Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cris Pablo Comments

I was taken aback to find out that Cris Pablo left a comment in The McVie Show regarding my critique of his movie Bilog:

hi i was browsing thru the net to search for comments on the movie bilog and i found your blog! thanks for the critique, i loved your critique (ironic no?)... well, regarding the technical (visual and sound quality) i was just as surprised when i saw how our movie was projected on screen and how it sounded on dolby... digital movies like in my case where we only use digital lcd projectors to project our movies, depend so much on the lumens or brightness and contrast of the equipment... we could only afford a 3,000 lumens because it costs P15,000 per day to use a 5,000 lumens projector (this should be the minimum for good quality picture). plus we complained that the light bulb used for the projector seemed quite old and so very dark and when its bright, the image is lost na... pero sa source naman the image quality is good... we had to rent a more expensive projector with 4,000 lumens on the friday screening which costed P6,000 per day (imagine how many tickets we have to sell on a day just to meet that amount. since we are shouldering the rental of projector and robinsons has no responsibility over it, plus the fact that out of P110 ticket we only get around P25 of that... means we have to sell at least 240 tickets!!! hahaha) Anyway, so that's how it went with the video image projection, its really highly dependent on the quality and capability of the digital video projector... to approximate film projectors, they will need a 10,000 lumens projector with dlp sana and not lcd according mismo sa nirentahan namin ng projector. Hope cinemas will buy projectors na ganun kalakas ang lumens. The sound naman, i was disappointed too because several voiceovers that i already deleted resurfaced in what was shown in cinemas... Kasi actually, the reason for this could be: well, palaging nabuburahan ng files, very important video files, sa computer kaya ako what i did was to copy our edited versions to a mini-dv tape para whatever happens to the pc, we will at least have what we call as hardcopy. kaso, hindi napansin ng mastering editor na ang nakuha niyang audio eh yung dating audio where i tried to use a lot of voice overs... regarding the actors, it really was a graduation thesis eh, a recital... something like the design exhibits ng fine arts students... where they hold their exhibits sa malls... ganun din kami, while we were about to be done with our workshop, we discussed with the students and decided na gawing seryosong digital movie at wag magmadali sa paggawa nito... Actually, honestly, laging take 30 ang performance nila pero nang wala na kaming perang pangpakain sa kanila kapag natatagalan ang shooting dahil sa kakailang takes, eh sumuko na din kami at dinaan sa editing...

Parang ang dami kong rason ano? Sorry ha... Hindi ako offended sa comments mo, actually mas gusto ko nga siya kesa sa ibang comments na basta na lang, hindi man lang nag-qualify kung ano yung hindi nila nagustuhan, kaya imbes nakatulong ay tila nakaapak pa sila... Ang critique mo ay maganda dahil inilalahad mo nang maayos ang points mo... Sa akin naman kasi pagdating diyan sa puntong yan ay nasa beholder na yan... Di ko naman masasabing stupid yung mga taong nagustuhan nila ang movie (atin-atin lang ha, actually tinatanong ko sila kung may kaibigan sila sa staff o sa artista para may hint ako kung nagustuhan lang nila kasi kasama ang friend nila hehe).

I hope you will not be mad at me for the kind of movies I made... Wala pa naman kasi akong intensyong gawin silang excellent or art movies or anything other than, may kuwento ako gagawin kong movie tapos susubukan ko ang mga artistang hindi pa umaarte... Ganun ako lagi tumingin sa gawa ko. Ang problem ko lang, sabi ko nga sa friends ko sa Pagdadalaga ni Maximo at sa Masahista, buti pa sila mostly film professionals ang grupo nila composed of at least 5, moneyed, film professionals... Ako madalas dalawa lang kaming talagang professionals kaya madalas ang plano sa preproduction, hindi na-achieve sa actual shoot. Then (I hope you wont say sobra na akong defensive here) pag umabot sa point na wala na kaming magawa kasi, medyo sobra pag kinapos kami during shoots, sa funds (like for food or transpo) hindi na kami makakilos kungdi make do with what we have or what we shot. May mga artista din kaming nakukuhang papayag sa shooting schedule at hindi darating pag naroon na kayo lahat (madalas ito) kaya nakakabaliw!

I will try to make a matinong movie this year, pag nakaipon na ako ng panggawa ng matinong movie hahaha...

If you want, I can lend you copies of my previous movies which were the ones that critiques really liked (slowmotion, etc.) Para hindi mo naman ako isumpa hahaha sa pinaggagagawa ko.

Thanks. merry christmas!

Cris pablo

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McVie’s response:

Cris, I am glad that you're quite open-minded regarding critiques about your movies. From your behind-the-scenes explanation, I understand better why the final product I saw on the Galleria screen is what I described. Believe me, I understand; I work in a network and am familiar with production woes. Clearly a deeper purse can help solve many of the technical difficulties and inadequacies encountered, including the movie projector used. (I read in the papers that SM Cinemas are acquiring new digital projectors. I’m not sure though if their PG policy will accept the kinds of movies you make.)

But what I found more interesting is what you stated: Wala pa naman kasi akong intensyong gawin silang excellent or art movies or anything other than, may kuwento ako gagawin kong movie tapos susubukan ko ang mga artistang hindi pa umaarte... Ganun ako lagi tumingin sa gawa ko.

First, I applaud your desire to give opportunities to fresh new talents. I do believe that encouraging more of them will be better in the long-run for the industry. Second, I take my hat off to you for having the courage and the determination to just grab a camera and put onscreen a story you want to tell. We need more determined storytellers, especially about the lives of Filipino gay men and women. That’s the reason why I’ve seen all three of your movies that had a commercial run. It’s my way of supporting Pinoy pink cinema.

What puzzled me is this: Wala pa naman kasi akong intensyong gawin silang excellent or art movies or anything other. Maybe you just want to downplay your efforts or perhaps you don’t want to sound like some haughty auteur with a touchy ego. But if you view your digital films as just some casually-produced home movies, this particular viewer doesn’t see them as such—especially if your films go on a commercial theater run and people pay to watch them.

Why not set your sights higher? If you’re going out of your way to produce a movie (not the easiest, most casual task to do), why not make an excellent one? They don’t have to be “art” movies. They just have to be well-crafted ones. There are Hollywood movies that are examples of well-crafted productions—writing, acting, editing, etc. And it’s about doing things better, if not best; why not aim for something that’s Oscar-caliber?

What you need is a lot more funds before even shooting a single frame. You also need a producer and production manager who will relieve you of the coordination work so you can concentrate more on the creative aspects of filmmaking. The concept of Bilog had so much potential it pained me to see how so much of it was lost in its execution, due to circumstances both within and outside of your control.

In the end it is insisting on coming up with the best—script, cast, crew, materials, equipment—in every effort you make. Maybe you can ask your Maximo Olivero and Masahista colleagues how they were able to come up with the funds. Maybe you can look for a co-producer who can help come up with the money.

As I’ve said there are few Filipino film makers who tackle gay themes upfront and fearlessly. I support your efforts in coming out with your stories. I just hope they are better told next time.

Thanks for taking time out to respond to a closet cinema critic.


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