art & design, costume design, filmmaking, interior design, movies, musings, set design

ABOVE THE CLOUDS BEHIND THE SCENES: Production Design

during the shoot of pepe diokno’s 2nd full length feature, ABOVE THE CLOUDS, last year, bradley liew, a malaysian filmmaker, was tasked to create short featurettes for the film’s behind the scenes. bradley and pepe were able to release the first two featurettes that discussed the director’s vision and our 2 lead actors even before we finished shooting the whole thing. the 4th episode in this series, released just a few weeks ago, was about the production design and featured us 😉 as much as the requirements on paper seemed simple enough, it is not. whether you are designing for 2 actors on screen or 500, all film projects require careful planning and attention to detail. watch this vid and see if we actually made sense. the shoot of ABOVE THE CLOUDS took almost a year to do so my hair also went into different lengths and feels haha. cheers!

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art & design, costume design, musings, set design

expert lagundi

this is a super delayed blog post, especially since the tvc has almost stopped airing.

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worked with direk lyle sacris and cinematographer j.a. tadena on this tvc for ritemed lagundi (production house abracadabra, agency mccann worldwide). the requirement was to setup for 4 different period vignettes for a 1-day shoot. 2 of the vignettes were aided with CG backgrounds but i still had to setup a forest floor for my china set and some elements for the UP manila part. the thailand and europe vignettes were full studio dressups, the latter being the most challenging in terms of proppings.

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sketched this forest scene (above) to give clients an idea of what i would be setting up (below).

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here, our chinese actor (below) is putting a lagundi plant into one of tita tem’s old baskets i pulled out from our living room.

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art & design, costume design, filmmaking, food trip, interior design, movies, set design

i am love (io sono l’amore)

one of the most gorgeous films ive seen in recent years is practically unknown on this side of the world and i wonder why. tilda swinton stars in I Am Love (2009), a sweeping melodrama directed by luca guadagnino, production design by francesca balestra di mottola, set decoration by monica sironi, costume design by antonella cannarozzi, cinematography by yorick le saux and features previously produced music by john adams.  this film is just exquisite, from the opening titles that evoked classical italian cinema to the magnificent modernist interiors of villa necchi and the impeccable tailored costumes by fendi (sylvia venturini fendi is an associate producer) and jil sander (with raf simons) plus the elegant plating and emotion of carlo cracco’s culinary masterpieces.

the deliciously stylish film, set in milan in the year 2000, follows a haute bourgeoisie family through changing times and fortunes, and its disruption by the force of passion. the title is taken from a line from the aria La mamma morta, which is explored in the film philadelphia (starring tom hanks and denzel washington), a scene of which emma is watching while in bed with her husband, during the film. wiki source

the detail that went into the film is beyond words. it was a beautiful showcase of family, tradition and the unmaking of it. every frame of this film is a masterpiece and every scene just breathtaking.  i love the real time take on the opening sequence where the whole family arrives and sits for lunch while swinton, gorgeous in a burgundy dress, orchestrates the household serving the perfect meal from her seat.

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the opening titles had me at hello. it is reminiscent of many old films by visconti, hitchcock and the like

much of the film was set at the villa necchi campiglio in milan, which is a character in itself. the interiors, reckoned the producers, were a wonderful mix of home, museum and prison.  i marveled that the director highlighted the house by showing us not just the main rooms of the villa but also its kitchen, staircases, sitting rooms, entryways and even the househelp’s private quarters.

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“I wrote a script that called for a cube of marble with a big staircase and sharp surfaces,” Guadagnino says. “I was banging my head trying to find a home that suggested great wealth but also a restrained sensibility.” After searching for years, he saw Villa Necchi in a book and immediately knew that it was the one. “It shows the obsession with perfection and details that the Milanese bourgeoisie have,” he says. “Old money always comes with great charm. Their real success is making others believe that money doesn’t exist — and luxury, as most people perceive it, doesn’t really exist in this house. It’s very severe, and feels almost unmovable, like a piece of rock.” source

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art & design, costume design, filmmaking, set design

charmee shoot

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finally posting photos and video of the charmee shoot we did with sarah geronimo. prod design by me. costume design by carlo, tailoring by young fashion designer gerswin qua. carlo didnt disappoint as even sarah herself loved the costume and asked to keep them after the shoot. a week after, we saw her wear the boots on ASAP. the design process of any undertaking is not at all easy. im posting a few of the original set and costume sketches and pegs upto the final output. cheers!

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art & design, costume design, filmmaking, set design

revicon shoot

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shoot of one of revicon’s TVCs featuring robin padilla mid february 2008. heard a lot of comments re robin’s shorts from local viewers. many didnt realize this is muay-style, that’s why its leg opening is a bit larger than usual. carlo and i opted to use alibata for his muay shorts instead of the traditional thai text. robin was thrilled we decided to do that. script reads pa-di-ya or padilla. there are no L’s in the alibata.

director is torts villacorta for abracadabra. cinematographer boy yniguez. production designers peter collias (scenic designer for moulin rouge) and benjamin padero (umm, masahista?). worked with peter before in a german beer regional ad for china. cool guy.

the final cut

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setup in binondo. love the effect of the big windows,with light from the 12K HMIs streaming in over the banana bags

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ben what are you doing?

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ben (in a boxing mask), former movie villain val iglesia, peter colias and carlo

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