Posts Tagged ‘Tikoy Aguiluz’

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“Tragic Theater” – Will the Film Scare Me???

January 7, 2015

Finally!
I had last-minute involvement in the making of TRAGIC THEATER, a film by Tikoy Aguiluz.

For the first time, I intentionally did not join colleague Tikoy Aguiluz in the making of his film. The reason? I dislike horror movies… As an editor, my mind operates even after I leave the editing room. Footage keep on playing and replaying, winding and rewinding, assembling and cutting in my mind during the editing stage. Not until am I satisfied with my edit do I find myself at peace [and especially so after the director finally approves of it]. Until then, the visuals follow me anywhere and everywhere I go. Though I know that everything in film is make-believe, I do not want to think and dwell on images that I am sure would take my sleep away. Perhaps because I believe in the other world; in spirits, presence and ghosts!!!

I just had a peek for a few minutes while they were shooting the first visit of the questors supposedly at Manila Film Center… that’s all. [Actual shooting venue was at Camp Aguinaldo Theater]

Well, until a few days before Christmas…when I was asked…and saw the necessity to join the band again!!!

After watching the footage without the suspenseful sound effects, thrilling music and corrected images, my apprehensions went away…I treated the materials like any other of Tikoy’s drama films.

Tonight, the completed film will be premiered. And I am planning to watch it.
Will I be scared????
Maybe NOT anymore… but with appropriate sound effects and powerful music, maybe YES! Well, I really don’t know how I would react…

I just hope everything Tikoy imagined for the film would be realized. He has surrealist Luis Bunuel and Thomas Edison in mind as part of the film’s subliminal backbone. He has ideas I hope the audience would absorb and understand as they are layers beyond what the film is. Anyway, it was fun after all despite a few days of sleepless nights at Outpost. [Ang layo!!!]

The Zombies2

The Post-production Team – Zombies by Dawn, December 31, 2014
[L-R]: Me, Editor Yuka, Direk Tikoy, Viva’s Post-Prod Manager Nonoy,
Outpost Studio Post- Production Supervisor Jeff 

After everything, what I know is that I still do not want to edit horror movies. Tragic Theater just turned out to be an exception.

Watch “Tragic Theater” based on a book by G.M. Coronel starting tomorrow, January 8! It stars Andi Eigenmann, Christopher de Leon and John Estrada. Editor colleague Yuka Eucasion’s daughter Aca has cameo role in the film.

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KIDS THREE 21 at the UP Film Center in Celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Consciousness Month

February 9, 2014
Showing UP_Weng2

Rowena Ulayan, Universal Kids Film Festival Founder

A small social and special gathering of old time friends with very special guests was held on February 6, 2014 at Bernal Gallery, UP Film Center through the initiative of Rowena “Weng” Ulayan-Martinez, founder of the Universal Kids Film Festival in Turkey. KIDS THREE 21-international version was premiered here with PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA.

KIDS.. was first shown last November 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Opposite in nature and content — the former is a film on Trisomy 21; the latter, a film on Andres Bonifacio that shows the Philippine High School for the Arts student’s insights on the hero and the activities they readied in celebration of his 150th Birth Anniversary. Both films are timely  since in the Philippines, the National Arts Month and the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month are both being celebrated in February. 2014 is also the Sesquicentennial Year of Bonifacio.

Showing UP_Weng

Weng Ulayan welcomes the guests

Weng gave the opening remarks with tone of nostalgia followed by my introduction of the above docus. Present were the featured resource persons in KIDS: Dr. Carmencita Padilla, geneticist and Eleanor Dominguez, nutritionist-dietician. Both saw the film for the first time.

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KIDS THREE  21 shown in celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Month features
Dr. Carmencita Padilla, top geneticist in the Philippines

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PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA, a film I made in collaboration with Vim Nadera, director, Philippine High School for the Arts; shown in Celebration of National Arts Month and the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio

KIDS THREE 21 gives an overview on Trisomy 21 or what Down Syndrome is, the maternal risks involved, the plight of parents, and the realities of having a Child with Down Syndrome. A segment focuses on the importance of nutrition awareness and intervention – an element oftentimes neglected because of the conventional stress and attention given to physical and occupational therapies and special education. The film was made possible because of Eleanor Dominguez, then M.A. student of the UP Sped Area. There are two versions of the film: the thesis version which is about 13 minutes longer than the copy shown last February 6.

