May 30, 2004

Camera Whoring

Had some major camera whoring this past week with some celebs. Thought you might want to look at the pictures. Or thought this might be good publicity for my blog since Retrostats say many surfers were referred to this site because of my namedropping of celebrities. Nah! I'm really just a jologs fan wanting to tell the world I have pics with a real star and today's "in" starlets. :D


Sharlene of Star Circle Quest Kids

Aaron of Star Circle Quest Kids

Neri Naig

Melissa Ricks

Joross Gamboa

Hero Angeles

The Aga Muhlach experience

May 29, 2004

Wrong Impulse

What’s wrong with me these days? I’m becoming an impulsive book shopper! And to think I’m not even the bookworm type. The youth show team had an “ocular” yesterday to get the feel of the show’s locations. Of course, being a youth show, a mall location is inevitable. While the others were roaming around the area, I found myself going to National Bookstore where I ended up buying 5 more books. Argh! They are:

1. Interesting Women Stories by Andrea Lee
2. The Dive From Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer
3. Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
4. Funnymen by Ted Heller
5. Tishomingo Blues by Elmore Leonard

They’re all books from the 99-peso sale. I actually spent an approximate amount of P1, 200 for all the books I bought. Argh! And I’m not even earning these days! (The youth show will only pay me once the first episode airs and the fees are not retroactive.)

We also went to Malate after and watched the stage adaptation of Joey Gosengfiao’s Temptation Island. At least I had a laugh. Just like the movie, the play was very funny. It’ll run until Sunday in Republic of Malate. Catch it! :)

No Doubt

I’m again having doubts whether I was right about accepting the writing offer. I’m just so “off” these days. I’m having a hard time adjusting to the team and to the system. It was so na├»ve of me to think that it would be fun just like writing My First Romance. It really still depends on the people and the creative process involved. Right now, I feel that the team lack members who are young at heart or those who really understand what the youth’s going through these days considering we are writing a youth show. Or maybe I’m just looking for young creative team members coz’ at 24 I’m the youngest in the team and I’m looking for someone who may not necessarily share my creative ideas but at least we are in the same wavelength. I also feel a little bit tensed because they still haven’t hired a co-writer. And while I’ll not be writing the pilot episodes, it still stresses me because I don’t really believe in my writing powers and I accepted the offer believing I’ll have a writing partner. Or I may need rest. I actually told them that I wanna go home first, take a break and recharge my energies after the strenuous 6-month shoot for All My Life, but they requested that I set aside my vacation plan ‘coz we’re launching by mid-June. I’m just so drained now. And it just dawned on me that I’ll be writing a continuing series, which means that if they won’t fire me in the future or if the series will do good, I might grow old writing this stuff and I don’t want that to happen. I wanna grow. I don’t wanna write the same stuff. I still wanna do production work. Of course it doesn’t help I have been receiving offers to do production work, thanks to All My Life, and I had to say no because of the youth show. Argh! Good Lord, help me!

May 27, 2004

Where in the world is ...?

I'm happy to tell you that All My Life is doing very well at the box-office. They say its opening day gross is bigger than Milan so that's definitely good news. I just hope the huge profits equate to "bonus" fees for us staff and crew. LOL! :D

Something to look forward to while watching the movie are blink and you'll miss appearances by yours truly (hehe) :

1. At the photo gallery scene, I was the guy with the orange jacket behind Aga.
2. Art director Riza and I were behind Aga and Kristine when they climbed down the ship for Langkawi. I was wearing a yellow shirt and my prized Survivor buff.

Loud colors, indeed. :)

American Idol







From the start, my MIND, my HEART, and my GUT already pegged her as the winner. And I was right! Congratulations Fantasia Barrino! You deserve it! :)

I'll surely miss the cheeze now that the season has ended. :)

May 24, 2004

Rate Me

Yahoo!:) I got a 1.25 in my Film 100 class. I mean, wow. I’m so happy!:) I’m a certified geek! I’m so Tracy Flick in Election! Or I’m so Neri of Star Circle Quest. LOL! :) I love you Ma’am Gigi Alfonso! I’m all ready to enroll now for next semester! Wow. Can I say that again? Wow. :)

***

Argh! I don’t like it when I’m too happy. After hearing the good news, I don’t know what got into me, but I bought seven (that’s 7!) 99-peso hardbound novels on sale in National Bookstore! To think I don’t even have time to read these novels. In fact, my good friend Sanda has been texting me to return her novel Prague which I borrowed last year and which I still haven’t read. The novels are all good though (rated A by the book critics of EW) and the fact that they’re on sale made the situation more irresistible.


