adios. Besides, the significance of the film maybe considered — as we can claim that our translation in sign language is the latest, if not, one of the latest translation / interpretation, or the first visual translation of Rizal’s best known poem.

Today? Well, I’ll most probably work on inserting more images for A mi Patria’s intro [the collection of five poems that include Mi Ultimo Adios]. I shall layin and study the music scored by JM Diego as we are going to have a session tomorrow night to finalize the music with Roselle Pineda.


Sa Kabataang Pilipino and Mga Bulaklak ng Heidelberg Edited

October 18, 2011

I have finished editing the Filipino version of Rizal’s Sa Kabataang Pilipino and Mga Bulaklak ng Heidelberg. Later I’ll work on making a composite work on Kabataan… That means working to have three languages when presented  — Sa Kabataan…read in Filipino by Roselle Pineda, interpreted in Filipino Sign Language [FSL] by Mark Gaspar Steven [Deaf], with subtitles in English. Using FSL is meant to provide information access to the Deaf; the spoken language for the Blind. The subtitles will serve all other interested persons. This is in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to provide information access to them.

Shooting with UP KAL Professors-Vim and Belen before their take


The Importance of Pre-Production

August 16, 2011

Pre-production is one of the major phases in making a film, and which I consider as equally important as the others. Problems during the shooting stage arises when the team has not properly prepared for it. And when that happens, additional expenses or loss, in terms of time and money are the automatic outcome. That problem creates a chain reaction, such as unreadiness reflected on the type of coverages done during the shoot — which comes in form of continuity problem, lack of coverages, hurried production design, poor script, and the like.

Knowing that, I am trying to do my best to be as ready as possible for my coming shoot in August and September — continuation of the Filipino Sign Language interpretation of Rizal’s poems, and the English version which will be participated in by our consultant, Vim Nadera from the UP Institute of Creative Writing; our music scorer, Roselle Pineda from the UP Arts Studies Dept; and friends Belen Calingacion, Chair of UP Speech Comm and Theater Arts Dept. with Janet Pinzon from the same department.