The question and answer was a bit paranormal, err, more than your normal interview. It was fun, light and crazy spiraling from surviving a flood during a film shoot, the Bisaya culture, the perks and challenges of movie directing, Naruto, almuranas, tagiptip and the like. Read on as we delve into the quirky mind of fellow iSTORYAn himself, Vanceloma of iSTORYA.NET.
And don’t forget to catch My Paranormal Romance at SM Cebu Cinema and SM Consolacion starting today until December 4, 2012. Bisaya rocks!
About being an iSTORYAn/Personal
- Are you an iSTORYAn? Yes.
- What is your nick? Vanceloma, kalimot na ko sa akong password hehe (I forgot my password!)
- Since when are you a member? 2005 pa. (Since 2005)
- What forums do you frequent?
TV's and movies, art and culture, buy and sell
- Movie making can be a time consuming job what do you do for hobbies? Do you have any peculiar interests?
I'm into drawing and graphic design, but I didn’t use those for quite some time. I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman's work. I like to watch anime and search for rare Asian movies. I also like to travel and find rare items.
About Your Career in Directing:
- When did you start getting into films?
Ever since I was in college, I have always wanted to do films, even when my camera was maot (not good). When I received a festival award during 4th year college, that sparked my interest in films.
When did you start your directorial debut?
I would like to think last year (2011) as My Paranormal Romance is my first full length movie as a director. I am usually a producer or into art direction.
What inspired you to pursue My Paranormal Romance?
I think this was by chance because I never dreamt of becoming a director. Then there was this call for entries at Cinema One Originals 2011. I told a good friend Dennis Judilla (Diem of iSTORYA.NET) to submit something, to just try it out (We also interviewed Diem last year.. Check story here!). And his script got chosen! Sus, panic!! So, right then and there, I learned about directing and also combined it with my behind-the-scenes experiences in productions I was involved in the past.
- What or who inspired you to pursue movie directing?
There are a lot of inspiration that give me ideas that I want to implement and you can’t implement it if you are not a director. I was and still am a fan of anime and Japanese movies, with how bulabog (quirky) and fun they are. One of my favorites was Kamikaze Girls by Tetsuya Nakashima. It inspired me and made me ask, “Can we do those kind of bulabog films?” Aside from that, my friends find my humor funny and they encourage me to try directing and so I did.
- What are the perks and challenges in being a movie director?
The biggest challenge is that you are the team leader so everybody is looking up to you. It’s a massive collaboration and there are a lot of people you need to talk in order to translate your vision into the big screen and sometimes, that can be very exhausting. Perks kay sosyal ko tanawn sa pictures na director kunohay ug mag wine2x ko ba, mruag tinuod hahaha (It makes me look elegant in pictures, like holding a glass of wine, as if! Haha)
- What is your greatest achievement?
So far, I still cannot say that I have a greatest achievement already because there’s so much more I need to do. But this movie, My Paranormal Romance gives me hope that it will pave way for more Cebuano cinema, that it will entice movie goers to appreciate Cebuano film—so that I don’t have to go out of the city just to make films, I’ll just do it here in Cebu. Cebu is so rich when it comes to scenes—the beach is better than Manila. Admit it!
So yeah, My Paranormal Romance is one of my basis for me to reach to thousands of Cebuanos to let them know that there are other types of films and that we should support local/home-grown talent! Cebu has a surplus of talents!
- What makes a movie successful?
Two words. HEART and STORY
- Most actors and aspiring directors never achieve modest success. You have had some success with your independent films. Do you have any other future movies or videos that you are working on?
Im currently working on my next film to be shot next year with a big studio.
On Cebuano Films
Is directing a Cebuano film different from the ones you did before?
Yes because the Bisdaks have a different humor and style. Though it may be difficult to translate but once you get past that, it’s basically the same.
What are the challenges that you have to go through in promoting Cebuano film?
Well, since we are Indie, we don’t have the wealth and influence of a big studio so that makes it hard.
