October 30, 2004

The Future of Philippine Cinema

I just want to say congrats to my friends Michiko, Emman and Byron for being three of the 10 finalists in the Cinemalaya Awards. Grabe, bow ako sa inyong tatlo! I am Patricia Clarkson in Six Feet Under right now. I'm a groupie of you, artists! I'm so proud to be your friend. Haha! :) Baka sila na ang magiging next Brocka at Bernal, kaya tandaan at panoorin ang entries nila February of 2005 sa First Philippine Independent Film Festival...
"Baryoke" by Ron Bryant
"Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" by Michiko Yamamoto
"Sarong Bangi (One Night)" by Emman dela Cruz
Good luck sa shooting ng pelikula nyo guys, at kung kailangan nyo ng artista andito lang ako. Wink, wink! ;)

October 26, 2004

Answer The Phone

I've been working in the industry for 4 years already and I still find it surreal every time a star calls me on the phone. Back when I was still doing AD jobs, I made it a point just to get the phone numbers of the star's personal assistants so I wouldn't have to talk with them directly. My defense is that I wanted to project a "non-showbiz" image so that they would still look at me as some "sort of" authority. (You know some stars can really abuse the kindness of assistant directors when you're feeling close with them. I don't like that. I'm a "work is work, chika is chika" kind of person.) So when THE Aga Muhlach called me on my cell one time and asked me for his call time on the set of All My Life, I stammered in my reply and gasped after the call thinking, "Wow! I just talked to a movie ICON on the phone!" I'm jologs, I know. =)

Earlier tonight, while I was having dinner with my "network" friends, I got another call from a star. The conversation went something like this.
STAR: Hello, may I speak with beatlebum?
BEATLEBUM: Speaking. Sino to?
STAR: Marvin
BEATLEBUM: Sinong Marvin?
STAR: Marvin Agustin.
BEATLEBUM: (disbelieving) Marvin Agustin?
STAR: Oo. Yung artista.
BEATLEBUM: Yeah right, and I'm Rico Yan.
STAR: (laughs) Hindi nga. I got your number from Direk Joyce...

Napahiya ako. Sha nga.=) Marvin Agustin of the Marvin and Jolina fame. It turned out he's looking for writers for a TV project he's developing and Direk Joyce suggested my name. Since he was also in the ABS area, he went to where I and my friends were having dinner to talk to me personally. His TV show concept is actually good but I had to turn it down because for one, it's for a daily series (no more daily soaps for me!), two, it's a fast-track project, and three, I'm still writing for Reload. I gave him Masturmind and Byron's cell numbers, instead. I also believe those two are more suited to write the concept he has in mind than me.

Going back to Marvin, I actually got to work with him before in Dekada 70 where I was the script continuity trainee. I had a not-so-good experience with him then. I was assigned to wake him up because he'd be in the next sequence for shoot. So I gently slapped his hand for him to wake up. To my astonishment, he slapped back my hand, strongly, it hurt really bad. (But I was just doing my job! :( ) It seems like a petty thing now, but I disliked him for that.

Of course, he doesn't remember . =)

October 23, 2004


I still have no idea what happened to my orig entry, it suddenly vanished, so here goes. 2 days after and I'm still having a hang-over from meeting Jenna Morasca, Ethan Zohn and Shii Ann Huang of Survivor. Can I just shout again?! AAAAAAAAAAAAH! Hahahaha =) It was a memorable experience, to say the least. Got starstruck and it felt good. The last time I got starstruck was still back in high school when I attended my first Eraserheads concert. How did I meet them?! Olive (my workmate) and I gatecrashed lang naman the Wazzup Wazzup taping. LOL! :D It was a class A "jologs" act, I know, we even waited for more than an hour just to have our photo ops with them, but I didn't freakin care! =) It was worth the wait for a Survivor geek like me. It helped that they were also super nice and friendly to the fans. What more, Jenna remembers my nick in Sucks! Happiness! :D She asked me what my nick is after I told her that I read her posts in Sucks, and when she found out I'm beatlebum, she told me, "Hah! I remember youuu!" I HEART U JENNA! :D Whew! It was surreal - short but sweeet! =)

Ethan is my first Survivor Idol. With villain Richard and manipulative Tina winning the first two Survivors, it was a refresher to have a nice guy finishing first in Africa.

