October 31, 2010

First for TV

I just listed my 7-year highlights when I experienced another life highlight a few days ago. This one came unexpectedly, though, and fast. I was in a creative meeting for Alyna last Tuesday night when our Production Manager Miss Maru told me that they're looking for a director to pinch-hit for Direk Rory in Kristine because she's sick. I recommended a few directors who are proteges of Direk but it turned out they're also busy with their personal projects. The unit was already a bit panicky since they needed to tape the scenes before the long weekend. A few hours before pull out, our business unit head Direk Lauren came with a decision. He asked me to direct the 2nd unit so the 2nd unit director Richard can pinch-hit for Direk Rory.

I thought he was joking. I haven't had any TV directing experience. My training was for the film medium. Moreover, I haven't even studied the script, the visual template and editing beats for Kristine. While I hoped to become a TV director someday, I was under the impression that Direk Lauren will train me first via the youth show he'll be directing before I get to direct for TV. Yes, I'd love to direct but I had to resist the offer. I thought I was unprepared. But if you know Direk Lauren, he really has this gift of persuasion. He explained to me that I can direct the soap well since I was familiar with Kristine being its Creative Manager during the first 4 weeks. He also assured me that production will be supportive. Despite the assurance, I was still hesitant. I mean, at the end of the day, I will be judged for the material I taped and I deem that unfair since I was called to work unprepared. Still, I just don't have the heart to refuse Direk Lauren so I said yes eventually. Besides, let's admit it, it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

I hardly slept before pull-out. I'm not sure if I even slept at all. I was just too nervous to tape. I would be directing veteran actors and I'm not sure if they would respect a newbie like me. But I guess, my film school MDAFI trained me well. I remembered the protocol, the lessons, and more essentially, the reason why I wanted to direct that a sudden rush of energy came to me. Taping went smoothly, thanks in part to the staff and crew who were indeed supportive and the cast who treated me with respect. I appreciated that. I packed up at 5 in the morning taping 22 sequences and only dropping 2. They told me that's fast for a newbie. I was happy and on a high.

Now I'm not sure if the scenes I taped will come out okay. I also know that I still have a lot, and I mean A LOT, to learn. But what the experience really confirms is that I'm on the right career track and I'm grateful to the universe for that.

I will officially be credited as Kristine 2nd unit director on Monday, November 1. Please watch KRISTINE, every night, on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

October 03, 2010

7 Highlights

In celebration of my blog's 7th anniversary, I thought of listing down 7 life highlights in the 7 years that I've been blogging.

1. My first movie screenplay
Prior to this, I've been script doctoring for other Star Cinema movies (Till There Was You to cite one) as part of my job as Creative Assistant but it's only until My First Romance that I finally got to see my name on the poster. Nowadays, I don't write scripts anymore but it's fun to read now how I acted so defensive about writing a teenybopper.

2. My first assistant director job
My first AD job was actually for Till There Was You but it's in All My Life where I was officially credited. Reading my All My Life entries now, I'm starting to get nervous about being Direk Lauren's AD again for a youth show we're producing. It's obvious I was really stressed out during the shoot. I just realized my first working relationship with Direk Lauren, who I now consider my mentor and "Tatay" in showbiz, was not smooth at all. :)

3. My first apartment
No, I didn't own it but after sharing a room with my parents or dormitory roommates for 24 years, I finally was able to afford renting an apartment and having a room of my own in 2004. Our UP Village abode was definitely a place of many beautiful memories - the impromptu post-PBB Celeb 1 celebration, Emman's 2005 birthday, my 26th birthday party, etc. I even wrote an emo entry about it when we left the place two years ago. Haha.

4. Film school!
In the end, it was worth the risk! The positive reception of my first short film Ang Asawa Kong Si Nikulet surely helped, too. :)

5. My first ____.
I'm sorry, it will remain a secret but the date will forever be etched.

6. My first heartache
At 26, I fell in love and got my heart broken. I even wrote a corny goodbye letter to express my pain. Haha! I experienced four more heartaches after but I guess the song is right, the first cut is the deepest.

7. Other memorable highlights
Haha! Madaya alam ko but I realized the past 7 years had so many highlights. I had a difficult time trimming them to 7. :p

- Yoboseyo Seoul
- First headwriting job
- First reality show
- First time in HK (Last March's Hongkong trip was memorable too!)
- THE Baguio trip of 2005
- THE scandalous 2005 elementary reunion
- PBB Celeb 1 Cebu-Iloilo immersion
- Meeting the Survivor castaways
- Rose's 28th birthday in Tagaytay
- Coron & Bora in 2009
- My worst yet most favorite birthday ever!

Actually marami pa. I know, right? I had a life after all! :D