Jun 23
LEARNING THE ROPES OF FILM MAKING by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Jun 23, 2015

The Mowelfund’s training arm, headed by film director Edgardo Boy Vinarao, recently held their annual Filmmaking Course. The short film as thesis will be showcased before the end of June, 2015.

The month-long workshop grinds for 8 hours, from Monday to Saturday. So intensive is the workshop such that workshop OIC Edwin Joaquin said that participants can ably work in a film project with their learning.


Direk Boy Vinarao during the opening day of the film editing sessions held in the Tama Cinema

The 20 or so participants were treated to renowned movie industry veterans as resource speakers like first-rate assistant director Andy Andico, directors Soxy Topacio, Lore Reyes, director/writer Jun Lana, tv network’s favorite production designer Manny Morfe.

The sometimes boring lecture sessions were invigorated by actual examples of the speakers. Participants get to know of the real work in the industry aside from the technical side of it.


Veteran assistant director Andy Andico sharing his experiences to the participants

Like Direk Jun Lana, the focus of his directing talk was his movie Barber’s Tale. He related the travails of what he had gone through so that the participants can learn from his experience in writing, directing and producing the said film.

Multi-awarded production designer Fritz Silorio delved on the prosthetics. While doing the demo, he was relating some of his experiences. As an advice, the convenience and safety of the actors should always be the priority.

Editor and cinematographer Jay Ramirez assisting the participants during the hands-on session of the editing class

The editing lessons of Jay Ramirez were replete with snippets of his experiences, not only of editing but with some parts of cinematography as well since he is also a veteran in the camera department. A very good speaker, Ramirez easily connected to the participants with his down to earth style of lecturing.

After the classroom lectures, the participants were divided into groups for the hands-on experience. For this year’s crop, there are only 2 groups, each were given 2 days of shooting with real equipment.

Actor/director Soxy topacio in his directorial lectures which focused on his experiences with famed directors and actresses like Lino Brocka and Lolita Rodriguez

As a non-profit foundation for the movie industry, Mowelfund can easily get good discounts from the equipment rentals. The barangay also waived the needed permit as long as the shooting is done inside the Mowelfund compound.

Expectedly, the film production of the thesis encountered foreseen snags like late arrival of contracted talents, delay in the setup, weather interruption. There was an instance when the heavy rains and thunder disrupted the shooting for one hour.


The prosthetics lessons of Fritz Silorio

Most of the talents for the thesis project were contracted en gratis and maybe just given a token or, in some cases, none at all. The lack of budget is the main reason why named actors are seldom seen in those projects.

Some years ago, there was that thesis where the lead actor was Xian Lim. The movie was about a musician which involved an original song composed by a certain Mary Ann Cruz of that workshop group. Mary Ann is the mother of Xian.

A photo shoot of the cast in the production of the thesis film entitled Ceasefire With Bullets. The guy in the gray shirt is Direk James Gaines who played a kidnapped foreigner

The biggest problem that the workshop has been experiencing every year is the tardiness of the participants. The workshop starts at 10 in the morning but half the number of participants would be coming much later than the appointed time.

That bad habit may be borne from the fact that most of the workshop participants are scholars, i.e. they didn’t pay the 40,000 pesos tuition fee. Scholarship to the workshop is available to those children of established movie industry workers.


The souvenir shot of the workshop’s group 2 after finishing the shoot at 10:25 pm

As a parting shot from Direk Andy Andico, learn the ropes and get a job. No matter how intensive and extensive your learnings are, you still need to get a job in order to say that you really know how to do it.


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