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wanderlust: karlovy vary

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karlovy vary is about 1.5 hours from prague in the czech republic. i had but recently only realized that czechoslovakia had divided itself in 1993 (i blame sleepy afternoons and not concentrating in history). so there is the czech republic and there is slovakia on the map. awesome to learn something every day, right?

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karlovy vary is known for their spas and medicinal spring waters and a lot of their tourism is towards people seeking wellness and therapy. however, every july their sleepy little town gets to throw a big party for the summer crowd and because it hosts the karlovy vary international film festival.

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this is Hotel Thermal, home of the karlovy vary international film festival. the hotel is kinda like CCP, except with a hotel and is near everybody else.

our film, KAPATIRAN (Brotherhood), was screened this year, ive blogged about it already. this post would show a little bit of karlovy vary instead.

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one of the ballrooms in the grandhotel pupp with a big ass morgan freeman portrait. one of the biggest spa hotels in karlovy vary and where a lot of the parties during the festival were hosted. it’s awesome for 1 festival to have most of the whole city so involved. you can see a lot of their poster billboards all over. the theaters are spread out and not just in one venue.

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another one of the venues where we had our 2nd screening of karlovy vary. goofing outside the cafe, we were joined by hubert poul (6th from left), programmer in karlovy vary and the one who was responsible for bringing us to the czech republic. also in the photo in lucille (rightmost) who was in-charge of our schedules and car transfers. very organized and with a bmw sponsorship for transfers, we were major alta in karlovy vary haha

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early morning and the crowd had just partied the night before. still some few souls traversing through the venue and gardens, others sunbathing for their life. im pinoy, no thanks, i have my umbrella to shield me from the sun.

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the view outside hotel ruze, where we enjoy our breakfast buffet of cheeses, hard bread, and yohgurt. plus goulash and different kinds of sausages as well.

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another of the collonades that feature a spring of water, supposedly medicinal and which you can drink (if you buy them touristy ceramic mugs).

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we stayed for 4-5 days but wish we could stay the whole week. got to watch brillante mendoza’s ma’rosa (heartbreaking) and swiss army man, directed by dan kwan and daniel scheinert (amazing). then of course, the new edit to kapatiran, which we saw for the first time in karlovy vary. during the q&a, pepe likened the philippines to shattered glass, an archipelago of broken people, separated by seas and subcultures yet connected by affiliations. and then there was a proposal that occurred. but that will be another story.

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for the rest of the photos i took in karlovy vary, head on to my fb photodump album.

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art & design, filmmaking, laundry therapy, movies, musings, travel

wanderlust: karlovy vary

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had a grand time in karlovy vary celebrating its 51st international film festival and especially because our film was part of the festival. aside from kapatiran (brotherhood), lav diaz’s 8-hour opus, hele sa hiwagang hapis, and brillante mendoza’s cannes entry, ma’rosa (which won jaclyn jose her biggest international acting award), were also screened in karlovy vary.

but more than anything, i particularly love the paparazzi theme of the festival. and with that, we staged our own.

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producer, bianca balbuena

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production designer, benjamin padero

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production designer, carlo tabije

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director, pepe diokno

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director, pepe diokno, and associate producer, royd santiago

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production designers, benjamin padero and carlo tabije

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thug life editor, benjamin tolentino

filmmaking, laundry therapy, musings, travel

evading the paparazzi

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art & design, filmmaking, movies, musings, sketch

random drawing luna 201404XX

while doing research and working out the production design for the feature film, heneral luna, i got inspired by a scene from the script and decided to draw a sketch with antonio luna lost in thought playing his guitar and is about to be interrupted by his mother at the door. sketch is obviously unfinished but up to today i dont have the heart to finish it.

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art & design, filmmaking, laundry therapy, movies, musings

i cam i saw i cam

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cesar hernando, production designer for most of mike de leon’s films (batch ’81, kisapmata), sent us invitations to revisit the college of fine arts at university of the philippines and celebrate our organization’s 16th year anniversary last saturday, 25th of october 2014. that org is CAM, Cinema as Art Movement. generally a group of film enthusiasts from fine arts who love to watch and dissect films, the org evolved to encouraging students to work on their own cinematic masterpieces and involving more to see cinema beyond entertainment. the broadness and loftiness of the concept that embodies the org’s name may lead to its own downfall but the org strived to meet each generation of members’ goals for the sake of cinema. and art. 16 years later and even 10 years since my batch has graduated, the argument on what the org really should be remain diverse; its implied goal elusive.

