Jul 21
PMPDA SEMINAR NOTES by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Jul 21, 2009

Here are some notes on the PMPDA (Philippine Motion Picture Directors Association) seminar held in Matabungkay, Lian, Batangas which was attended by directors, assistant directors and practitioners of related disciplines on July 11 and 12.

Janet’s Beach House is owned by Janet Ballelos and managed by Rolly Bernardo, a production designer. The resort has rooms of different sizes with aircon and cable tv plus a videoke machine in the main building.

Seminar participants on their way to Janet’s Beach House in Matabungkay

On the way to the venue the driver of the coaster failed to notice the “vertical clearance” sign on the SLEX tollgate. Being accosted, after the coaster roof grazed the barrier, Vic Belaro, a movie actor and member of PMPDA, apologized in behalf of the erring driver. The party was spared of hassle and delay. Thanks to the smiling face of SPO4 Belaro, a member of Manila’s Finest.

Upon the issuance of the name tag and seminar materials, film director Jun Posadas surreptitiously inserted a 1,000-peso bill in the transparent plastic envelope. After showing it to Pablo Vergara, the famed musician hurriedly checked his envelope and upon finding there was no blue bill inside, rushed to the registrar and inquired.

Pablo Vergara was the first in the list of victims followed by Cloyd Robinson, Hernan Robles and some others who pleaded not to be identified. The dialogue of Joel Apuyan, the president of the ADPM-AMPI (Assistant Directors, Production Managers Association for Motion Pictures), made the ruse more convincing to the would-be victim, “Direk (referring to Jun Posadas), bakit sa iyo isanlibo ang nakaipit, eh itong sa akin five hundred lang?” And the victim would react with, “Aba, teka muna, bakit itong sa akin, walang nakaipit?”

Seminar participants were somewhat surprised to learn that a camera, even if it’s an HD camera, using a mini-dv tape can produce only a 640×480 frame size of video that is good for tv only and not for the big screen. It is now clear that the video camera was designed mainly for the tv video. However, an advanced function can make it useful to the movie maker.

To shoot a movie intended for the film projector, the camera should be equipped with the so-called P2 card to allow the bigger frame size of 720 or even 1080. Of late, there are video cameras that allow the larger 2K frame or the maximum 4K frame which is the real size of the movie screen.

It is disheartening to hear that a late model video camera is in the vicinity of half a million pesos while the P2 card for storage costs around P20,000 for a 16 gigabyte capacity that is equivalent to 16 minutes of footage.

Further, the frames rate should be noted. This is the number of still pictures that pass in a given unit of time. Movies in films use 24 frames per second while the video should be set to 29.97 frames per second.

Editing of the video, called non-linear editing, is now done on the computer. For the video intended for the movie, the finished product is outputted into the 35 mm film medium. It was also explained that “kinescoping” is the process of converting a tv program into the 35 mm film. So not all conversion to the film medium can be called kinescoping.

While giving the orientation for the digital side of movie-making, Direk William Mayo was a bit careless in saying, “Hindi naman tayo pareho ng iba na pumipilantik,” a direct reference to the gay directors. And upon realizing his faux pas, since there were several gay directors present, the amiable seminar organizer followed through with “Wala namang mga bakla dito, puro lesbiana lang, di ba?.”

Speaking of gay, Direk Jun Posadas proudly said, “May kaibigan ako sa Zamboanga na magbubukas ng sinehan. Kaya lang ayaw niya (mag-showing) ng… excuse me ha, ayaw niya ng kabaklaan. He paused before continuing, “Pero bakla rin yung may-ari.”

Early dinner. From left: Hernan Robles, Pablo Vergara, Xever Ramos, Roswill Hilario of NCCA, Dante Kabigting, Joel Apuyan

Participants were treated to a sumptuous and ample serving of food every meal time. There was sinangag and homemade tocino for breakfast on the first day and tinapa with egg and tomato plus sinangag again on the second day. Of course, coffee was ever present although it was the 3-in-one and not the famed Batangas barako coffee.

Lunch had fried fish and sauteed vegetable on the first day and paksiw na lechon and nilagang bulalo on the second day. For dinner, there was pork kaldereta plus a big lechon courtesy of Noemi Cruz of Scandic Palace.

A thing of curiosity was the “musang” (wildcat) that Rolly Bernardo has for a pet. “Nakakulong ito pag wala ako pero pag andito ako, ayan, enjoy siya pag hinahawakan ko,” mused Rolly while the critter was playfully gnawing on his ear.

Rolly Bernardo and his unusual pet

With the high lamp posts along the shoreline, promenaders enjoyed a night stroll amid the mild drizzle. Matabungkay boasts of its fine sand and clean waters. Early morning swimmers enjoyed the warm water even if the beach was full of seaweeds and water lily. The resort hands say that the debris were washed in by the recent storm (Gorio).

The seminar participants had a ball on the last night with the video machine. Unfortunately, the frustrated singers were not aware that croaking at night was allowed only until midnight. The Barangay brigade had to show a little muscle in silencing the itchy vocal cords.

It’s a family affair. Miguel Arevalo of Broadcom, the leading distributor of Panasonic in the Philippines, handled the marketing spiel. Miguel is the son of Dante Arevalo, the owner of Broadcom. For SQ laboratories, the main speaker was Angelo Santos, the son of the owner.

Upon hearing that SQ laboratories is still in the flood-prone area of Mandaluyong, William Mayo kidded Angelo Santos, “Naku, matindi ang baha doon sa inyo. Hanggang ngayon ba binabaha pa yun?” Angelo cleverly replied, “Actually dalawa ang entrance, yung binabaha para sa mga makukulit na clients namin yun.”

The kubo on the roofdeck (where Director Neil “Buboy” Tan stayed for the night).

A good thing to note was the revelation of Direk Neil “Buboy” Tan that he was able to wrap up the movie Hilot after only 3 days of shooting and that they had spent just 300,000 pesos. But despite the meager capital, the digital movie which starred Melissa Mendez and Empress Schuck, failed to recoup the investment.

Another good thing said was the announcement of Direk William Mayo that the seminar doesn’t end in the classroom because there’s got to be a concrete output. And that is a movie project to involve each and every participant of the seminar.

Since the seminar is under the aegies of the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts), Roswill Hilario was sent as an observer. He was armed with a laptop which has a working wireless internet connection plus an image capture facility. He also has a videocam and a still camera to document the event.

Lian Mayor Rosita Vergara, flanked by PMPDA President William Mayo and PMPDA Chairman Jose “Kaka” Balagtas

In the absence of guest personalities, the mayor of Lian, Batangas was invited to grace the awarding of certificates to the participants. Mayor Rosita Vergara gave out the certificates to the seminar finishers.

After a heavy merienda, the coaster left Matabungkay by 6:30 pm and reached Manila at around 11:00 pm.

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