Honestly, I disliked Jenna in Amazon, was very disappointed that she won. I was rooting for fellow Survivor geek Rob C. But when I read her posts in Sucks, I realized she was really more of a victim of editing. Besides, she herself admitted that she still has a lot to learn about growing up. Don't worry Jenna, I heart you now! =)

Shii Ann was my favorite both in Thailand and in the All Stars. She provided drama in the otherwise dull Thailand season and she was the underdog to root for in the All Stars.

Some stolen pics from the Wazzup Wazzup taping. They were made to dance Totoy Bibo by Vhong. =)

October 19, 2004

SCQ Overload

That floor director of Star Circle Quest is a betch (to borrow Chona’s term :D)! The fag rudely told us (SCQ Reload staff) to leave the studio with his microphone ON for everyone to hear. To think we just went there because Direk told us so. (He couldn’t make it to the staff meeting because he’d be taping for the quest). I’m just so pissed off. The production values of their show are not even that good! Have you seen last Saturday’s episode?! It was badly edited, poorly scored and had no semblance of a storyline that’s essential for a reality show such as this. I regularly watch SCQ but in terms of aesthetics, yes, I think Starstruck is BETTER. Mr. Floor Director should just be thankful because the quest’s major saving graces are the jurors and their relatively good judgment, the contest’s nationwide scope, and the quality of the contestants themselves. I’m not really fond of spoilers but because of that floor director’s bitchiness, I’m going to tell you now that internet fan favorite Marvin and that Fil-Am guy from Bacolod (Mark?) are voted out of the Final 25 and they'll have a Circle of 12 (instead of 10). Grrrr. =)


Thank God we survived our premiere episode despite the fact that we lacked time to prepare. In fact, most of the supporting visuals of the flashbacks as suggested in our script weren’t followed because of time constraints. Kinarir ko pa naman ang pag-relyrics nung baduy na kantang yun for the Melissa-Joseph-Michelle flashback (Hahaha!). If you also noticed, some of the scenes weren’t musically scored. It’s because the latter gaps were still edited and scored while the earlier gaps were already being aired. Phew! =) All the hardships were forgotten though, once we received the feedback of the show’s viewers. The praises in the SCQ Reload thread in Pinoy Exchange are enough to inflate our egos. To the SCQ Reload fans, thank you very much and we promise we’ll do our best to deliver good episodes per week. =)


Prior to the show’s premiere, I had a meeting with the post-production people so they can get my inputs for editing (na hindi naman nasunod dahil sa time constraints, hay! :D ). The meeting was a surreal experience, what can I say! Seated next to me was 80’s wonder-kid Chuckie Dreyfuss. Haha! =) He’s the show’s musical scorer, would you believe?! =) I regretted not bringing my camera, though. Papa-picture pa sana ako. Hah! =) Baduy na kung baduy, but Chuckie is an 80’s icon. I still fondly remember his loveteam with Isabel Granada in those all-star Regal musical comedies.


Our AD JR is nasty! I was in my self-aware mode when I told him my re-lyrics of the theme song for the MJM subplot is uber-cheesy but it’s okay coz the masses love the cheese. Sabi ba naman sa akin, “Yeah right! We all tell that to ourselves!" Grrr! Atenista at mayaman ka kasi! Anyway, tinamaan ako kasi TAMA siya. HAHAHA! =)


At least nakapag-update ako ng blog dahil lang dun sa P.I. na floor director na yun! Hahaha! =)

October 16, 2004

Farewell, Chona!