I bought the following books:
1. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
2. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
3. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
4. Random Family (Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx) by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
5. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber
6. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
7. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs


I just hope they live up to the good reviews coz’ they pretty much are what I’ll be reading for the rest of the year. Actually, I’m encouraging you to check the on-sale books in National Bookstore. There are really lots of good ones like Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, Joseph Kanon’s The Good German and Carl Hiaasen’s Basket Case - all for 99 pesos only. Hardbound too.

After the impulse buying, I proceeded to watch Shrek 2. The movie’s “two thumbs up” for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has good visuals but more importantly, it has a very smart screenplay which subtly critiques societal stereotypes and faux definition of happiness. Whew! :) I also like the tongue-in-cheek humor of the movie.

***

All My Life didn’t get any rating from the Film Ratings Board. I’m so sad. I still don’t know why it didn’t get any rating. (I’m going to research tomorrow). Nevertheless, I’m also beginning to be even more proud with My First Romance. LOL. :)

***

My brief appearance in The Making of All My Life special in Cinema 1 is not doing me any good. Many people actually believe that I’m so rich now because I was the movie’s assistant director. God, how I wish their assumption is true. I’m as poor as a rat. The money left in my bank account can’t even afford me a plane ticket back home. I’m not exaggerating. And I wanna go home. I miss home. I miss my family. Huhuhuhu! :)

May 21, 2004

Sucky Writing

Argh! I hate group writing. It hinders creative growth. It’s all about making compromises. It gives way to chopseuy vision and tone. 2 or 3 writers/creative thinkers are enough. More than that’s hogwash already. I'd rather have a flawed material with a strong POV rather than a perfectly logical material with a mishmash of ideas. Argh! Mainstream scriptwriting sucks!

May 20, 2004

Take Two

Fuck! I just saw myself on TV. I am so freakin' embarrassed now. I'm actually blushing while I'm typing this. WHY LORD?!!? Why didn't they edit out the interview? I swear the segment would still be complete without me on it. I mean, they only had me saying two insignificant lines, it doesn't matter if those were edited out! Plus I looked so freakin' ugly. They put foundation on my sunburned face and it came out uneven on screen. The lip-gloss they put was also too shiny. Or okay, it might be because I'm really ugly. What more, I just realized I sound like Carlo Aquino (only squeakier) and I have this annoying geek smirk mannerism when I talk! Yep, I observed all of these even if I only said two lines. LOL!:)

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just click on this entry.

Forgive me people, being harsh to myself is one favorite pastime. :)

May 19, 2004

Shameless Plugging Deux





Please watch All My Life, the movie starring Aga Muhlach and Kristine Hermosa. Opening day is on May 26. We have a special screening on the 25th in ABS-CBN's Studio 1. Lauren Dyogi of Star Circle Quest fame directed the movie. I worked as the (ahem :D) assistant director. I need the "bonus" so please watch! :)

May 18, 2004

Dazed Whiner

Our brainstormed youth drama concept has just been approved by the bosses. It is something to be proud of for me ‘coz the show we have in mind, while NOT a breakthrough concept is different from the usual crop. We want our youth show to be as real as possible – not pa-cute yet not soapish. Now if we can support that into writing or more importantly, if we can sustain that when the ratings come out, still remains to be seen. Based on my past mainstream TV/movie writing experience, the key is not to get too attached. Everything will all boil down to business eventually.

I’m still adjusting, of course. Yeah, I know I still have a lot of things to learn about good screenplay writing but more than this, I’m still adjusting to my new work. I got used to the fast-paced no-nonsense work of movie production I easily get irritated when we work in a snail and O.C. pace. I’m also still adjusting, not only to our head writer (I’m slowly getting comfy with him, not yet fully but getting there hopefully) but also to the other members of the creative team. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because my personality is just different from them. Or to use that hackneyed term again, we don’t share the same wavelength. I don’t know. I don’t really fit the typical writer image so maybe that’s another reason. Good thing my friend Emman is already part of the group. His presence makes it easier for me. Really!

