arrived past noon. found the crew shooting street scenes along a narrow alleyway. sizeable crowds have gathered at either end. alessandra and ketchup are walking along in the sunshine, people peeking from behind parked vehicles or out of doors and windows that open directly onto the street. crowd control is a bit of a problem; thankfully the barangay tanods are there to help. "never make a movie without the cooperation of the barangay tanods," i am told. hub pacheco is there too, he's making a behind-the-scenes photo essay.
after the take i am introduced to alessandra, whom everyone calls alex.
the shoot moves indoors. the indoor location is on the second floor of a rickety-looking house, now crammed full of people and equipment. the wooden floorboards bend and squeak beneath my feet. the floor under the kitchen sink has rotted away and you can see the ground floor below. no one else seems to be worried though.
|photo by maui mauricio|
i hand alessandra and ketchup copies of my comics. alessandra tells me how she used to tag along to the palengke as a child, where she read funny komiks at the newsstand, and loved niknok in particular. ketchup reads ang maskot for the first time. pen medina is there. no one has introduced us yet, but i gather my courage and introduce myself while offering a stack of my comics. i am intimidated. he is gruff but gracious. he browses the comic and notes that his scenes aren't in it. i explain that i added his part while drafting the movie script. all the actors seem curious about the existence of photocopied comics. i explain a little bit about the indie komiks scene--not a bad time to proselytize, i figure.
the dinner scene with all three actors is just magic; we are talking luke/leia/han chemistry here. they have the directors, the crew, everyone behind the camera stifling their laughter so as not to get picked up by the boom mike.
i cannot describe what it feels like to have words that i thought of in my brain coming out of the mouths of ketchup eusebio; alessandra de rossi; pen medina.
after that, it's a wrap for tito pen. i am too shy get my picture taken with him, but not too shy to swipe the beer bottle he used in his scene. that is going on my desk.
more down time while stuff is being moved from the kitchen to the living room. alessandra asks me about my inspiration for the maskot character. she says being a maskot must be a bit like being a clown... no, she continues, it's like being an actor. people expect you to smile no matter how you feel inside.
by midnight ketchup and alessandra are doing the rooftop sequences. earlier i was worried that they might have the actors stand on the balcony instead of the actual roof, for safety reasons. "nah," chris says, "that would suck." ketch and alex are deep in conversation, obviously enjoying each others' company. chris quietly tells dan and lau to roll film.
when alessandra wraps and everyone starts clapping, she says, "are you guys sure? i could stay," and jokingly offers to do the dancing scene with ketchup. she genuinely wants to stay--i had nothing to do with it whatsoever but i feel touched and a little proud.
a couple more shots of ketchup on the roof, and then a few more indoor shots, and shooting is done for the day. it is 2 am. for everyone here but me, work had begun over 20 hours ago.
i head home, an empty bottle of beer in my backpack. my mind sings.