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Reunion photo with Direk Tikoy Aguiluz; our last film was Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story/ photo courtesy of Janus

Other special guests were my colleague, producer-director Tikoy Aguiluz, co-founder of the UP Film Center [with Ms. Virgie Moreno]; balikbayan Ed Tamondong, one of the center’s original staff cameraman; CHED Legal Counsel Head Atty. Carmencita Yadao-Sison and her husband, Atty. Roberto Sison who described KIDS.. as “a film that introduces and comprehensively treats the subject of Down Syndrome…Opened my eyes on this ‘accident of nature’ that happens to one out of 800 births worldwide. With the current population of 100 million Filipinos, that’s a lot!”

Weng’s friends who joined us were Romanlito Austria, UP Fine Arts Professor and former head of the Graduate Studies at the UPFA, Princess Nemenzo, UP professor and wife of former UP President, Fides Bagasao, UN International Consultant for Urban Poor and Human Settlements, Cora Despabiladeras, book writer for children, Ephraim Despabiladeras of USAID, Kuya Bogie, lead character of the TV program for children, “Batibot”, Avic Ilagan, filmmaker, Marili  and Boni Fernandez, Eliza  Quiambao and Ben Agunod.

Weng and Belen

Weng and Belen

Of course, the affair wouldn’t be complete without longtime friends, UP KAL Professor and former Chair of the UP Department of Theater Arts and Speech Communication Dr. Belen Calingacion, writers Roshan Jose, Rochit Tañedo and Corito Llamas, artist Alma Quinto, environmentalist Minnie Crouse and writer-filmmaker Janus Victoria, now with Channel 7. Joseph Lena, the KID’s cameraman, formerly with ANC Channel recorded the event.

Showing UP_Flip, even

[R-L]: Castillejos Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez and Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College; Fides Bagasao, UN Consultant for Urban Poor and Princess Nemenzo, UP Professor; [Extreme right behind: Ed Tamondong

And in support of Eleanor’s effort, her husband, Castillejos [Zambales] Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez with Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College, and her friend, Clarisse de Leon, a daughter of Angat, Bulacan Mayor and the town’s municipal administrator also attended the event.

Sadly, no representative from Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines — the film’s target audience — joined Dr. Padilla because of other priorities. Nevertheless, the latter’s presence, as one of its founding members made the occasion complete. She entertained the questions re the matter. [See the photos below]:

The event ended with the sumptuous Turkish cuisine prepared by no less than Weng Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu who is leaving the country today, February 9.

Turkish dinner delight4 Turkish dinner delight3TURKISH CUISINE MENU

Entree White cheese rolls, Green and black olives with red pepper, Sarma (spiced rice wrapped in grape leaves), Dolma (stuffed tomatoes and eggplants), Pita bread with hummus, Kisir Salad (bulgur and red lentils)

Main Dish: Green beans with ground beef, Buttered Chicken, Pilav (buttered rice with peas), Borek (Turkish Pie stuffed with potato & minced meat), Pasta (with Olive oil, white cheese mint and hazel nuts)

Dessert: Turkish Delight, Irmik Tatlisi (Semolina), Dried Fruits, Çorek (twisted cookies with sesame seeds). Pishmaniye

Drinks: Ihlamur Tea (Linden Tea), Kushburnu Tea (Rosehip Tea)

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THY WOMB_Cinematic; How About EL PRESIDENTE?

December 30, 2012

Brilliante Mendoza’s Thy Womb’s timeframe is short; Mark Meilly’s El Presidente is long. Literally, the former is shorter in duration; the latter, nearly double its length. The former is an indie film with a budget obviously minuscule compared with the latter which reportedly spent P130 Million to produce. Perhaps because it is a period picture that entailed a lot of costumes, and needed many actors as it covers different phases in our country’s history  –from the latter part of the Spanish period c. 1896-97 [excluding the childhood flashback of young Emilio Aguinaldo] up to time he died in 1964. It is a star-studded film while Thy Womb has but a few actors who so powerfully and naturally acted, you’d feel they were just plucked out from the actual Badjao  community in Tawi-tawi.

