Potipot Island, Zambales
Spent last weekend here with my family to celebrate the birthdays of my mom and brother. Beautiful place. Was lucky enough to catch this amazing sunset. I’ve been neck-deep in editing “Above the Clouds” so I needed this break. The downtime gave me some perspective. Back in the editing room today with a fresh eye.
More photos and videos at http://instagram.com/PepeDiokno.
Spent four days in Tokyo during cherry blossom season last year and shot this little video diary with my good friend, cinematographer Carlo Mendoza, using a pair of Sony NEX VG-900 cameras.
Got to Tokyo just as the flowers were falling and it was raining over the city, but never mind. Tokyo is one of my favorite places in the world. The energy is just different. There’s so much going on, everything moves so fast, the locals barely speak English, and the Japanese have a penchant for the strange.
The reason I love Tokyo so effing much is because it’s easy get lost in it — not because it’s disorienting but because it absorbs you. It doesn’t take long after landing in Japan to feel that you’re part it. The country is a place that is difficult to leave. Went there twice last year, and I would go back this year in a heartbeat.
Music: “Get Up and Go” by Broadcast 2000 (Buy)
'Above the Clouds' Behind the Scenes #3
It’s here folks! The third episode of our “Above the Clouds" behind-the-scenes diaries. I know it’s been a long wait. We had to pause production for eight months because of money matters, but we’re back and we have so much to show you. In this episode, our logistics team talks about the challenges of making the film, while Pepe Smith, Ruru Madrid, and I take you to our locations. Please watch and reblog! :)
So this is what it feels like when your crew becomes like family; when you’re with people who go through joy and hurt and hell and high water with you. “Above the Clouds" wrapped filming at 5am today. Trying my best not to feel nostalgic because the journey isn’t over, but I miss everyone already. Thank you, guys for sharing this labor of love with me and Bianca. This isn’t my film, it’s ours.
Off to post-production now. Episode 3 of our behind-the-scenes diaries now online at http://facebook.com/AboveTheCloudsMovie!
Me too. We started shooting in March of this year, with the intention of releasing the film also this year. But then we ran into some money issues — and this is the first time I’m really going to talk about it — but we didn’t get some funds we were expecting, and so the production had to come to a halt. This was really hard for me. Nobody was sadder than I was.
Thankfully, some really kind-hearted Filipinos came to our rescue and invested in the film recently, so now we can finish it — eight months after we began. As of now, we have just two shooting days left, then, we’ll do some post-production work in Paris early next year. (We got the World Cinema Support grant from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and this requires us to spend half of the grant money in France.)
We don’t have specific plans for the release of the film yet, but I can tell you it’ll be out next year. Finally. My producer Bianca and I have been working on this film for two long years :)
PS. We’ll be releasing our third behind-the-scenes video really soon. Missed the first two? You can watch them at http://youtube.com/pepediokno :D
Hi! I'm going to repeat my question here! How did you meet your producer Bianca Balbuena? How did you pitch her your first feature film? Is there a standard way in which a first feature filmmaker can pitch to a producer (e.g. send producer pitch/treatment first before script?)? How did you form the crew for Engkwentro? Thank you! *Sorry for having many questions*
Good questions. I was my own producer on “Engkwentro,” and this is a very difficult thing to do. I really don’t recommend it. A director is supposed to focus on the creative side, and a producer, on the money side. For one person to deal with both sides is a case of epic stress.
I met Bianca in college, actually. We were classmates in UP. On “Engkwentro,” she was my assistant director, and that was the beginning of a beautiful partnership, haha. She moved into producing with “Above the Clouds.” And I’m really lucky; we work so well together.
A good way to meet producers is through project markets. There’s the Manila Film Financing Forum, which is organized by the Independent Filmmaker’s Cooperative, and it happens every year during Cinemalaya. This is where Hannah Espia (another classmate at UP) met Paul Soriano. Hannah pitched her project to Paul, Paul loved the concept, and then went on to produce her first feature film, “Transit.”
Hi everyone, my first film “Engkwentro" is part of a mini film festival for the benefit of victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Lots of good, hard-to-find films showing from Nov. 22-24 at Fully Booked, Fort Bonifacio. Caritas Manila will be there to receive cash donations of any amount to help in relief efforts. Please give what you can. See you there.
Finally, after eight months on hiatus because of money matters, we’re back shooting Above the Clouds. Struggled through a 25-hour shoot this Tuesday with the most uncooperative weather, but I was happy to see the cast and crew back together. Just a few more shooting days this month and next month, and we’ll finally be able to wrap up production. But these involve the most difficult sequences of the film, and the most challenging work of my life so far. But again, finally. It’s been a year since we started pre-production and two years three years since I started writing the film. Almost there. Almost there.