Sunday, September 27, 2009

General thoughts on the few weeks of the Clutch program

So far, the workshops are really going well. Going around Toronto to do a bunch of different things is fun, in spite of the fact that I usually find myself confused and lost whenever it comes to directions. Yesterday was the shoot for the short film that we're working on. It was great that everything was shot in one day. Working under pressure was a good thing in some sense. Our group dynamic is wonderful because we're different in various ways and yet it seems that we're complementing each other's personalities and interests. It also helps that we had different backgrounds when it comes to our Filipino experiences because we get to contribute information and insights to each other. I am looking forward to more projects that we'll be doing in the next few weeks. : )


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shooting the Short

We shot the whole day today for our short film (title pending). The topic, as mentioned in the last blog, was about self-identity and integration as a young Filipina living in Canada. Having four girls in the CLUTCH program with completely different backgrounds, philosophies, mentalities, personalities and (her)stories have made these past few weeks a rather interesting learning process, not to mention social experiment. We wanted to produce a short film that somehow combined our experiences together, without being overt or cheesy and while making it relatable to the audience. We wanted to emphasize one character’s internal struggle of displacement and the challenges of straddling between two different cultures.

Using Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Le Petit Prince as inspiration for its story-telling magic and charming interrogative style, the short film is about a young Filipina narrating short stories and moments of her childhood in rural Philippines, which ironically clashes with visuals of urban life in Toronto.

We ran around Toronto today, with our main goal to capture the relationship between our main character, Kristina, and the city. I felt like we were guerilla filmmakers at certain points. We even had a mini tiff with one of the restaurant owners below my friend’s place where we shot at, in regards to asking “permission” to film (which we had). She apologized when my friend told her it was okay, to which I jokingly said, “I know — it’s weird to see a bunch of Filipino girls at one time” — to which she got surprisingly defensive. No matter — ‘twas quite humourous to see someone freak out at the thought of being accused of racism.

Back to the actual shoot: in plain words, Kristina was a natural. Her face and demeanor were perfect for the role. She interacted with street musicians and picked out fruit from the stands and walked down Kensington Market, nonchalantly passing the hustle and noise of people around her. Combined with Flerida and Daryl Anne’s video production experience, we’re all very excited (and curious) to see how this film will turn out. We’ll keep you posted…


Ready for Some Live Action?

For those who are wondering, "What have the CLUTCH girls been doing?"
we have been really busy with both juggling our lives and the program. So here's a list so far:
  • Participated in making Forest City Lovers' music video,
  • Saw a documentary at the National Film Board called "The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam" by Ann Marie Fleming (it certainly was a Long story),
  • Listened to our guest speakers/mentors: Catherine Hernandez, Michelle Turingan, and Maylee Todd,
  • And just recently attended our first Filipino History class.

With all these events, we have one major project that occupied our minds: Making our first collaborative video. We are all excited (I'm sure) to be making a significant video on our own that can relate to each of us CLUTCH girls and hopefully to the audience as well.

We took every chance to get together and come up with a story for our film; most of it happened after the scheduled workshops.

The topic that was given to us to write about was being a Filipina woman living in Canada. I don't know if there's a shorter way of saying that, but that's what I can remember... so =P

Each of us have our own unique talents that we are relying on to help create our masterpiece. Experiences in writing, theatre and film, and of course the experiences of being a Filipina.

[above: We had nothing scheduled on Friday so we decided to use this time to come up and finalize our story so we can start shooting our scenes the next day.]

[<-- a glimpse of what one of our shots might look like.]
Yes, these two (Desiree and Kristina) agreed to be in front of the camera and act the scenes, while the other two (Flerida and myself, Daryl Anne) have no intentions of being in front of the camera, and will be behind it establishing the shots.
Tomorrow's a big day for us! Hopefully we won't get drenched while filming (=_=) *pray*

DANP ^_^

Friday, September 25, 2009

Filipino History

Yesterday was our first Filipino History Class.

It was really surprising to find out that before the Spanish, the Philippines were not like the North American natives. Our islands were situated in a massive trade route where goods and spices flowed through. We were ship-owners, we under-wrote large-scale ventures into China, and we had gold. Gold. Gold and spices.

We were ballin' folks.

So why is it that nobody knows this? Why is this not taught in schools, ESPECIALLY schools in the Philippines?

It really makes me angry that I didn't know about this. Angry at myself for not looking for the information myself like Alex Felipe (our teacher) did and angry at the colonial mentality that the Philippines seems to have because why is our history so friggin' forgotten?!

Argh. I need to process this some more.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Music Video with Forest City Lovers and the NFB

So this is the first post, obviously.

Our first meeting went well. Forest City Lovers are a pretty cool bunch of musicians, but then again what musician isn't cool? Kanye West probably. Who saw the MTV Video Music Awards?! Ridiculous.

Anyway, back to the video shoot with FCL. A skateboard was used as a dolly (ingenious!), someone found their inner monkey and climbed a tree to pick out a balloon, people cart-wheeled/biked/jazz snapped across the frame, lots of cool DIY/guerrilla video making in action. All in all the video seems like it's going to turn out well and I can't wait for its release.

Afterwards we went to the NFB. I'd always known where it was but I had never actually visited the place. We saw "The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam". It really resonated with me because in the documentary, Long Tack Sam (Magician/Vaudeville performer) was essentially forgotten about by his family. I immediately thought about my own history and how I forgot it (including my language!). It's all rather unfortunate but watch out, I'm getting it back!

<3ing Clutch,