Tomorrow, the team’s going to rest. This should have been good news since I’ve been working non-stop since last week (after the All My Life shoot wrapped up, I went straight to work for the youth show) and I’m down with cold and sore throat (must be the weather, or I’m really mentally and physically drained.) Yet, I’m not resting tomorrow coz I said yes to the movie writing offer. Michiko and I are going to meet to think of a storyline for the premise presented by the project’s film director. I’m not that confident with the premise but I don’t have the right to say that the premise sucks. I said yes to the offer which means I should work things out.

What’s bugging me is the fact that I’m accepting all these offers without understanding why I’m accepting them in the first place. I mean are these really what I want? Or am I just too hungry for money after a hard-up year? I don’t know. I still haven’t gotten to think things over. I really am clueless to what I’m doing. Totally clueless! Totally fucked up!

I wanna go home.

May 15, 2004

New Lease

Hello people! I hope you like the new look. Frankly, I don’t like it that much. In fact I regretted changing the template impulsively without thinking that the previous comments would be erased. Moreover, this isn’t the original template that I want. (The “Snapshots” template downloads slowly so I had to change to this.) I just find the font too small. I also don’t like it that the headings at the right are in small caps. The dates per entry and Dave Egger’s quote are also difficult to read. But well, being no HTML expert, I guess this will do for now. Or forever! Heh.

***

I’m beginning to doubt my decision to accept the writing job. I’ve attended 3 brainstorm sessions so far and something tells me I may not have made the right choice. Or maybe it’s because I don’t share the same wavelength with the head writer. I find it hard to talk during brainstorm sessions because aside from the fact that he dominates the discussion, I don’t think we share the same artistic likes. I am intimidated by him. The fact that I’m an insecure screenplay writer makes it more difficult to conquer my intimidation towards him. Hello, Lord, help me! Argh! This has always been my eternal problem. I’m always deciding in haste. Ano ba talaga, Ted! Ano ba talaga ang gusto mo?!?

***

My Tatay lost in the elections. It was a sweep for the slate funded by the infamous congressman imprisoned for child rape. (This is no mudslinging, just a mere fact.) My Tatay ran independently. Reports had it that the congressman’s party paid 1,500K per voter and sadly, their vote-buying paid off. My Tatay’s okay but I’m disappointed because this just shows that there really is a need to educate our voters, especially those living in far-flung provinces. I just hope that whoever wins as President gives education a topmost priority. We don't need no education, NOT!

May 14, 2004

Wrapping Up Again

AAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!! It’s a wrap! We finally finished shooting the movie. I’m so relieved! I actually survived my first AD job (not counting the AD trainee job in Till There Was You and interrupted AD job in the shelved My First Romance project)! Definitely, this was the most difficult shoot I’ve ever had. I mean, Dekada '70 had a more stressful environment but I was just one of the lowly people there so I had no direct responsibility to the on-set troubles. Being the assistant director this time was different. The responsibility was so huge, the pressure was so high, and I had to dodge all the bullets thrown at me. Yet I came out unscathed. I remained strong and didn’t cry (to the frustration of my director :) ) Penniless maybe (I consumed all my savings during the six-month shoot) but I’m still in one piece, thank God. Whew!

But let’s not dwell on the negative. The following are what makes the ALL MY LIFE shoot (yep!) a memorable one for me.

- Working with THE Aga Muhlach was certainly an honor. I now understand why stars like him and Vilma Santos (whom I’ve also got the chance to work with in Dekada ’70) are still on top of the business. They respect their work and their co-workers.
- The staff members who are all hardworking and easy to work with, specifically Grace (script continuity), Danica (PA), Miss Nancy (Production Designer), Miss Riza (art director), make up artist Adore, crowd directors Irene and Aye and interns Sunshine and Joan.
- Miss Elma, my favorite line producer of Star Cinema!
- Direk Lauren, even if he doesn’t want to admit it, is one of the kindest directors I’ve worked with. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.
- Dimples Romana and Miss Ces Quesada who are both professional and intelligent actors. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them.
- The topsy-turvy one-week Star Cruise shoot, properly documented somewhere in the archives.

