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.