"SIRIP" shoot

9:53 PM

Former beauty queen & veteran actress Maria Isabel Lopez plays dead on a huge rock in the middle of a stream.

Weekend winner.

Last Saturday and Sunday, I was in charge of wardrobe and production management assist for a short film shoot in Wawa Dam, Montalban, Rizal. Usually, a lot of fashion bloggers talk about shoots in terms of photography and/or something related to fashion and styling. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you'd know that when I speak of the word "shoot", often times, what I mean is either a film or video production. (see Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio)

Aaron "Cobra" Cabangis as DOP (Director of Photography)

Production shoots, whether it's independent, shorts, mainstream, commercial, MTVs, etc.; require a hell of work. In my trying-to-be-objective opinion, I really believe that it is one of the most stressful jobs in the industry (actually, all media-related jobs are; in general). Just so you know, shootings/tapings are never a controlled environment. No matter how prepared the production team is during the pre-prod stage, during the shoot, there would always be something gone wrong, certain types of emergencies would always come up and no shoot ever runs smoothly according to plan or schedule.

We had a long walk & several takes for this procession scene.

Random professional 'extras' carrying the Sto. Nino & Jesus on his cross.

Aside from the strenuous labor during the shoot itself, prod shoots are one of the most creatively draining jobs: from story concept, script construction, cinematography (light design), art and production design (which includes set, props, make-up and wardrobe), musical scoring, post production processes (editing style, color grading, graphics, etc.) and a whole lot of miscellaneous, haha. It's also one of the only jobs wherein people work for almost 24 hours or more straight (compared to 8 -10 hours in the office). To give you an idea, for this shoot, I only had four hours of sleep in 48 hours; same as in our "Dadi" shoot.

One of the most game actresses that I've worked with. No complains especially during the stream scene.

Despite all that, I also believe that it's one of the most rewarding ever! Just seeing the finished product: priceless. Unbelievably amazing. That's how I describe all the experience, all the sweat and tears, all the places I've been to and all the people I've met, which have all helped me see the world in various lenses and have built part of the person that I am today.

You may not know her name but Ermie Concepcion is one of the most recognizable character actresses who play most of old witches/ghosts/lola roles.

We needed a little girl who can speak in Bicolano well. Meet Mariel, our audition/casting discovery.

Lui Manansala as Mariel's grandmother in the film.

One of the things I learned to deal with when it comes to shoots is to adapt to the environment I was forcefully confined it. Wawa Dam in Rizal is such a provincial community - hanging bridges saturate the town, no amicable roads for cars, a lot of people live in small huts made of nipa and bamboo, water source and bathroom is a bit of a problem, town folks do their laundry on streams with huge white rocks and long and steep walks cause my sneaks to huddle mud.

It was a bit scary to cross this looooong hanging bridge. But it was the only way to get across.

The shooting location was full of white rocks which made it difficult for us to walk around.
After this, I am prepared to do some intense shoe cleaning. *tears*

"Shoots" like these are not for the picky and overly-sensitive city gals who love looking gorgeous from head to toe. It's not about dressing down, it's all about putting on appropriate and comfortable clothes or simply not dressing up at all. Read: jogging pants, over-sized shirts, sneaks, sunburns and oily, make-up free faces. As you can see, all the production crew were haggard and stressed that moment.

Some of the production crew: look at the faces of haggardness. Haha. (L-R: Kim, Kimmie, Ilsa, Judd)

Just by looking at the photos, I'm sure you also see how much all the hardships we encountered are worth it. All those happy-slash-frustrating times will remain with me and will never be taken away. Shooting production jobs open doors to a whole lot more of what the world is all about and I'm beyond blissful to have experienced it.

One of the most comedic moments of the whole shoot: father pimpin' the old ladies! Holla! Hahaha.

