Friday, August 23, 2013

Interview with Director Ian Lorenos Film: Breakaway/Alagwa

*Interviewed by: Gracie Suzara 

GS : When did you first start getting into films? 

IL: Technically, I've been doing films since 2009. My first film was a short animation called "Worship the Will". I decided to make an animation as my personal filmmaking project and also a stepping stone since it was the most practical thing to do back then. I didn't knew anyone from the industry and I didn't have any experiences in filmmaking, and in effect it was virtually impossible to produce my films. With "Worship the Will" all I needed was my computer and a whole bunch of researching through the net.

GS: Your film Breakaway/Alagwa recently won some film festival awards.
Have you had any companies interested in distributing it?

IL: There are actually several ones but we haven't decided yet, we are very careful on choosing the best distribution company as possible, we don't want to get burned. But right now we are preparing for the nationwide release in the Philippines, it's pretty exciting.

GS: How did you get the idea to write the script for this film? The
dialogue between the characters is often intense, how long has it taken you to
perfect or "tune up" their speaking parts?

IL: The film is based from an infamous urban legend in Chinatown, Manila back in the 1990's. But the idea hit me when I was distressing from shooting my first feature film, I made a walk back in my hometown in Chinatown, Manila where I saw a photo of a missing boy on a grubby wall. When I got home, it didn't got away from my mind. And so I decided to make a film about it.

The actors are unbelievably astounding, especially the leading actors (Jericho Rosales and Bugoy Cariño) . When I finished the script, I didn't actually put up dialogues in it because I wanted to get that spontaneity from the actors, I wanted the film to have realistic interactions between the characters. But what i love about Jericho is that he's really a professional actor, he started bonding with Bugoy Cariño (BRIAN LIM) even before we started shooting. They see each other often on a variety show and Jericho started befriending Bugoy, so during shoot they seem to be very comfortable to each other. The speaking parts were basically impromptu.

GS: What other films and videos have you completed?
IL: I made my first feature film back in 2010 entitled "The Leaving" it was part of the Cinemalaya Independent film festival (Philippines' Sundance), I already mentioned "Worship the Will" my first short film/animation. I also did a short film called "The Keeper" when I was part of the AFA (Asian film academy) a program under the Busan International Film Festival. I also made countless video experiments when I was still learning filmmaking.

GS: Aside from directing, can you also act? Do you plan on acting in other
movies that are not your own?

IL: Besides from my mom, it's actually the first time I receive that question. :) Well I did some cameos for friends' films and on my film "The Leaving", I just do it whenever it is necessary. I'm actually very conscious on seeing myself even in videos, it's butt cringing to me. That's why I prefer to work behind the camera. But I don't want to close the idea of acting in films I might fell for it one day.

GS: Aside from this project, do you have any other future movies or videos
that you are working on?

IL: Yes, I have an upcoming feature film about a group of Chinese-Filipino friends having their quarter-life crisis. Another feature film I'm developing about an old women who gets pregnant, the project was selected at the Berlinale Talent project Market 2013 in Berlin, Germany. 

GS: Movie making can be a time consuming job what do you do for hobbies? Do
you have any peculiar interests?

IL: I'm a music buff and so i make sure i tune in to my favorite music every now and then, also to be inspired. I play guitar at one moment in life I dreamt of becoming a great guitarist but I stopped that dream when I fell in love with filmmaking. I always love to cook and to experiment on delicacy, cooking is meditative to me, a sort of release, I also love road tripping.

GS: Most actors and aspiring directors never achieve modest success. You
have had scenes in a movie with some established actors. You have had some success with your independent films. What do you say to young people out there
struggling to get into the film industry?

IL: As I always tell everyone especially the ones that are still starting out in the industry, that as long as your intention is good, as long as you believe you have something to say to contribute to society, never stop. The fruit of your labor is just around the corner.

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