Asiong Salonga [DC Version] Director Tikoy Aguiluz, my associate editor Yuka and I were together at Resorts World to watch One More Try hours before the MMFF Award’s Night was to be held . The 10 pm show tickets were sold out however so we just chatted during and after dinner. We first talked about how Tikoy is credited in El Presidente which he hasn’t yet seen. The film actually started with Tikoy’s shot of Aguinaldo writing in his study room. Tikoy is acknowledged as Second-Unit Director which is not proper. Let’s be clear about this. Tikoy was the film’s original director. How can he be possibly acknowledged as such when Meilly was nowhere and was “inexistent” or not in the picture at all when Tikoy shot Nora Aunor’s sequences last July in between post-production of Asiong Salonga 2011? Tikoy was the Director of those film sequences sans Meilly, so why should he be credited as the second-unit director??? Moreover, I asked Tikoy if he shot the meeting of Aguinaldo and Marcela Agoncillo sequence [first appearance of Nora Aunor]. Tikoy replied “No!” She looked so funny in it and she doesn’t reflect the grace of a Marcela Agoncillo. That’s a hilarious scene as it appeared to me. Mukhang ewan si Nora dun, wala akong masabi! Filler na filler ang dating.

Anyway, we ended up talking about Ang Sugo, the 2014 Centennial Anniversary film about Felix Manalo, the founder of Iglesia ni Cristo which Tikoy will shoot  in 2013.

Of the two MMFF entries that I watched, I consider Thy Womb as cinematic gem; El Presidente is a fancy jewel or a raw gem which should have been polished better. Nanghinayang ako sa El Presidente for the following reasons, all subjective of course:

1)      CINEMATOGRAPHY. As I’ve previously posted, I wanted to see the difference between Tikoy and Meilly’s “style. Cinematography is one film element that can give lead to it. As Carlo Mendoza, Asiong and El Presidente’s cameraman himself told me, it is actually what the director wants NOT HIS that shows on the film. It’s the Director’s call in other words. By saying so, I expected concrete differences in Carlo’s work from two different directors. And yes! their style and preferences actually showed. Tikoy’s Nora sequences were said to have been graded to go or balance with Meilly’s because of clear differences.

Tikoy in all his film has always controlled the look, composition and lighting of his film. He is not afraid to demand extreme close-ups and wanted chiaroscuro lighting; the more contrast in light and shadows the better. On the contrary, El Presidente scenes are largely well-lighted, giving it the TV movie quality and look common in our TV network productions. Whether in wide forest shots or on actor’s midshots, you’d feel the presence of lights and reflectors. Dramatic lighting where mostly needed wasn’t maximized to give the proper mood. Nowhere akong napa-WOW [except perhaps in Cecille de Mille wideshot of the fight between the Americans and the Revolutionaries, but not on how the fights were edited predictably with effects]; also the wideshot of the forest when the revolutionaries were evacuating Cavite. Unlike in Thy Womb where handheld shots and close ups, beautifully framed composition, available lighting were used to give the documentary feel, the reality and naturalness of the environment, El Presidente coverages and scene compositions are generally ordinary. In the former, the lighting helps a lot in giving character and texture to the film. The Tejeros Convention sequence for ex. could have been better dramatized if the lighting mood was proper, with Angry Men as a peg perhaps, so that the build up of tension parallels with the rising anger of Bonifacio character as played by Cesar Montano. So does the part when Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan. Dramatic lighting was absent in one of the most important event in Aguinaldo’s life. Cinematography in El Presidente is uneven. In some, there are even loud video noises. Inserting unnecessary photos also contributed to photographic inconsistencies making the segment like an AVP. Choosing Thy Womb for Best Cinematography is right judgment. [MMFF Winner for Best Cinematography: Odyssey Flores, Thy Womb]