And her saga has ended. The "blog" world is shedding a tear or two. :(

October 15, 2004

Sunday Afternoon

Hello fellow Reloaders (bwehehe), SCQ Reload will now be a one-hour weekly series starting this Sunday, October 17, 3PM. Mark the date, peeps! The series will run for a limited engagement only (depending on the ratings) so episodes are not to be missed. To those who weren't able to watch the series when it was still shown daily, don't fret because we made the transition pilot (entitled The End is the Beginning is the End) with new and old viewers in mind. Man, this is so hard sell! Haha. :D

October 10, 2004


"Hi Jasmine!"

There were many cameras flashing at her but she waved at my camera ONLY. I think. Hehe. :)

If you read my previous American Idol entries, you know I'm more of a Velasco fan but this is just happiness. I heart you Jasmine! :D

October 09, 2004


No, I’m not referring to the earthquake that hit the metro earlier. That quake was a spoiler though. I was inside the movie house and wasn’t able to finish The Bourne Supremacy because the people were already panicking. The title refers, rather, to the shake-ups that are happening to my life these days. Particularly, work life. Man, this week has been very topsy-turvy. I’m still overwhelmed by the drastic changes. Still literally shaking up, anxious over what’s going to happen next. Or nah, maybe it’s because I still haven’t recovered from that nasty quake. (I was inside overcrowded SM for chrissake!)

Tuesday, Direk came back from abroad and became the bearer of bad news. He told us our show (and other daytime soap operas) is going to end by last week of October. I couldn’t hide my sigh of relief upon hearing it. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know THAT news was definitely NOT bad news for me. =) But when I found out that my workmates aren’t feeling the same, including one who felt very affected over the management’s lack of respect to the show, I felt guilty and bad as well. Others may see me as non-committal but I do am proud of the show. It might be blithe, gimmicky and soapish, yes, but at least, our characters talk close to real life persons than other existing soap opera characters. I would also like to believe that we are the first DAILY multi-character and youth soap opera in the Philippines. (Of course, I’m aware Taiwan’s F4 soap is the original.) But what can we, lowly network slaves, do? Management’s only concern is the ratings numbers. Never mind if they’re the ones who decided to put these afternoon dramas against anime shows anyway, which even non-Broadcast Communication students would know is very bad programming.

I felt bad yes, but I moved on quickly. No BS. Of course it helped that I got two standing offers mere minutes after Direk announced the cancellation to us. One was to write for an existing soap pitting two former talk show rivals. The other one, to write for a fantaserye launching this Monday. I said no to both. I was thinking I’ve saved enough moolah already to keep me surviving for another year of production work. I was also looking forward to an early Christmas vacation and thought I would continue working only after the holiday season. (Okay, Direk also told me not to accept since he has plans to hire me for production work in his next show. Plus Michiko recommended me to produce/write for an independent but prestigious production company along with other frustrated writers/filmmakers. Plus the movie peeps still kept on calling me to accept the AD job in the trilogy movie I posted about previously). It’s sinful to brag, I’m sorry.

Okay na sana eh. Michiko and I were ready to finish the soap and go on with our lives. Until kanina. Hay. Changes again by the management. We’re not going to be cancelled anymore. We’re going to be a weekly drama series. Phew! I was dismayed because I was already planning my vacation (planned to pass by some Visayan cities and reunite with former acquaintances and long lost friends before hitting hometown) but was also happy that they realize the show has loyal fan base for them to give it another try on a timeslot wherein its pre-teen core viewers can finally watch (Sunday afternoon).

Having been aware of the management’s impulsiveness and indecisiveness, I’m putting in my mind that nothing’s final until the airing date itself. For all we know, by Monday, there’ll be again changes. We’re going to be cancelled again. Or worse, we’re going to continue being a daily show. Hay. I just hope they decide quickly and surely.

I'm nervous.