Pa print ra gani ug poster gasto na gani kaayo, kawaton pa gyud! . Plus the fact pud na choosy ug finicky ang Cebuano market. haha unya naa pa gyuy mentality ang uban na when they hear the idea na BISAYA film, baduyan sila, lami kaayo ipang dropkick! Di baduy and BISAYA! Ka nindot lang paminawn ana na language, asa kag words like Almoranas ug tagiptip? Char. So we have to overcome that mentality and try to instill na this is not baduy, mas baduy na bisaya ka ug mu diss kag bisaya (Even when you print posters, it’s so expensive plus the ideas are stolen! Plus the fact that the Cebuano market is choosy and finicky. And then there’s this mentality that when they hear the word Bisaya, they immediately associate it to low-end/baduy. I want to tell you that Bisaya is not low-end! Where can you find words such as almoranas and tagiptip? (try to research what it means). What I’m saying is that we have to overcome that mentality and try to instill it to our brains that we are not low-end. What’s low-end is if you diss Bisaya)
What is the future of Cebuano films?
I hope it's bright. We are doing our best right now to help inspire others to do their own Cebuano films and hopefully we will multiply here in Cebu and become one big happy family!
- How can we promote Cebuano film?
Simple. Support local! Ayaw pag INO-A na colonial mentality ba, palihug hawa Cebu kung mang ingon ana! Ka nindot lang sa bisaya! (Don’t act OA with the colonial mentality of Bisaya being low-end. Get out of Cebu if that’s your mentality). Be a proud Cebuano and let’s support local Cebuano talent and culture!
About My Paranormal Romance
- How has this movie changed your life?
It has changed my life a big deal. I got offers from producers, I got to be a part of a new division of the ABS-CBN’s market segment group. But I think the most important ones are the people who messages me or talked to me in any way, thanking me for making this movie as it inspired them to follow their hearts (naks!). The film has the ability to help change and shape the consciousness of the people and somehow I am glad that my film is memorable to a few.
- What can we expect from this movie?
Laughter and a goodtime! Plus Cebuano pride—that we can do movies like this!
- What are you most proud of in this movie?
Aside from the awards and the prestige, I am because we survived the flood! Check this video out.
- Your film "My Paranormal Romance" won some film festival awards, have you had any companies interested in distributing it?
Actually the company who owns and distributes this is Cinema One, so there has been talks of interested buyers and such, but I can’t talk much about it yet.
After Cebu, we are going to show it in other Visayas regions and Mindanao so stay tuned!
What do you say to young people, especially iSTORYANs, out there struggling to get into the film industry?
Commit a lot of mistakes. Learn from your mistakes because from there, you will learn how to find your voice, your true style. Mura na siyag BANKAI training of Jinchuuruki sa NAurto, na ang imong voice ug style is buried deep within you so kailangan ka mag training in order to hone it (It’s like BANKAI Training pf Jinchuuruki of Naruto wherein your voice is buried deep so have to train in order to hone it) because in films, people are always looking for something unique in style and voice. What’s basic is your intrinsic ability, once you access it, mao nay tawag na AVATAR state that would flow out of your consciousness and make the film making process so much fun. But again, to find that voice, you need to train!
A Cinema One Original 2011 Finalist. A hyper natural romantic comedy! Proudly produced in Cebu City, Cebu-Philippines.
Description: "My Paranormal Romance" is the feature film debut of the celebrity/celebrated yet very delusional filmmaker, Victor Villanueva
Release Date: 10 November 2011; Cebu GALA Premiere 14 February 2012
Plot Outline Merry just wants to focus on her studies to secure her future, discarding romances and relationships as nonsensical distractions. She wants to get in the toughest university in the country, S.H.U. (Super Hard University). But life throws her a curve-ball in the form of a mystical object that makes Merry a magnet for everything paranormal.
2011 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival, November 13
• Best Actor, Publio Briones III (Nomination)
• Best Actress, Phoebe Kaye Fernandez (Nomination)
• Best Music, Jay Chiongbian Young (Nomination)
• BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN, Kaloy Uypuanco (Nomination and WIN)
• BEST EDITING, Reuben Aquino (Nomination and WIN)
• SPECIAL CITATION AWARD, Victor Villanueva and My Paranormal Romance.
Starring: Phoebe Kaye Fernandez, Van Roxas, Paul Jake Castillo and Publio Briones III
Directed by: Victor Villanueva
Written by: Diem Judilla
Screenplay by: Diem Judilla and Victor Villanueva
Produced by: Creative Core, co-production Dreamline Productions
Interviewed and Edited by: thisbe.ara