2)      STORY / SCREENPLAY – content is epic in proportion, fine! But by putting so much, El Presidente loses a lot more. It gave more emphasis on events, on action scenes to show perhaps the production costs and producer’s expenses. It failed to dramatize more the conflicts of the man, his person, his dilemma, his psyche so that we could have ride with his feelings deeper – his difficulties as catalyst of Philippine revolutionary forces. The highlight of his life is Philippines independence; that’ s what he lived and fought for in the first place, it was his and the country’s turning point. But the build-up is seemingly lacking, it felt like it was just an ordinary sequence in the film when it appeared. The nationalism fervor could have been more sparked, more built up as we see them fight that led to the triumphant waving of our flag, and hearing the national anthem in 1898. Aguinaldo lived during such time when atrocities were committed by Americans, when spies were aplenty. There were lots of room to work on surprise and suspense to make the story more gripping and interesting. If you are not aware of it, there are many secret doors to exit or enter Aguinaldo’s house which could have been utilized to add drama and show the dangerous life our heroes had to go through. After the Spanish period, there’s sense of urgency to finish the film, it is like shuffling of cards fast to bring Nora Aunor onscreen, and who disappeared just as fast, to finish off the movie. Thy Womb’s story is actually a simple love story — what a woman could do for a man she loves so much and wanted to be happy. El Presidente is also a love story, and a more complex one — what a man did for his Mother Country. With the latter’s story complexity, more could have been done to make it better. It had all the chance to be the best but unfortunately meeting MMFF deadline is the culprit. I don’t want to react about the historical accuracies or inaccuracies since they already claimed  that it is either only 95% accurate, or “fiction based on a historical character.” I’ve seen some of the changes but there’s no point talking about them out of respect for the filmmaker’s “creative freedom.” I just wonder how they affect descendants of heroes focused on.  [MMFF Winner for Best Story, Henry Burgos for Thy Womb; Best Screenplay, One More Try]

3)      ACTING – No variations in the acting or performance, even the looks of Jeorge Estregan from the time he pledges as Katipunan member to the time he declares Philippine independence. He is obviously acting; Aguinaldo’s soul or just his aura was not in him except in the few shots taken in his house in Kawit, or when he was already old and rarely some in between when he has no dialogues.  Happily, walang timba nang luha sa puntod [tulad sa Asiong] nang nakaluhod pagkamatay ni Candido Tirona. O dahil wideshot ang kuha? Yun nga lang bakit hinimatay pa? But then there’s a shot while he was in the cabin, wailing…dun kaya??? Ewan ba! Tikoy would prefer silent, and mellowed acting there, I am sure. And I would love to edit out  unnecessary melodramatic acting too. Favorite stances from Asiong surfaced as follows: the way he pointed at the picture of Queen Christina to Baron Geisler, the way he stopped [forgot the character] when two of his men were about to fight and of course, using two guns a la traditional cowboy  [a la Asiong, more so a la FPJ] while fighting when we know that guns were scarce during those days; and just a gun was commonly used. Oh well, “creative license”?

Moreover, I have witnessed that using comedians in serious roles wasn’t effective. As Baldomero Aguinaldo, or Lolo/grandfather of former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Bayani Agbayani’s first appearance alone elicited laughs, though he wasn’t making a joke. So does, Epy Quizon. In one sequence where Gerald Ejercito as Crispulo Aguinaldo died, his expression with matching slow motion made those seated beside me to laugh and exclaim: Ano ito comedy? [MMFF Winner for Best Actor, Dingdong Dantes; Best Actress: Nora Aunor, Thy Womb]

