Hi friends! I’m shooting a big scene for Above the Clouds on Tuesday, and I need your help. Looking for 1,000 extras to be in our evacuation center scene. Would you be interested in joining? Bring your friends! It’ll be an experience for anyone who wants to see what goes on during a film shoot.
Full details here in our FB event page. Hope to see you there!
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.
Bantayan Island, Cebu
Went to Cebu to give a talk, and then extended my stay to have a few days of alone time. Ended up in to Bantayan Island, which is a three-hour bus ride and an hour-long boat ride from the city. Really great place to unwind and think. Snorkled, walked around town, hired a banka, and spoke to the locals. Took these shots with my iPhone right outside the cottage I stayed in. Bantayan is so beautiful.
More photos and videos at http://instagram.com/PepeDiokno.
Wow. Wow. Just had old rolls of film developed, from a backpacking trip in 2008, and wow. I have to find something to do with these photos.