Let me say that I will surely miss movie production as I’m going back to writing for my next job (though I’m having doubts with that decision now but more on that later). Haay... You win Direk! I’m now teary eyed.

May 09, 2004

Random Updates

It surely feels good to be online again! Gad, I can’t live without the Internet. I’m a slave for the Internet. I was out of civilization last week because of work. I just came from a 3-day straight shoot in Calatagan, still for the same movie. Nope, we’re not done yet. We still have 1 shooting day left (I hope!) but at least, I survived the grueling out-of-town shoot. I did say before that I’m yearning to go to the beach but after last week’s beach shoot, I don’t think I wanna see the beach again. Not for a month, at least. :)

***

If you don’t wanna know the latest American Idol spoiler, then don’t click on this previous entry because my MIND correctly predicted American Idol’s Final 4. Who do I think will win? Click on my Retrostats and look at the keyword that has the most number of search queries. ;)

***

As the movie is about to wrap up shoot, I’m again in the dreaded crossroad not knowing where to go next. God is good though (as always), because this time I got 3 job offers even before the shoot’s done. Last week, I received a call from one of the TV EPs asking me to write for a syrupy youth show. I know I imposed a self-ban on writing basically because I don’t believe I’m a good writer but TV writing is where the money is. And for someone like me who has been penniless ever since I transferred to movie production, the temptation’s just irresistible. So I said yes. And I’m now asking myself if I made the right decision. Coz you see, if I stayed with movie production, I still don’t know what my next job will be. But on the other hand, did I just waste two precious years of movie production work (and a relatively high-profile albeit not high-paying assistant director job)?

Furthermore, I again got another offer to co-write a movie and the concept I pitched on the TV station’s Pitching Day got approved by the bosses and is now in process of pre-production. (They’re going to make it a segment of a noontime show first to see if it will attract an audience). I know. I’m blessed and I’m whining. It’s just that I’m so not sure now of the career path I’m about to take. Let me tell you though what I really want to do. I want to do production work for a reality show. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you’re perfectly aware I’m a crazy fan of Reality TV. (My greatest dream in life is to play for Survivor, would you believe?) I wanna direct or do editing work for such genre (even just a segment). The problem is there are no offers.

Decisions, decisions…

***

Carla_Fan asked me about the elections. Honestly, I’m apolitical but I do encourage everyone to vote. (I don’t know if that’s contradictory.) I believe that as a Filipino citizen, it is our responsibility to vote, pay taxes, and obey the laws (yes, including simple traffic laws.) If you’re not responsible enough to do those, then you have no right to complain about the government’s shortcomings. That’s what my Tatay taught me. The problem, though, is that I won’t be able to vote this year. I’m registered in the province and I can’t go home because of work. And I’m guilty. Really.

Anyway, just to answer Carla_Fan’s question, FPJ and Lacson will definitely not get my vote. FPJ for his inexperience and Lacson for his involvement in the Kuratong Baleleng rub-out and Martial Law tortures. I’m still part of the 24% who hasn’t decided whom to vote for president. I’m listing down the pros and con of the 3 other remaining candidates.

ROCO
(+) – I believe his intentions are noble, he has the qualities of being a good president, and his name hasn’t been tarnished in any corruption case.
(-) – His high temper and the fact that he’s not being transparent with his sickness. He’s obviously sick though.

ARROYO
(+) – If you believe in the surveys, then the only way for FPJ not to win is to vote for Gloria. I can also see that she’s a hardworking president.
(-) – Traditional politician

VILLANUEVA
(+) – I believe he is the most noble, honest and sincere among all the presidentiables.
(-) – I fear that if he wins freedom of artistic expression and intellectual discussions will be curtailed all because of “morality” issues.

As I’m writing this blog, I’m leaning towards Gloria for president.

Loren will be my vice-president. I don’t like her but she did very good work as a Senator.

For senators, I’m going to vote for the first-timers. The senate needs fresh blood. Mar Roxas, Dick Gordon and Pia Cayetano will get my vote.

Anyway, I hope you guys all vote! And I pray that we have a peaceful election. (Sadly, wishing for an honest election is just impossibility).