4)      EDITING – It was refreshing…a sigh of relief for me NOT TO SEE the Fade In/Out to Black that they used to destroy Asiong Salonga. Either narendahan ng director or natauhan sa senseless and stupid use of those devices. Nevertheless, the slow / fast motion and freeze effects in fight sequences were used again, but this time too overly done that they became predictable. They were fine to a certain extent but they should have been sparingly used to maximize the effect and heighten the drama. Another funny cut [just to shorten the already long film perhaps] is when Gregorio del Pilar was shot. He fell down from his horse. Shot on top-angle, hands presumably of the Americans enter frame and shown in the act of destroying his rayadillo or undressing him. That was the impression the shot gave. The problem is: the scene faded out at that point that it gave the impression Del Pilar would be raped. Many in the audience laughed, including me…the historical fact is Del Pilar was divested of his personal belongings. But that’s it, the shot was cut too short it gave another meaning and “malicious” impression to the audience. For every cut that you do, there is a reason…[MMFF Winner for Best Editing,Vito Cahilig, One More Try]

5)      PRODUCTION DESIGN – Costumes, art design in general are good, clearly the art department researched but in many scenes, even at the height of fighting, the general’s uniforms are SOOOOOOOO clean and white, SOOOOOOOOO new that my feeling was that they have just come from the tailor or from the laundryhouse. Niluma man lang sana bago suutin. In fact, among the first trailers the producer came up with and released, it was as if they were advertising Tide bar and soap: “Ano ang mas malinis, mas maputi?” The settings are good; location is the same place where some of the Asiong’s scenes were shot. Moustache in some sequences were not properly glued,  they look they’d fall anytime; or they were just too big for the character’s face, they looked so funny. It has not the naturalness in costumes, and settings of Thy Womb, complementing with the natural acting of the main players that contributed to overall design giving the film its right to win the award. [MMFF Winner for Best Production Design, Thy Womb]

6)      MAKE UP – I don’t know why they won when the first appearance of the “old woman” had been very disconcerting because of bad makeup, so much so that I wished they used a real, old woman there. The same with the actors who were so tidily made up…with faces looking unblemished. Probably, quantity of casts to put the make up on mattered, or in their criteria. [MMFF Winner for Best Make Up, El Presidente]

7)      DIRECTION – My guess was right, it was Best Direction for Brillante Mendoza. Afterall, he succeeded in really making his cast, especially Nora Aunor get into the character and soul of a barren midwife, who worked hard in looking for someone who could fulfill the wish of her husband to have a child. The choice of image sizes, extreme close ups, and handheld movements make the viewers part of their world or become the characters themselves. The use of silence and wide shots when needed; the concentration on the character’s soul; which in Jeorge Estregan as Emilio Aguinaldo, Meilly failed to achieve. There is distance between the audience and the character. You do not get “into” the character.  There is no emphathy. At times, Estregan’s dialogue delivery are so reminiscent of Asiong Salonga, astig ba? There is something missing in Aguinaldo’s character the way he was portrayed. The director has a big hand on this. And with the use of cursive scripts to caption or introduce the scene, the film turned out to be like reading a history book. Kulang na lang ng turning a page or page peel transition.El Presidente is like Baler, only better because of the important subject it tackled. [MMFF Winner for Best Picture, One More Try but Best Direction for Brillante Mendoza; Best Second Picture, El Presidente]

I watched the first screening of Thy Womb at SM MOA with less than 15 people in there last December 26; El Presidente in its second screening with nearly fully packed seats. Kulelat pareho sa takilya ngayon but worth seeing especially Thy Womb which despite winning the major awards, some theaters have pulled the film out because of poor revenues. But I hope many more could watch it, if only to know the culture of our Badjao community… really appreciate La Aunor, and get a surprising treat from Mendoza. For a change!!! Unfortunately, if last year it was grand slam for El Presidente producers who also produced Asiong Salonga, it was probably grand sla_ for them this year for not winning the major awards they were targeting and for sure expecting deep in their hearts. But I still laud them for producing it…as I’ve said, realizing an epic and a dream film is in itself is a big FEAT. Defeating the other purposes for which the film were made is another matter. There are other award-giving bodies, aesthetic values of jurors vary, as well as their criteria. Hope is there for those who didn’t make it this time.

Lastly, I do not know whose bright idea it was to put the Memoirs of Aguinaldo at the the end of the film. By doing so, they have limited or suggested a biased and one-sided version of his life… Di nila naisip yun?

