In the set, the need for crowd control is imperative especially if live audio is being captured. “Dapat deathly quiet ang crowd,” said the audioman, because modern microphones can capture even the slightest sound.
Direk William Mayo said, “Kahit bulong lang ng mga tao sa crowd naririnig kasi marami sila.” Kaya problema ang asong kumakahol. But the most dreaded sound during a shooting is the roar of the tricycle.
Fortunately, the crowd at Barangay Natu, Rosario, Batangas cooperated to the fullest during the shooting of the movie LARGAAA. Walang naging pasaway. Even the electric water pump was turned off to give way to the audio requirements of the shooting.
The silent crowd in Barangay Natu, Rosario, Batangas
Normally, according to Production Manager Vangie Bulay, the Barangay Tanods are harnessed for crowd control. “Pero syempre papakainin din sila saka bibigyan ng token. Yung Barangay Captain naman abutan mo rin.”
One problem in employing the local authorities is the excessive participation. “Minsan kasi sobrang dami ng tanod.” And when the number of workers exceeds the budget, it is another cause for overshooting the budget.
The Bourne Legacy shooting required so many people to handle their security – MMDA traffic enforcers, cops, barangay police. Ang caterer ang masaya dahil 800 packed meals ang kontrata tuwing kakain. You can imagine the added cost.
Aside from the unruly crowd, cause of delay din ang makukulit na neighbors. Petty complaints like noise can be irritating to the production people. “Minsan papansin na lang ang mga kapitbahay,” Vangie added.
That “papansin” aspect is sometimes true. It seems that everybody wants a role in the movie. The Barangay captain, councilor and even the governor, they all want to be part of the movie to promote themselves.
Obviously the script is already complete so added sequences (or scenes) are not desired. Those unwanted cameo roles are considered shooting snags. And to think na hindi naman sila artista kaya hindi guaranteed ang acting nila.
Importante rin ang logistics including items for unexpected needs. Mula sa pagkain, inumin pati implements like tissue paper ay kailangan sa set. It’s a good thing that mineral (distilled) water is already common nowadays.
Some production teams bring their own catering to location shootings. “Mahirap kasing mag-gamble,” said the Production Manager of LARGAAA. There are times na hindi makain ang food dahil kakaiba ang lasa o kakaiba ang luto sa probinsiya.
The horse bite
Aside from food and water, a medicine cabinet is also in order. During the LARGAAA shooting in a ranch, one of the staff of the Production Design department was bitten by a horse at the back. Fortunately the horse is not rabid.
Yasmien Kurdi suffered an itchy skin due to those small insects which look like gamu-gamo. One of the crew went to the toilet several times perhaps due to the drinking water that came from the deep well.
The generator, to provide power for the lighting, is a must. But Line Producers, especially of indie films, frown on this. A genet costs a lot in rental, manpower and fuel consumption. It is wise to just plug in to the main power box when the host is accommodating.
During the brownout, Barangay Natu Captain Martin De Castro flanked by Felix Roco on the left and the author at right.
For the shooting of LARGAAA, the klieg lights were employed in full force at dusk. Maayos ang kuha sa mga eksena sa kuwadra, kitang-kita ang mga kabayo. However, the power went off after one hour. It was caused by the overload.
Lack of power is a big nightmare to the production team. Fortunately for the LARGAAA production, the power outage was fixed in less than an hour. It is an advantage if the host is the Barangay Captain.
Another snag is the lack of signal for the cell phones. People now tend to rely on the cellphone. So those who travel don’t care to get the complete directions. “Text kita pagdating namin sa poblacion,” is the normal dialogue of travellers.
Production Manager Vangie Bulay attaching the lapel mic to Barangay Captain Martin De Castro for his cameo role as Stud Master. Holding the camera is Assistant Cameraman Joshua Oliveros.
Another big problem is the weather. “Wala kang laban sa ulan,” said one of the camera crew. Para sa mga low-lying locations, lalong mahirap pag ang ulan ay may tendency na bumaha. The director may call a “pack up.”
Some other minor snags are technical like a static lapel or busted lights. And don’t forget the shooting permits for the location. But most of all, walang tatalo sa good planning.
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