I like her eyes - round and expressive. ^_^

I can't believe it myself either. I don't feel like I'm in Rizal. Seems like a far-away province.
But no! Only in Wawa Dam, Montalban Rizal. Breathtaking right?

All behind-the-scene photos by yours truly, Melai Entuna.

(c) 2010

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  1. these are remarkable pictures.

  2. Wow great pictures Melai....just amazing!!!!


  3. great photos! hmm.. what's this short film about? the title got me curious, im a bicolana and sirip is a bicol word for silip. ^_^

  4. saw a preview of this in your FB and i was just stunned at how amazing the shot in the water is...you are just an awesome lady who certainly knows her thing and is on her way to success...i'm proud of you melai! hardwork will pay off, i promise.

    thanks for your sweet comment on my recent post. mind you, i'm not positive all the time although i try to be. i have learned through the years though that when God denies me something, it's to free my hands of something bigger...and it has always been like that for me. so i try to be as patient as i can...:D

    ♥ vanilla ice cream ♥

  5. awesome behind the scenes, melai!:) your job is really cool and i love the perks of being able to go to places so breath taking :)

  6. Wow, you are so lucky to be part of shoots like this.
    Great pictures!

  7. great photos! <3 Sirip is Peek in bicol, wonder what is it all about..hmmm very curious..:D


  8. these pics are very well taken !
    really proud of you melai ! i agree with giselle that hard work and dedication will always pay off :)

    the scene looks amazing there !

  9. Wow. I really felt like I went with you there! Amazing photographs! I can only wish to take pictures as breath-taking. But I guess, for now, my camera is more for utilitarian purposes. I do wish I get to discover the craft more.

    As for what you do: I am even more amazed! I've always been a fan of movies and books and story telling. It's the magic of somehow relating something and igniting something within people that is so organic that it's almost magic. I love poignancy and silence but at the same time adventure and hills. I'm not making sense anymore but I just want to express my complete wonder and love for what you and your team does. People like you who work so hard for it. 'Cause in the end, it's super worth it. Not just for you, but for us too because we see it on the screen and whatever medium. I'm sincerely happy that you're in a craft that loves and inspires. :)

    sPam offrou-frou

  10. These are really touching photos, maybe its just me and I'm a bit nostalgic but I find this quite moving.

    Lovely blog btw.



  11. MELAI! Can i just say that I am super excited to see this?? Please let me know when and where it will be out! :)

    I really admire you and your passion in film/production. I'm planning this project for my blog about passion and I think that what you're doing is right on. Would you like to be a featured writer? Shoot me an email and I'll give you more of the details! :)

  12. Gorgeous photos! I can tell that this will be a wonderful film.

  13. wow, this place took my breath away. i envy you, your life sounds super fun! :D

    btw, i'm just informing you that I may not be updating my blog that often anymore due to increasing work and college stuffs :/ so if you have a Twitter we could follow each other to keep in touch, or you can always send me emails whenever you want. thank you so much :)

  14. wow it's so cool that you're involved in things like these! lovely photos melai! :)

  15. Look at these pictures... A M A Z I N G!!

    First time to your blog and I love it! :-)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing all of your hard work, it looks like such an interesting film.

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  17. OMG. Talk about beautiful pictures! This is some seriously impressive work!

    www.seren-dip-a-tea.blogspot.com Please follow me :D

  18. Wow. it's amazing to see all the hard work that went into this. The images are priceless.

  19. philippines is such a great country. i used to live in cainta rizal but has never heard nor seen of this place.. amazing!

    thanks for following my blog hun!


  20. what an amazing job you have! you're right- shoots of all kinds take major tough girl action!


  21. Lovely photos! Very vivid and it makes me want to watch it. But how?

    I interned at ABS before as production assistant and, yes, it really requires hard work and enthusiasm. Later on, I realized the job ain't for me and I wanted to do other things. But anyway, I salute you for your passion in film making, or shoots per se! They really are not as easy and glamorous as they seem.


I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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