The Katipunan Revolution Today

The Katipunan Revolution Today

I had a chance to finally watch the movie Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, directed by Enzo Williams. The movie illustrates how Andres Bonifacio fought for the freedom of the Filipinos from its corrupt conquerors. In the process, he also established the first government of the Philippines and became its first president.

Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo

If you haven’t seen it yet, go and watch it when you have the chance. It is one film Filipinos should be proud of and should see because it illustrates what we need to remember as Filipinos. Everything about it was great, including its very powerful message. The film shows we should never be complacent and to always fight for our beliefs, which is a good question to ask. What do you believe in?

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And it’s a WRAP!

This article was written in different times, during pre-production, the production itself and few weeks after the last shot.

And it all boils down to this.

In two days, principal photography starts for my newest short film, Happy Five Years, and will continue for the rest of the weekend.  Happy Five Years is the result of a few life-changing moments that took place early this year. Everything was a blur and I didn’t know how to make sense of it all. I wasn’t sure how to figure out how to deal with all these issues and problems. There was only one way I knew how: to write. But more than that, I realized the only way to deal with all these issues is to direct a new short film.

I’ve been debating on a new story for more than a year but nothing seemed to be right. I always found something wrong with the story or I didn’t have money or work just got in the way. But this time, I believe everything that happened to me, happened because it was the perfect story and the perfect time for me to write and direct.

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Happy Five Years in production

Pre-Production: End of Week 3

Man, oh, man, I am now starting to stress. There’s just so much to do! Hire crew, figure out and stay on budget, find a location, create script breakdown, rehearsals. And that’s just for pre-prod. Actual production and post-production are still separate!

But it’s okay. I’ve calmed down. I talked to my people and they’ve given me awesome pep talks and I know I’m meant to do this.

Tomorrow, I’m going to take another crack at the script and hopefully, that’ll be the shooting script. I’d really like the next edits to be at the rehearsals already.

But right now, I’m choosing to stress about one problem: the title. I’ve already changed it four times and I was quite happy with the newest one. But when I checked IMDb, there were already at least ten films with the same title. So I might change it again to a title that was unique or at least has only at most two other films with the same title. I can’t wait until the editing process to figure out the title though. I still have so much to do before that process even starts and I need a good working title for those things and plans.

I may have to go back to my vision board again.


As of this writing, I am now currently in the pre-production phase of my latest short film. I’m rewriting my script, which started as a 9.5-minute film and will most likely end up as a 20-minute short. Let’s hope not.

I’m holding a cold reading session that also doubles as an audition this weekend. And it’s a pain in the ass. Seriously. Common sense? Not that common. I’m currently looking for a casting assistant to help me out because man, I cannot do it alone. I’m hoping to get a camera for the auditions but it looks like I’ll have to settle for a webcam and a laptop to record the auditions.

I’m using the entire month of June for rewrites and meetings with my producer. Yes. I have a producer. I am no longer producing, writing and directing my projects. I will be writing, directing and co-producing it. Yeah. I can’t not produce it.

Next month, I’m going to have to recruit the rest of my crew, rehearse my actors (good thing I only have 2), get a location and finalize everything. I plan to shoot the film in early August so I can’t dilly-dally.

It’s exciting though, pre-prod. But man, oh, man, it’s still scary.  But it’s the good kind of scary. I’m looking forward to the final product, which I’ll be shopping around to festivals and use as my ticket to create a feature film based on the same premise.

Wish me luck!

Your Good Friend (2012)

As much as I love to write, I love filmmaking even more. There’s nothing like seeing your movie up on the big screen, in front of an audience (i.e., people you know and don’t know), and have the audience receive your movie the way you intended them to receive it.

And more than that, I love it when I see my friends (who are also filmmakers) reach for their dreams and come out on top.

Back in San Francisco, I was fortunate to work with one of the best screenwriting and directing teachers I’ve ever had. I loved how he pushed me to surpass my boundaries and consider perspectives that have never even crossed my mind.

Your Good Friend

Directed by Matthew Jacobs

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Hints of Inspiration

I am constantly looking for inspirations for new stories and new scripts. Contrary to what some people may believe, coming up with stories does not happen with a snap of a finger. I have notebooks full of ideas but only a handful of them are developed.

Finding the idea for my next story is never easy and I am never sure where it’s going to come from. So I never stop looking. Sometimes, ideas come from other scripts, conversations, newspaper articles, paintings, carts and new discoveries.

But when I am stuck, there are a few sure ideas that will definitely get the ball rolling.

1. Read fiction. I used to read a lot of fiction before I started grad school. But since then, I’ve read nothing but trade books. Whenever I need to keep my mind off the craft, I turn to my fiction books and suddenly, just like that, the ideas start to come. Most of the time, I don’t end up developing about 90% of it. But it doesn’t matter because there’s still 10% of the ideas left to develop.

2. Museums. I especially love sculptures. Because more people crowd around paintings and drawings and rarely notice the sculptures. So I spend more time there and my imagination goes wild. I’ve actually developed more ideas and written more scripts based on ideas inspired by sculptures.

3. People watching. I love to watch people. Sometimes I listen to their conversation. But their body language is more fun to watch. Besides, the fun part is not eavesdropping but pretending what they could be talking, fighting or thinking about. Whether it’s true or not is never the point.

4. Going out. I don’t go out all the time because I work a lot. But I do get together with friends a couple times a month and share stories. And most of those stories are interesting enough to be developed into something more.

The point really is to gather as much ideas as I can and hopefully, there’ll be one there that’ll be worth developing.

Challenges of Screenwriting

I never get tired of attending screenwriting classes. I still believe it’s important to remember the basics no matter how long you’ve been doing something. I’m still starting out as a screenwriter and I’ve taken advantage of the techniques used by the teachers or speakers in the classes I’ve taken. I used their techniques, combined with what I’ve learned in the past. Honestly, I still haven’t figured out the best way to write scripts because I’m still learning new things everyday.

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