October 01, 2004

Missing Ass

I just turned down an offer to be the assistant director of Kristine-Diether's episode in a love trilogy movie for Star Cinema. My soap writing schedule just won't permit. Add to that, our show's been going through organizational changes these past few weeks. Our Production Manager has been on leave for a month now after the sudden death of her husband. Our Executive Producer just checked in the maternity ward since its her due date already. Our Headwriter is in the United States and will stay there until mid-November to visit his parents after more than a decade. Our Director still hasn't arrived from the US auditions of Star Circle Quest. My co-writer Michiko will probably leave mid-October and first week of November to attend the international screenings of Magnifico. The network is in panic because of the station's overall ratings (with more shows getting the axe every minute).

To make the long story short, the timing isn't right.

I feel sad for the wasted opportunity because production work is really what I love doing more. At the same time, it would have been my first time to work in film production with the episode's director. I really wanted to work with Direk J ever since I was assigned to be the creative assistant of his first movie and we instantly "clicked". In fact we had been talking about working together even before the start of this movie project.


By the way, I still haven't started writing the one-liner. Boo me. :(

Looking for a Date?

Peeps, my friend is looking for a date. Any decent guy available out there?

She actually has no idea I'm "blogging" about it. I just think that since the "bet" she's having with her friends is so cinematic (read: very Star Cinema movie) anyway, the cineaste in me wants her to find the man of her dreams the cinematic way as well (read: through the Internet).

So if you're interested or you want to refer somebody to her, just leave a message, a contact number, a Friendster account, or whatever in the "comments" section below. Thanks. :)

Survivor Vanuatu Picks

Notwithstanding the lackluster season premiere, I think this current edition of Survivor is going to be a very good one. Somebody speculated that the reason for the downer of a premiere was because the editors edited that episode's storyline under a 2-hour timeframe and found out a little too late that the season would only have a 1-hour launch. (It seemed Burnett didn't want his shows to clash in the same timeslot. He's also the executive producer of The Apprentice shown an hour later in CBS rival network.) The result of the sloppy editing hence was a premiere with no main storyline arch, two bodies of a welcome ritual that didn't say anything about the game, and 18 players whom you know nothing much about after the first hour (well, save for talkative Eliza and legless Chad).

The succeeding episodes however were edited better, and I say far better. This time they use a no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point editing style that they haven't implied in ages for unpredictability reasons perhaps. Of course editing can only do so much. What's even better is that the castaways this season are really cutthroat. Nobody's sitting their asses off waiting to be voted out. (Hello, Survivor All Stars?!) In Episode 3, catty Mia fought till the very end. Lisa had no trouble jumping ship to save her ass. Eliza flip flopped right away knowing she's the 5th wheel in her alliance with the "old crowd" (It was a risky decision that didn't pay off unfortunately). John Keeney strategically didn't favor one female alliance over the other (although I think he should have knowing he's part of the minority alliance in his own tribe, so as his favored female alliance will repay his kindness in case there's a merge or swap). But enough about Episode 3. After all, I don't want to write a Survivor recap. Reality News Online can do that for me. Instead, I'm going to give my prediction as to who will win the SOLE SURVIVOR.

It was definitely difficult for me to trim my picks to just 4 (like what I did in Pearl Islands) considering there are 18 castaways this season and for all we know, there might still be an Outcast Twist. So I just decided to pick 3 who I strongly think will win, and 3 more who I think are very strong dark horses.


I love her to death so me picking her to win has sentimental value to it. Aside from that, her EPISODE 1 quote, wherein she said "I'm second to no man" is very telling. In EPISODE 2, she was instrumental in making the older woman's alliance win by bringing Leann and Eliza together to tell them their heads are on the chopping block, and thereby causing the two to ally together and vote off swinger Dolly. In the tribal council of EPISODE 3, she played the diplomatic tribe mate role with finesse (shades of Thailand winner Brian when he made that "Don't judge a book by its cover" quote) when she tried to bridge the gap between the old and young tribe mates. The fact that John Keeney seemed to be endeared to her by giving her the immunity necklace are plus points on her side.

