Imee Marcos experiments beyond movie making
DURING her first foray in film as director general of the defunct Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP), Imee Marcos produced several of the Philippines’ finest movies including Oro, Plata, Mata; Misteryo sa Tuwa; Soltero and the internationally acclaimed Himala. She also co-produced the movie Brutal with Marilou Diaz-abaya; Scorpio Nights with Peque Gallaga; and The Boatman with Tikoy Aguiluz.
Now, after more than two decades, Marcos returns to moviemaking with another masterpiece in Pinta*kasi— a hybrid indie movie that is both diverse in visuals and raw in storytelling.
Pinta*kasi, is what Marcos proudly describes as a “hip-hop fairytale movie.” It features hip hop music and modern dance (by the Philippine All Stars no less) and combines live action with 2D animation to make it even more appealing to the youth.
The story is about change—about a boy named DJ who fights for peace and the love of his life Josie, amid the brewing conflict from both internal and external forces that threaten their garbage island home. It is also a movie full of metaphors for society: From the characters whose names are based on Philippine heroes; to the fight scenes likening them to two fighting cocks in a derby; and his passion for painting hence the title Pinta* Kasi. The animation sequences on the other hand, Marcos said, were used to represent the alternate reality perceived by the characters
The film, which took almost five years in the making, stars JM de Guzman, John Wayne, Erich Gonzales, Giselle Sanchez and Boots Anson-roa. It will be shown commercially beginning February 8 in SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Fairview, SM Marikina, SM North EDSA, SM Cebu and SM Iloilo; and February 29 in SM Baguio, SM Davao and SM Batangas.
The movie has already won top awards at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival, and now also holds the distinction of being the first Filipino copyrighted material to go multiplatform.
“I always wanted to do something that has never been done before—that has always been the way I see things, even during the ECP,” Marcos told reporters during a pocket interview held at 8 Spices restaurant in Quezon City.
The Ilocos Norte governor then revealed her plans to build a franchise around Pinta* Kasi that includes a graphic novel, music videos, a CD of is all- original soundtrack, merchandise such as t- shirts and action figures, and even video games. Son Borgy Manotoc, who was also at the gathering, said he will be in charge of developing and marketing the project. Borgy shared that the game will initially be available on Facebook and eventually the Apple App store.
“Gusto naming magexperiment dahil maraming humihingi ng T- shirt, and other stuff. A lot of people are also asking for the music [ soundtrack] dahil napakaganda ng original Pinoy music na ginamit sa film,” Marcos added.
She said it was the reason why she chose to produce a movie that is partly animation.
“The problem with live action films is that you cannot easily translate them into toys, and even harder to adapt into a game,” she reasoned out. “Plus with animation, even though the creator has already died— like Charles Schulz’ ‘ Peanuts’ for example— ay buhay pa din yung franchise. Spiderman is so old and in the Philippines we have been outsourcing animation for so long to Disney but we still haven’t been able to create our own.”
Apart from Pinta* Kasi, the momand-son tandem and their team are also busy working on the final touches of their follow-up project called The Lamang Experiment.
The Lam- ang Experiment is a sci- fi graphic novel based on the Filipino epic “Biag ni Lam-ang.” The graphic novel has three volumes, slated for digital release, the first of which is already available in the market. It also has a motion graphic video that can be seen on Youtube, and like Pinta*kasi, Lam-ang will also have its own merchandise and online game in the works.
“I don’t think it’s my role to do a film that anyone else can do. Not that nobody can do the films I make; but rather I want to create something that nobody has a gumption or wherewithal to do,” she relates. “That is why I chose to do a movie that incorporates animation and why I plan to do more complicated things like merchandise and games. Masakit nga sa ulo, but I’m a multi-tasker naman, and I feel it is my role is to pull things together and do new stuff.”
Indie godmother and a Sand Dunes Festival
When asked why she prefers to do indie films instead of commercial movies, the lady governor explained, “I have nothing against a well-made good commercial film, nor do I have anything against an indie film that makes a lot of money. But my dream is to bring the artistic and commercial elements together.”
Marcos said they are quite happy to be given the chance to have a commercial release nationwide. She also revealed that they have been invited to the Honolulu Film Festival and the Beijing Film Festival— which is one of the biggest markets for movies— mainly on the strength of word of mouth buzz and the film’s hip hop elements.
Unfortunately, she believes not all indie films get the proper exposure they deserve. That is one of the reasons why Marcos decided to hold a small film festival with the Film Development Council of the Philippines in her province last year. She hopes to have another one soon but it must be a film festival for film exchange, distributors and film promoters as well.
“One of the problems of indie film makers is hindi sila makapasok sa media, sa TV, sa print; and second is hindi sila makapasok sa sinehan for distribution, so we have to discuss digital theaters. We also have to discuss alternate venues for indie films. That is what we’re still looking at the available options.”
“If they have a Sundance Festival in the US, why not have a Sand Dunes Film Festival in Ilocos Norte?” she retorted.
Besides planning for a film festival, Marcos is also busy promoting the province as the “Film capital of the Philippines,” and offering generous incentives to filmmakers.
“Once they arrive in Ilocos, we will assume part of their expenses in accommodation, transportation, locations and catering. Hangga’t kaya namin, we’ll counterpart. Not naman 50/50 kasi sobrang bigat na lalo na kapag foreign films. But we will do as much as we can to help them,” explained the gracious governor.
The province of Ilocos had become part of several Hollywood films like Born on the Fourth of July, Mad Max, and several of Roger Corman’s grindhouse double feature films. On the local front films like Temptation Island and the Panday movie series have become one of the province’s biggest sources of income.
“Ang maganda sa film, maliban sa art aspect, is it provides livelihood to the people. Maraming na- hire kaya gustonggusto namin noon na mag- location dito ang mga American films. Dahil yung location, van rental, helicopter rental, accommodation, hotels, and they also hire a lot of Filipino talents. Hopefully, with Bourne Legacy and Survivor being shot in the county, it will open up more upcoming projects and opportunities,” she ended.
Mother and son. Imee Marcos and Borgy Manotoc show off their Lam- Ang Experiment DESPITE having a 6- year- old daughter, TV host and actress Valerie Concepcion said she had no problems going sexy or being labeled as one “hot momma.” In fact, the 24-...
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