Ako Na

Date posted on August 11, 2010

This is probably the biggest most important entry I’ll be posting on this blog. So far at least. Even now, I’m reluctant to say anything about it cause I’m superstitious and would really hate to jinx it. But because no one else knows outside the work place (except for three other people – my mom, Tita Gina and my close friend who’s doing another project for me), I decided writing about it would open the floodgates and ease off some of my excitement. Besides, I haven’t written anything on this blog for ages. I’m pretty sure no one reads this blog consistently anymore. But anyway, here it is:

Ladies and gentlemen… I will be directing my first feature film within this month of August.

And this is how the story goes…

After a pretty successful stint directing for Maalaala Mo Kaya or MMK, which is a drama anthology for ABS-CBN (a leading television network in the Philippines), I was in high spirits. It was a challenging first project that paid off handsomely with high ratings (which reminds me that I should write about that soon).

At the time I was also having talks for the third installment of Star Cinema’s Laida-Miggy franchise (of which I can proudly claim to be the progenitor). The company’s head for creatives approached me to ask if I’d be willing to apprentice to the director during its filming as well as write its screenplay. I was ecstatic to be back working on a project that was dear to me so I immediately said yes. Back then, they had slated it for a November play date, which meant shooting was to start in a few weeks.

Shooting for MMK took up much of my time that I had to put off the writing of the screenplay for that. When I eventually got in touch with the creative manager to ask for an extension, I was told that the project was to be pushed to next year’s Valentine play date.

I welcomed that development since I was very much caught up with the television experience with MMK. After our episode aired on July 30 though, I was back to doing nothing. Much as I welcomed the respite, I was restless and wanted to carry on working. Knowing that the Laida-Miggy threequel had been pushed back, I was curious about my apprenticeship. I was actually more excited about that than the screenplay. If my apprenticeship were locked with that project, then I’ll have to wait a bit longer before my apprenticeship begins, since filming will surely start only in the last quarter of the year.

Anxious to keep my momentum going, I asked the creative manager on the status of the John Lloyd-Sarah project. I figured, if I did have some lull time before the apprenticeship, then I might as well get on with my long-postponed trip to London and NYC. Of course, I was still hoping that instead of waiting for the threequel, they would instead deploy me sooner on a different project. The creative manager quickly consulted with the creatives head and asked that I give them until the following week to discuss the plan for me.

Come Monday the following week, I was back at Star Cinema waiting for my boss. When she finally came, she told me that there was indeed a plan, and she asked if I’d be willing to direct the Sarah and Gerald in their second film together. I casually said yes. She clarified that this was an urgent project that they were hoping to shoot within the month, for a definite play date within the year.

It was only then that I started feeling the lump on my head after being aggressively hit with the news. I was being offered to direct.

In a few days.
For release this year.

And then my boss started detailing their offer for an exclusive contract.

I quickly gathered my composure and shared my thoughts on those, airing my concerns and soon arriving at possibly mutually beneficial terms for both me and Star Cinema…

So there it is.

I’m claiming it but I’m not counting chicks either.

This might really be it. It’s my turn to direct, and I’m. All. Ready.

Sabi ko nga, “Me already.” Ako na!