“On making your first full-length, and how it breaks your heart”

Note: I wrote this to my high school friends’ (we call our group Bugsy) Facebook group page on one madaling araw of October 2011, days before I shot the awards night sequence, one of the most important scenes in my first full-length film. That scene was the film’s ending, and we had to simulate a real big-budgeted awards night, with big-name celebrities as guests, with the theater in full attendance, and with the venue in extravagant set design. It’s been five months since that day, and Ok Go was right all along: “This too shall pass.” And how.

Dear Bugsy,

ON MAKING YOUR FIRST FILM AND HOW IT BREAKS YOUR HEART

I’ll be shooting big important scenes on Thursday, please pray for me. I just got home from another film shoot at isang one-for-the-road inuman courtesy of our crowd director, so pardon this blabbering. Pag-uwi ko, hindi pa ako inaantok at pakiramdam ko, maraming emails ang hindi ko nabasa, kaya eto, nag-online muna ako. Tama nga, ang dami kong emails from my line producer (LP) and asst director (AD). Hindi ko pa binasa yung attached files nung AD ko. Tungkol yun sa mga hindi pa nakukunang eksena at yung sked namin sa Thursday.

Pero medyo lalong nawala antok ko nung nabasa ko yung isang email. Nag-blow up daw yung budget ng productoon design ko for Thursday kasi gusto ko nga bongga. I’ll need to abono around 100K for Thursday. Also, for the shoot on Wednesday, I need to abono around 150K. Matagal pa kasi darating ang 4th tranche ng budget ng aking film from Cinema One (after pa ng rough cut).

GUYS, ANG HIRAP GUMAWA NG INDIE, PAKSYET TALAGA. Ang hirap ng walang budget, it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that I need to compromise a lot of things just because I don’t have enough money. I need to fill up an 800-seater theater by just relying on friendship, when I can pay extras to fill up the place kung may pera lang ako. Yung production design ko, mas maganda, mas mukhang pang-Oscars kung mas malaki ang budget. Kung may budget for red carpet, kung may budget for more lights, kung may budget for a giant trophy, kung may bayad for the sikat artistas who’ll appear in my film worth at least 10K each just to appear for one sequence. Syet. Kung may pera lang ako, pwede kong bayaran sina Kim Chiu, sina Gerald Anderson, John Lloyd, etc to be in my film. Pero dahil wala, I’ll have to rely on friendships, on pakiusaps from celebrities I personally know… and mind you, there aren’t a lot of them, at hindi sila bonggang sikat talaga. Alam nyo namang hindi ako beso-beso kind of person, kaya wala akong ka-close masyado na artista.

Nakakalungkot lang no? Nakakalungkot lang na sa totoo lang, wala na akong pera. Savings in na’ko talaga. Last week, namumrublema ako kasi below minimum na ang ATM account ko, tapos hindi ko pa nababayaran yung condo namin nina Ethel. Buti na lang nakapag-invest ako 4mos ago sa isang company at biglang last week ay ready na ang investment ko kaya ayun, na-save ako. Pero ewan ko, hindi ko alam kung saan ako kukuha ng putang inang 250K para lang magawa ang gusto kong gawing eksena. Ayokong maging kuning-kuning lang yung awards night ko. Oscars ang peg ko dun, hindi Star Awards.

Nag-meeting kami nung Saturday ng team ko para sa Awards Night sequence at yung mga natitira pa naming mga eksena (may three additional days pa kasi kami). Kailangan ko na raw mamili. Pwede namang daanin na lang sa editing e. Wag ko na kunan yung mga hindi namin nakunang eksena kasi sobrang over-budget na talaga kami. Sabi ko, HINDI PWEDE! Kailangan kong kunan yun kasi importante yun lahat. Sabi nila, pwede ko pang magawan ng paraan. Yung isa nga raw pelikula nila, hindi nila nakunan yung isang important sequence dahil wala nang budget, at nagawan nila ng paraan sa editing. After all, they won’t recommend na maglabas ako ng pera kasi sa Cinema One, hindi pag-aari ng filmmaker yung pelikula. Cinema One owns it. So sabi niya, balewala lang kung mag-aabono ako ng 200-300K kasi after this film, hindi naman pala sa akin yung ginawa ko. Sa Cinema One.

Alam nyo pagkarinig ko nito, pinigil ko ang luha ko. SYET HINDI NILA NAIINTINDIHAN. WALA AKONG PAKIALAM KUNG HINDI SA AKIN TONG PELIKULANG TO PAGKATAPOS, WALA AKONG PAKIALAM. KASI ANG PUNO’T DULO NITO, PELIKULA KO TO. Pelikula ko to, hindi dahil ako ang may-ari ng rights, pero pelikula ko pa rin to, kasi akin to, akin tong vision, akin tong kabaliwan na to, akin tong pangarap na to. Hindi nila naiintindihan no? Ewan ko kung naiintindihan nyo, pero ewan ko ba’t sila, hindi nila gets.

Anyway, pag-pray nyo ako ha? For sure, mangungutang ako para sa 250K na yun, pero maluwag sa damdamin ko. Di ko lang alam saan ako makakautang nun na ang deadline ay Wednesday this week hehe, pero alam ko namang magagawan ko ng paraan yun, sus ako pa. nangutang na kaya ako sa bumbay dati haha. (True story. At hindi na ako uutang sa kanila ever. Lecheng 5-6!)

Ang dami kong hindi gusto sa pelikula ko. Nafu-frustrate ako tuwing pinapanood ko yung mga footage ko. Feeling ko, ang pangit, gusto ko i-reshoot lahat… But I think this is all part of the madness… And the beauty that is called the fucking first film.

Bow. Good morning.

 

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Tims says:

    Anu pong title ng movie nyo? Hindi ako madalas manood ng sineng Filipino, pero nanunuod ako kung film fest.

    1. ilayaonline says:

      “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay”πŸ™‚

      1. Tims says:

        omigod, ito po ba yung pangit na sinasabi nyo, parang wala namang trace ng pangit? napanood ko siya! thank you sa film.

      2. ilayaonline says:

        Hehehe salamat.πŸ™‚

      3. Tims says:

        I discovered your film when Ms. Lilia Cuntapay guested in a radio show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3b9Bd7O1_4. Kayo po pala si Direk Jadaone.πŸ™‚

      4. ilayaonline says:

        Hihi ako nga.πŸ™‚ Salamat!

  2. Keane Vincent says:

    And look at where you are now. 😊 Gusto ko sanang mapanood yung first film niyo po pero di ko alam kung saan pwede. May DVD po ba kayo nito na pwedeng mabili? 😊

  3. Keane Vincent says:

    Gusto ko sanang mapanood yung first film niyo po. May DVD po ba kayo nito na pwede mabili? 😊

    1. ilayaonline says:

      Wow salamatπŸ™‚ walang DVD pero minsan may mga special screenings!

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