CAM’s pioneering members include esquire magazine’s editor-in-chief erwin romulo, photographers gary buenavista, richard de guzman, j lucas reyes, film cinematographer eli balce, and graphic artist tom estrera iii. some of the org’s advisers and supporters are cannes winner raymond red, cinematographers larry manda and dindo martinez, and independent filmmaker mes de guzman.

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long ago its membership was exclusively fine arts students until the group, under my leadership in 2002, opened to accept students from other colleges in UP. we enjoyed a strong physical presence in the fine arts halls that year, aided by a healthy number of members, and even went as far as leveling up the org’s indie video film festival, inyorai, to become an intercollegiate event and saw entries coming in from ateneo, la salle, and PLM. towards the 2nd half of the year, we planned to hold workshops on various aspects of production with the hope that members and students would have the necessary know-how to produce their own works. a school year is too short and we were only able to hold 2 workshops and it was like starting from scratch the year after. such is life for a school organization.

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photo of past and present chairheads of CAM

that saturday we did find ourselves again in the hallowed halls of hogwarths, communing with ghosts from the past and stray cats of the present. i was late coming into the program so i had no idea what was being discussed earlier. i had to introduce myself to the kids.

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so it is with a reassured heart that we leave an impression with the young ones to continue what he had hoped to accomplish back in the day. however, i do fear (i believe) the key to success for this so-called movement lies with the alumni. and maybe even outsiders who can pursue that grand idea and move the call forward. this movement can no longer be contained in a college organization whose lifespan is limited to periods the length of a school semester before restarting its programs or do an overhaul with every new enrollment of students. maybe it’s time we pick up the camera again, this time armed with real world know-how and connections beyond the world of the academe.

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class picture! i love you new cam members but i dont know all your names. on the front row are alumni from left: jopay cuntapay, peta stage writer and actress anj herjuela, tv commercial director mike talampas, esquire editor-in-chief erwin romulo, prof cesar hernando, myself, bates ad agency acd jhem manalang, prof ruben de jesus, comic book illustrator aj bernardo, graphic artist tom estrera iii, gma agency hotshot jimi diga, comic book writer and editor noel pascual, and chorva.

*special thanks to anj for sharing the last three photos in this article. for more information on Cinema as Art Movement, check out the group’s facebook page.

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musings

end of roll

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shooting the last day of our shake rattle and roll part xv episode 2 today. it’s evening and my energy has gone down by 10.30pm. the dust in the house and maybe the weather (it’s been raining since after dinnertime) has kicked in my asthma after all that laughing this afternoon.

we’re trying to finish two big sequences with an average of 10 2-cam shots each before 3am but i reckon we’ll finish by daybreak. everybody’s brought sweets and pastries (and more food) to honor the last shoot day traditions and that might also have pushed me into my current compromised respiratory state. im trying to keep still, hoping the wheezing would also follow suit.

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6 hours after and maybe 30 minutes into the next day’s sunrise, when all are basically walking dead, we finally hear our director call out, “it’s a wrap!” to new friends, old ones, and in-betweens, we love you all!

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clockwise from top: bernard (2nd cam), mackie (dop), ara (scriptcon), bryan (sound), jerrold behind me (director), myself, relyn (ad), jaja (pa).

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art & design, filmmaking, musings

preparations

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ive setup in the living room. trying to consolidate notes from two versions of the script. reencoding my breakdown. coffee helps but i think i need more.

it’s january but we’ve been at this since july last year. sometimes, no matter the length of time to prepare for a project, it will always seem like you never have time to finish things perfectly. working on preproduction for HENERAL LUNA, a film im designing along with carlo for Jerrold Tarog, our director from cinemalaya’s mangatyanan. and senior year. and srr punerarya. and srr parola. it will be our first full length period movie. and the biggest in terms of requirements. it’s soo big i need to go through the script a hundred times just to absorb all the details. and im nowhere near done. we’ve done quite a lot the past few months and there’s still tons to do it’s insane.

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here’s to ANTONIO LUNA and who killed him and has kept the country in the dark all these years. more on the making of this film later 😉

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art & design, filmmaking, movies, set design

ABOVE THE CLOUDS Production Diary #2

the next installment to the behind the scenes videos for ABOVE THE CLOUDS was released a few days ago. here it is:


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the 1st video is posted here.

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