art & design, filmmaking, laundry therapy

survivor asia


we survived! this would be the first time i had to deal with a schedule of 5 shoot projects, laid out on a week and a half, with 3 of the projects shooting at 6 consecutive days! preparations would have to overlap each other and on shoot days as well so i had to reorganize my staff to help me out with everything, including sending them to meetings and props checks. thank God for delegation and dissemination. i normally would deal with these myself but technology wouldnt allow for commercially-available cloning.

on one project, we had to work with celebrities on the launch of a new product and shoot at zambales (again), on camara island (again). im not complaining, i love zambales and this would be turn out to be one of the most relaxed shoots we’ve had. this was also the tvc that i got to work with budgette tan, who wrote the trese series, which i loved.  i brought my books to the shoot hoping for an autograph but was saddened to learn he left early on the last day.  tsk tsk, another time then.


the rest of my shoots were done in the studio and i had buboy (setman) build me set pieces quickly for the shoot only to strike them down immediately afterwards to make way for the next project. this included creating a whole barangay street, which was fun. i also employed a landscaper (same landscaper for the nescafe crouching tiger body partner chuchu shoot we did years ago–has it been that long?) so i could have real soil on my set haha.  had fun pushing the limit of glamour and fun on another project, working with swimming pools, bead curtains and incandescent bulbs.


i did learn a lot working out this crazy month.  for one thing, i do concur and confeerm that sometimes youre only as good as what your assistants are also capable of.  it helps to have responsible and creative people on your team so kudos to the artdepartment! to the fabulous lolafer, to carlo, syrel, chantel, pj and to setman buboy and his boys  🙂   they attended to some of my meetings and made creative decisions so i didnt have to deal with some of them, stayed around when i had to do checks and did fabulous work on set details and costuming, and for proxying and made lamay on the set when i got sick.  cant thank you enough!

i also learned how the senior PDs manage to run around doing projects in succession and never losing their stride.  it’s pretty hectic work, reason enough to get really harassed and break down or burn out.  i was conscious not to be affected with stress, i needed to focus on getting the job done as this kind of work deals with a lot of solving design problems. the crazy schedule is something i hope i dont have to do again since i do lose control over some details and my work can be compromised.  im just thankful the artdep gelled well and i didnt lose creative vision because we were all in-line.  i know now we can do it.  question is, would i want to do it all over again?


in the end, it’s the people you work with that makes it worthwhile. when the director calls a wrap, it’s just a great feeling to have accomplished so much in so little time.  it’s hard work to make it look fun and easy, the advertising industry is fun though gratification is hard to get.  it helps to be surrounded by positive and confident directors and a production staff who believes in you, and im blessed to have worked with them.  otherwise i would have already stabbed myself with a spoon.

till the next!  🙂



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