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Thy Womb and El Presidente_2012 MMFF Entries That I’ll Watch

December 25, 2012

I intend to watch Thy Womb by Cannes Film Awardee for Best Director Brillante Mendoza and El Presidente by Mark Meilly. The first one because I loved Mendoza’s “Lola”, and I want to watch a Nora Aunor film. [I walked out though on his film “Kinatay” because of bad projection]. Next, I’ll watch El Presidente where Nora Aunor was directed by Tikoy Aguiluz for the first time. I want to see the difference between the handling of actors of Meilly and Tikoy, and how they see through the lens. What do I mean here? The composition , lens choices, and blocking of characters. I know Tikoy’s films well enough having edited almost all of them. Especially so because I met Carlo Mendoza, both film’s cinematographer last November during the last CineManila International Film Festival. We watched a Thai film together and he told me that differences were there in Tikoy’s and Meilly’s works. He even said that what the directors wanted, not what he wanted came out. Their preferences are clearly perceived; it was the color grader in fact who first saw the difference when the footage from two directors had to be graded.

The last film by Meilly that I saw was Baler which didn’t really struck me. I liked Crying Ladies better. Tikoy managed to get old Aguinaldo’s aura from Estregan’s performance, I wonder how he’d be as young Aguinaldo who was 27 years old when he became President under Meilly’s helm? [Asiong Salonga died at the same age – 27 or 28]. It must have been very, very challenging for Meilly to “exorcise” Asiong out of Estregan’s “system.” It is because I saw remnants of Asiong’s action in Jeorge Estregan’s El Presidente trailer; he was firing using two guns – “a la Fernando Poe;” the same action he added in Asiong’s for those who have already forgotten it. Understandably, it must have been one of his dream actions to be a “hero,” and who wouldn’t want to be, especially if it is your film production? Both roles were played by Estregan who is much older than the two. Kaya challenging din kay Gov..

Baler and El Presidente are of course incomparable. The latter would and should have more action and drama, Aguinaldo’s life being action-packed. I also hope that Bayani Agbayani transcends his image as a comedian. Playing as Baldomero Aguinaldo, Lolo of Ex-Prime Minister Cesar Virata must have been a real challenge for him. I hope he doesn’t make the audience laugh; otherwise, it’s EPM Virata who’d first to cry!

Anyway, Emilio Aguinaldo’s life is quite familiar to me having worked with my Cavite historian brother Isagani R. Medina who made extensive researches on Aguinaldo and Cavite’s local history. I was in fact, his main assistant: field photographer and researcher, proofreader, book layout artist, encoder, etc. The 1996 Centennial Edition of his 824-page book, Ilang Talata tungkol sa Paghihimasik (Revolucion) nang 1896-97 was the last book he edited, annotated and published. We worked on the book for two years. I shot hundreds of photographs for that particular book. Some of my memorable experiences in the book’s preparation was the actual handling of “Acta de Naic” or the Naik Agreement document from the collection of Jose P. Santos and Atty. Jorge de los Santos. I remember that my brother took a lot of time as he painstakingly tried to identify the signatories. I also personally touched to photograph the transcript of records of Dr. Pio Valenzuela at the UST Archives. I had goose bumps when I touched the transcript on thick parchment paper. I never imagined in my life that I would one day be able to hold them. Anyway, I have learned that Emmanuel “Manny” Calairo is on board as its Supervising historian, that’s great! I am quite happy about it. Knowing him personally from his undergrad days, being my brother’s student, and a follower of his ideas, historical writing style and methodology which can be gleaned from the first books he wrote and published, i.e., the book on Kawit, there is less to worry about the historical facts that would be put in the film. Manny is also an alumni of Metro-Manila College in Novaliches founded by my brother-in-law Dr. Mamerto Miranda, Jr. and later run by our eldest sister, Dr. Ligaya M. Miranda.

But our experience with Asiong Salonga last year where the producer’s so-called film ownership license made them bypass the intellectual property rights of a director, doing as such what they wanted on that basis and belief, completely disregarding the director, and what is surfacing as artistic license to change fact is what I am worrying about. Nevertheless, I respect the artistic license of a creative artist, to what extent it will be used when treating not only a historical but a controversial character is something we have yet to see. It is a crucial matter though. But I hope compromises were made and decisions done with Meilly’s rights respected. That’s important!

