Kita Kita

YES! (Philippines) - - COVER STORY -

Kita Kita, co-pro­duced by Spring Films and Viva Films, was shown from July 19 to Au­gust 15 in the Philip­pines. The in­die film went on to gross Php320 mil­lion, best­ing the 2015 his­tor­i­cal biopic Hen­eral Luna (which earned Php257 mil­lion) and be­com­ing the high­est-gross­ing Pi­noy in­die film of all time. Spring Films was co-founded by ac­tor Pi­olo Pas­cual and di­rec­tor Joyce Ber­nal (photo be­low), to­gether with tal­ent man­ager Erick­son Ray­mundo.

In an in­ter­view with YES!, Kita Kita writer-di­rec­tor Si­grid An­drea P. Bernardo (flanked by Alessan­dra de Rossi and Empoy, right photo) lets us in on some be­hind-thescenes facts about the movie.

• It was orig­i­nally a love-tri­an­gle story.

“That was the choice of Lucky Blanco, the pro­ducer from Spring Films,” Di­rek Si­grid says. “Meron siyang tat­long ac­tors noon. So Alessan­dra, Empoy, and an­other ac­tor. They had an ex­ist­ing script, and they’d been pitch­ing it na ata for a year. And then, no’ng na­bang­git niya sa ’kin, kasi nagha­hanap siya ng di­rec­tor for that, na­gus­tuhan ko ’yong Alessan­dra-Empoy, chal­leng­ing kasi siya. Kakaiba ’yong pair­ing nila and the other ac­tor. Ac­tu­ally, da­pat love tri­an­gle. Iba ta­laga ’yong kuwento na ’yon.

“When they gave me the script, no’ng bi­nasa ko, tala­gang hindi ko style. So sabi ko, ‘Meron akong naisip na con­cept para dito lang kina Alessan­dra at Empoy. Pinili ko silang dalawa, ’yong mas okey na mag­con­cen­trate. Take it or leave it. Ei­ther di n’yo ma­gus­tuhan, okey lang, di na ako ’yong magdi­rek sa inyo, but here’s my pitch.’

“So sin­abi ko, na­gus­tuhan ni Lucky. ’Pi­naki­lala niya ako kina Joyce Ber­nal, and pinitch ko sa kanila, ‘Ito ’yong kuwento.’ Na­gus­tuhan nila. Nag-take-chance sila. They waited for my script. And they read it, and they pro­duced it. Ibang-iba siya. It’s to­tally dif­fer­ent, even the ti­tle. It’s re­ally dif­fer­ent from the first one.”

• What even­tu­ally be­came the film’s ti­tle was the re­sult of a shoot­ing prob­lem.

Time con­straints forced Di­rek Si­grid to set the story in Sap­poro, Japan, where she had never been. So she turned to Google for her re­search, some­thing she says she doesn’t want to do again for her fu­ture scripts.

“Tala­gang ni-re­search ko pati pa­masahe, how to get there, the ge­og­ra­phy. No’ng nag­punta kami do’n, naiyak ako, kasi, ay, tama ’yong re­search ko!

“The foot spa, wala ’yon sa script. Hindi na-ap­prove ’yong lo­ca­tion namin. So they gave me a lo­ca­tion—’ yong ashiyu [the Ja­panese word for foot spa]—and I made the script the night be­fore that. Ac­tu­ally, las­ing ako no’n. Sabi ko, ‘Bakit hindi naap­prove ’yong lo­ca­tion, bukas na ’yong shoot? Kailan­gan ko mag-re­vise! Ano ba ’tong ashiyu?’ I see you. Kita kita. Sabi ko, ‘A, puwede ’yon.’ Kaya ko ’ni­la­gay sa script ’yon. Gano’n lang. ’Yong mga lo­ca­tion na hindi na-ap­prove at di masyado na-plan, do’n ko na ni-re­vise sa Japan.”

• The mem­o­rable lines of Empoy’s char­ac­ter in the film were a com­bi­na­tion of Di­rek’s writ­ing and Empoy’s ad-libs.

“Nasa script pa rin ta­laga. Pero ’yong mga ma­jor ad-libs ta­laga, sa boat— ’yong mga ‘sal­babida ni Dagul, relo ni Bonel Balin­git’—nako, puro ’yan kay Empoy. Mga patawa niya ’yon. Hindi la­hat re­ally from the script. But it’s the way he says it. For ex­am­ple, ’yong ‘Sim­i­lar­i­ties, I think click tayo.’ Ilang take kami do’n sa sim­i­lar­i­ties. Hindi niya masabi sa English. Pag­dat­ing ng ika-third, ‘I think click tayo, we have sim­i­lar… ri­ties.’ Okey na sa ’kin ’yon, kasi it’s funny.”•

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