When in Manila and you feel that the city indie circuit is still too mainstream for your taste, find something more guerilla, more regional or provincial. Bacolod is one, or so I heard. But something nearer is brewing something good and raw, something indie.
Lipa, Batangas is home to Sky Is Everywhere [Short Films About Anything Under The Sky]. Last Saturday, August 3 was Sky’s 3rd year and as Ralph Quijano, the event’s proponent, said “You may call it a film festival but we would always like to call it a get-together”. True enough, long lost friends, film enthusiasts and other souls with arts inclination were there.
Our film group FilmDogs entered four short films but it was supposedly five. The sad part.. the one who wasn’t able to finish is me.
Cramming is always a waterloo but most often I still get through it. But not this time. It was a miscalculation. I can always blame the technology or other considerations. The editing software Final Cut Pro, the syncing program Plural Eyes, the fatigue and sleepiness from shooting non-stop the past weeks or any other factors other than me. Though for my own’s peace of mind, I can say that those were big parts. But bottom-line, it is always the self.
I was tempted to say that what happened was bittersweet. For it was a lesson and there were learnings, blah blah blah. But cramming isn’t a new discovery. And finding good things on terrible happenstance is a vice, specially if it’s under one’s control. We call spade a spade. And yes, once again I will promise the self not to cram again.
To all the people that was part of that production, I am very sorry. My sincerest apologies. I feel terribly bad. And as what I told you, I will make amends. Kill me if I will not, kill me if I can’t.
Together with other film dogs, I went to Intensity Fusion Bar for the said event and saw the familiar faces. Ralph is right, more than a film exhibition, it was a gathering. To be honest, people except for those in front seats are having a hard time concentrating on watching films. Some truly notable and engaging short films may make one be focused on viewing it but if even for few seconds when more interesting factors came in like friends, girls, booze, etc… We talked loud, we exchanged stories, we kidded around, we laughed. Not that it was a bad thing. But it was exactly what it was and what ought, perhaps.
The entries, to be conservative about it, are all audience friendly. Mr. Quijano was clear on his rules and mechanics. All films should be in narrative form, should communicate to audience. Still an indie fest but without experimental-conceited-boring treatment. And I like it. And we adhered.
Add to the indie-ness of it is the fact that there wasn’t any seed grant. All are from personal pockets. For the love of it. For passion.
When I called Ms. Angel Aquino for one of our entries, she didn’t hesitated even when I made it clear that it was a personal project and will be done just for passion. I emailed some details and the next thing she asked was when will be the shoot. Same’s true with Lou Veloso. Emotional connection perhaps played a role. I was Ms. Angel’s long time writer and segment producer way back our Studio 23 days. But I would also like to believe that there is something that we’re doing right. That these caliber artists are believing in our concepts and small beginnings.
Our big thanks too to our other casts, staff and crew including friends and families that provided locations, props, costumes, shooting equipment and some other things. Yes, for the love of it.
It may be too one dimensional to say, but I will say it just the same.. This is the true indie!
Of course, it’s an hypocrisy to say that we don’t like to go mainstream about it and be rewarded handsomely. In fact, we at FilmDogs are all working in a major TV network. And the creatives behind Sky Is Everywhere are all experts in their own right. But the magic called silver screen will always be an enchanting passion.
Speaking of mainstream and the indie spirit, a distant friend once told us that if the masses or anyone for that matter can not understand his film’s message or storytelling, the audience is dumb. That it’s the receiver who has the burden to understand. But of course, I disagreed. True art doesn’t alienate the audience, it communicates. The recently held film gathering will always be true to its form and will always be a living testament to that principle. If one’s film is not engaging, something more entertaining will catch the audience’ attention. Just like in any other art form. Just like in real life.
Tonight is the night after. The after storm of short film marathon and non-stop alcohol consumption. We aren’t ready yet to go back to the real world of employment or the absence of it. But we should. And we will. The necessary boredom as materials for next immortal concepts. The routine of normal life that can kill the creative juices. The paralysis of analysis. But also the part where we daydream and believe. The most beautiful part.
You can check FilmDogs latest exploits on Facebook.
The bark that shall break the barrier and will connect the world of man and beast!
FilmDogs, Angel Aquino and The Woodstock of Short Films called Sky is Everywhere