With the coming centennial birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio next year, El Presidente will enhance better Bonifacio’s actual role in the Revolution. If facts are presented the way they should be, Aguinaldo will be better understood by the Filipinos especially the youth, that is, if they would accept facts based on evidences, and if they were not done in exaggeration. Like in my brother’s article, “Aginaldo para kay Aguinaldo,” I expect them to highlight – Aguinaldo as Father of the Philippine Flag, the National Anthem and therefore, Father of Philippine Freedom.

I have browsed on El Presidente’s original script which Tikoy asked me to read; and Meilly’s as well sometime last August. Both end with bullets of events. But it is my hope that that’s just on paper as I have great hope for the film’s potentials because of the story and its milieu. It is not surprising that the film is said to be two-and-forty minutes long; if needs be, it can be longer. For as long as they give way to Gov’s dramatic, but not melodramatic action. Let his action speak loud not the edit or useless visual effects. If an edit distracts, that only means there is a problem, guys! But that will only happen pag nakialam na naman ang mga producer. Pabayaan nyo ang direktor, pwede ba?

Nevertheless, I congratulate Gov Jeorge Estregan for finally producing and realizing his dream film…That in itself is a FEAT! Now, we’ll see where feat and defeat comes in if at all… On Apl  de Ap take — I don’t think it succeeded. It’s off the film’s beat! Hindi bagay. For the youth they say. What works on one, may not work on the other, the Asiong formula didn’t seem to work this time. Even the music theme of Asiong, La Paloma by Ely Buendia, caught on like wild fire or viral once uploaded. In fact, you may, or may not believe it, but up to now, searches on Asiong Salonga still daily land on this blogsite.

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El Brujo Poster?

June 12, 2012

I got this El Brujo poster(?) while surfing the net…. this is the film that I am currently editing.

I unfortunately wasn’t able to continue with my edit today. It’s holiday they say. But I do not mind working even on holidays – except during the Holy Week or Christmas… so I went to Post Manila only to find out that we couldn’t work. I received the info when I was already there. The advice came in late. It was my target to splice all edited scenes together. Bukas na lang ano pa nga ba?

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Jake Cuenca in El Brujo_Stellar Role

June 9, 2012

Last night, I edited one of the best sequences where Jake Cuenca played his role excellently in Seq 68. Alone in a bar, he is drinking to drown his depression, frustrations, loneliness which built up into anger…well, I edited up to that point only….because from that point on, he will morph into…. whatever Tikoy wants him to look like — as a Brujo. Hahaha!

His internalization was so good I kept the footage as long as it can be so that the audience would ride in whatever he is feeling. Not to be outdone is Gerald Anderson. It is “Tayong Dalawa” sans Kim Chiu.

Thinking forward, if the so-called “re-editors” of Manila Kingpin: Asiong Salonga 2011 cut this sequence, I am sure they will chop-chop or chop it shorter. It is because “cutter-editors” do not feel sequences or drama. Or, they will fade in and out, freeze the frames and what not. They are physical cutters.

I classify editors into two: the creative and cutter editors. I never belonged to the latter, that is why until now I am working with Tikoy because he lets me be. Afterall, his film is my film. We always work 101% for our film. Traditional producers may not like our ways or thinking but they should understand that creative artists have ideas which they should let go…and fly!

I remember walking out while I was in film school when a classmate then assigned as my director ordered me to cut his film like a mere cutter-editor — pointing at the footage and telling me where to cut. “Do it yourself,” I said. That is why when the few and new short film directors asked me to edit their film, I posed the condition of letting me free when I edit.

I am left with half of the materials that I have by now to still edit. Big scenes were edited first for us to determine whatever shots are lacking. They are left with a day more to shoot. Target playdate is July. Producer is AB S-CBN.

