Sep 12
FROM CYBER TO SCREEN by Salve Grace B. Losbanes  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Sep 12, 2014

Not quite long since I’ve started writing for FAP-Web, I happened to ask the person who encouraged me to do it why he asked me to write articles for the web. Aside from saying that he has seen potential in me, his other answer was simple and clear, “The industry needs fresh writers for the journal, television and motion picture.”

After hearing it, some thoughts suddenly flew in my mind regarding the thought of having fresh writers and story creators. Yes, let us say that our screenwriters are indeed creative in creating stories for motion pictures and teleseryes, but still, the thought of having someone with fresh idea would be more awesome. This enters my idea of creating an article about Filipino movies adapted from books, specifically Wattpad.

Wattpad is an internet-based community wherein people are free enough to share their ideas and stories to other people and sharing insights through comments and votes. The stories in this cyber library ( as what other people would call), once reached too much votes and reads after which it would be hard bounded by publishing companies to be sold in bookstores.

It was during 2008 when the Filipino teens and young at hearts started reading from this so-called cyber library. From then on, they got hooked reading every story in there. Because of the huge popularity of Wattpad here in our country, several publishing companies like PSICOM, Summit Media, etc. offer these young authors a chance to allow their works to be published and to be sold in bookstores. Unexpectedly, these cyber novels turned into some of the most sold out fiction books here in the Philippines.

Middle of 2013, a popular Wattpad story entitled Diary ng Panget written by Denny/Haveyouseenthisgirl was published by PSICOM, a publishing company close to VIVA Entertainment. It captured the hearts of a lot of readers. Few months after it was published, it as reported in news programs that the popular Wattpad novel will be turned into a motion picture.

Hearing this, Wattpad fans anticipated the release of this film, despite VIVA Films choosing fresh faces for the movie. Nadine Lustre, a VIVA talent, stars in the movie as Eya, the owner of the diary and supporting her were other VIVA stars James Reid, Andre Paras and Yassi Pressman. Despite having meager publicity, the first Wattpad-turned-movie in the country hit P116 million in gross sales.

After the box office success of Diary ng Panget, another film production, Star Cinema of ABS-CBN, produced another Wattpad-turned-movie project entitled She’s Dating The Gangster written by Bianca Bernadino. This movie stars known Teen King and Queen Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. The movie hit the big screen with so much fans and supporters creating P260 million gross sales, higher than the first Wattpad story movie adaptation.

A few weeks after She’s Dating the Gangster, another Wattpad movie entitled Talk Back and You’re Dead (written by Alesana Marie) of partners Viva Films and Skylight Films (co company of Star Cinema) followed. This movie, to which Diary ng Panget stars and ABS-CBN talent Joseph Marco are the main cast, was also embraced a lot by the fans. The book’s sequel, Never Talk Back To A Gangster, will soon be adapted into film too.

The transformation of Wattpad stories into movies is indeed in demand right now in the industry. There are still a lot of pending projects like The Bet, Operation: Break the Casanova’s Heart and more, to be produced by Star Cinema productions.

Indeed the talents of these young Wattpad authors became a hit in the film industry. Just this month of September, two large entertainment companies here in the country announced its plan to release teleserye and mini dramas with stories based on these Wattpad novels.

TV5 announced first that there will be a weekly airing of mini-series based on these novels. These novels include My Tag Boyfriend which will star Sam Concepcion and Jasmin Curtis-Smith. The network also revealed that other Wattpad novels like Mr. Popular Meets Ms. Nobody and A Cinderella Story will also be transformed into mini-dramas.

Another network, ABS-CBN also announced its release of teleserye, entitled My App Boyfie. This pending Wattpad story by popular television writer, Noreen Capili (noringai) will soon air on television. Dubbed Book Royalties James Reid and Nadine Lustre (of Diary ng Panget and Talk Back and You’re Dead) together with newbie actor Dominic Roque was announced as the stars of the series which will air soon.

From cyber to screen—that is how we would define the life of the young writers from cyber-library Wattpad. But then, behind their hidden identities is a talent just like any other professionals. After all, creating a story for a movie or a series is not just a work of a professional scriptwriter. It also needs wisdom and idea, even the ordinary ideas of ordinary people. No matter what their works would result into when transferred into screens, it is still an achievement for them. What matters most, after all, is to be able to create a story which would entertain and could be informative to the audience.


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