He is a PRE-EPISODE 1 pick to win and still is after 3 episodes. In EPISODE 1, he was the only castaway whose quotes are purely strategic. He survived the episode unscathed even if he caused the men's tribe to lose in the balance beam Immunity Challenge. As he said later on, the game is about "outwitting, outplaying and outlasting" NOT "outbalancing." In EPISODE 2, he was under the radar which was commendable considering he had a huge target on his back in the previous episode. In EPISODE 3, whether that really happened for real or not, it was edited in such a way that he was the one who influenced Sarge to stay put with the alliance and vote off the player eventually voted out. When he cast his votes for that person, he said something like “you may be stronger PHYSICALLY, but I am stronger MENTALLY". Again, another strategic quote.

She's got the Mateo edit (the Final 2 player in the Amazon who started out as anti-social and non-strategic but learned along the way). Her storyline is also in for the long haul. After what happened in EPISODE 3's tribal council, we are made to anticipate her transformation from being a tomboy and anti-social to being a girly girl and more sociable. The fact that the editor inserted the voted off player's farewell speech wherein she said that TWILA will NOT win reminds me so much of Johnny Fairplay saying Sandra will NOT win the million dollars in Pearl Islands. (The ending, Sandrrraa won!)


He's got the Rupert edit - loveable character, tribe leader with a heart, good in challenges. But the question is will a player with a Rupert edit eventually win this thing or will that be too predictable?! But again, it's interesting to note that they're employing a no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point editing style this season, so could be.

He is a PRE-EPISODE 1 pick but man, he's been an annoying character since the first episode. My gut feel is that he might have the Kathy edit (Survivor Marquesas)- the character who also started annoying but had a character turnaround for the better upon realizing she's way off with her tribe mates. However, we don't see that YET for Rory. However also, we cannot disregard his interesting EPISODE 1 edit wherein he's the only castaway being most welcomed by the tribesmen into their islands. And we all know there's got to be one annoying character in the Final 4 (Hello Johnny Fairplay! :D)

She is another PRE-EPISODE 1 pick. She just talks way too much which could be detrimental to her winning the game but that didn't prevent Sandra from winning Pearl Islands! Editing wise, she has the most number of confessionals out of all the castaways in the first 3 episodes. Characters edited such as this are definitely in for the long haul. Case in point, confessionals-wise, EPISODE 1 was the Eliza Orlins Show same as EPISODE 1 of The Amazon was the Rob Cesternino show (He reached final 3).

I hope I'm right on the dot again with my picks.

Slow Burn

I'm getting tired with my work and it's disappointing me. I was supposed to finish a 3-day script last Monday but I ended up finishing the whole draft just yesterday morning. Deadline for next week's 5-day script is Saturday so I should have spent the entire day making the one-liner, right? Wrong! I just bummed around doing nothing but watched TV. I ended up canceling a one-liner meeting with my contributing writers because I couldn't present them any. I just told myself I would do the one-liner by nighttime after the airing of SCQ Reload. Which I did. I went to the cyber café outside campus after, to start working. (I find it more convenient saving my files in my Yahoo Mail account.) Alas, luck wasn't also on my side as the PLDT lines were not connecting. My mind wasn't that giddy to work anyway so I decided to go to SM North instead, and caught the last full screening of Fahrenheit 9/11.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is obviously politically motivated and subjectively anti-Bush but these don't erase the fact that it's a well-thought of, well-made and well-written documentary. Michael Moore is a documentary god. He was able to send his message straight into my heart and me being perennially depressed, I easily shed a tear or two. The movie was more personal than I thought. And universal too! You could see parallelisms with the way Bush leads to some of our former and present Philippine political leaders. I also find it eerie that the once fictional "what if" premise of Wag the Dog is presented in Fahrenheit 9/11 as reality. I definitely recommend you guys, to go and see the movie.

And so, here I am again, back in the cyber cafe after the movie, still not able to start writing the one-liner and just blogging my butt off. Good lord help me. I'm losing the zest. I'm not just feeling "it."