Wednesday, February 6, 2013

three days in birdland, day one


the restaurant scenes are being shot in the sta. cruz area of binondo. i arrive late, sneak past the guard, sit down behind ramon bautista, and steal glances while he updates his twitter. celeb stalking is off to a good start. ketchup is resting at the far side of the room, and they are filming the kids at the center of the room. once the scene is finisihed i am greeted by chris and mihk and introduced to a few people. i sit down, watching various crewmembers busily carrying stuff around, ant-like. they are shooting two scenes simultaneously. soak in the magic. this is happening. this is really, really happening.

i am a clueless awkward bumpkin to everyone. i see lau and momon handling the maskot costume and ask them if they made it. "erm, no..." mara lets me listen to the jhollebird jingle on her iphone and i ask her if she composed it. "erm, no..." i mistake lau for director of photography dan villegas, and i ask him (lau) how he's related to dennis villegas the blogger.

when lunch break is called i walk around ongpin for a bit. my father used to bring us here when i was very young. i don't recall any specific places, but the scents, the crowdedness, the feeling of urgency, the chinese decor all feel very familiar. my body language must scream "tourist," as i am accosted twice by pimps offering me women. either "tourist" or "horny."

after lunch, filming moves to an office building where the locker room and manager's office scenes are to be shot. but first, ketchup is filmed with the costume on, walking along a busy street. the public reaction is electric. ketchup's performance feeds off this electricity and it is a joy to behold. he IS the maskot.

more scenes with ramon bautista, a.k.a. monra, a.k.a. the RB. funny oozes from the man's formidable pores. if he ever gets lost in the wilderness you'll be able to find him just by following the sound of the giggles he evokes in the local wildlife.

filmmaking is 70% moving stuff around.

i ask ketchup how he's holding up in his portable sauna of a costume. he tells me it's nothing like the prosthetic scales he had to wear all day for an MMK episode about a boy "na ipinaglihi sa syokoy." ketchup was allergic to the prosthetics and couldn't slip them off in between takes. he makes me promise to give him a copy of the maskot comic. as he is helping fund the film i consider this a fair trade.

shooting ends at 8 pm. chris hands me a mc bird crew cap.








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