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New Film Editing Assignment

June 5, 2012

Today, I started editing an indie film directed by Tikoy entitled EL BRUJO in a post-production house called Post Manila. The mythical film stars Gerald Anderson and Jake Cuenca. I couldn’t help but be nostalgic walking along Pasong Tamo St., where Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati is located, and in Pasay Rd. now called Arnaiz Avenue where the office is located.  I used to teach Art Education at DBTI. Most unexpected was meeting Donna, one of Manay Minnie’s angels who is handling our film’s account I think. I should visit Don Bosco one of these days…to meet friends who might still be teaching there, or maybe put up an A mi Patria poster in the Multiple Intelligence Library???

By the way, editing suites at Post Manila are named after Manila Streets. I happen to land up in “Dimasalang.” Isn’t that Rizal’s pseudonym? And isn’t that a coincidence since my mind is actually Rizal-full more so these days because of the coming premiere screening of my project A mi? Lolo Jose is guarding me no doubt.

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Fotos_Last Day of Director’s Cut Edit_Manila Kingpin

March 14, 2012

Found some photos from my “archives” while waiting for Project Speak Right Module 1 to render. The pictures were taken during our last and final edit day of Manila Kingpin_Asiong Salonga sometime in October 2011.  Kingpin Asiong ended up as an unforgettable waste of creative energy for me.

Direk Tikoy Aguiluz reviews his version of the film; Yuka in the background

Watching the Duel between Asiong and Boy Zapanta

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In Changing the Film Form, Film Sense Has Changed_Manila Kingpin

January 17, 2012

ABANGAN NATIN ANG INTERBYU KAY TIKOY NI JIM LIBIRAN TUNGKOL SA KANYANG SALOOBIN SA GINAWANG PAKIKIALAM SA MANILA KINGPIN: [click below to view]

Director on Director

“Tayo ang gumagawa ng panaginip para sa tao. Pag hindi natin na-recognize yun, walang mangyayari sa atin!” — Direk Amable Tikoy Aguiluz Vi

———

Note ko lang na kaya daw nire edit ang pelikula ay para improve ito. Sa patuloy na pakikipaglaban ni Tikoy para sa Director’s Cut, obvious na hindi naimprove ang pelikula. Otherwise, tumahimik na lang siya at nag enjoy sa glory ng pagiging Best Director ng Producer’s Cut.

SIMPLE lang, pero GRABE kasi ang epekto ng Manila Kingpin “re- editing.” Aktuali, wala pa ngang 20% yung ginawa nila talaga e. Ano na lang yung 4 shooting days laban sa 36 shooting days of materials na inedit namin? Yung rough cut lang namin na 2hr 30min ang ginamit nila e. [Walang-kapawis-pawis di ba?] So andun pa rin yun form ng ginawa namin mula umpisa hanggang katapusan, tinabas-tabas nga lang para magfit sa kung ano man ang ideya nila ng BETTER FILM na siyang nagtanggal ng mga nuances na kailangan. Pagkatapos isiningit yun isang additional seq na kinunan nila, pinagbabalik o nilagay yung mga eksenang tinanggal namin, at pinaglalagyan nga ng kung ano anong visual effects at musik na di bagay sa visuals —- na malayong-malayo sa bisyon ni Tikoy laluna na yung pa-ending mula sa paglabas ni Asiong sa prison. In fact, yung funeral scene na finale ay nawalan ng malakas na impact dahil sa music at pag-alis sa mga eksenang kailangan bago ito. Best Film Editing? Para ano??? Mukhang may problema ang film appreciation senses ng judges sinuman sila at hindi naramdaman ang mga kakulangan o kasobrahan sa aspetong ito.

Overall, IN CHANGING THE FILM FORM, FILM SENSE HAS CHANGED. Narinig nyo na ba yang Film Sense at Film Form ni Sergei Eisenstein, yung Russian director at film theorist?

Sign the online petition: producers-release-the-directors-cut-of-manila-kingpin-the-asiong-salonga-story

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Kay ER ang Pelikulang Ito! HINDI! Kay Tikoy!_Media Repot

January 12, 2012

Found this today. Interesting!!! Makasilip nga…