“Anyone can be a filmmaker. If you have a story, if you have the talent, you can just do it.”
This is how filmmaker Pamela L. Reyes described the filmmaking landscape today. She’s been in the industry for close to a decade now and has worn different hats: From writer to producer to director.
Smartphones, GoPros, and prosumer cameras have enabled more people to tell their stories visually. Reyes says this wasn’t the case back when she started. Back then, she explains, “When you make films, you really have to want it a lot.”
“Before you had to find the film cameras, you had to find the crew members that really want to make films,” she elaborated. Filmmaking used to be a pipe dream, but that isn’t the case anymore, not with a variety of tools becoming more accessible to a lot of people. While that’s mostly a good thing, it has also created its own problem.
“There are really good artists everywhere but at the same time there are really bad films being made,” said Reyes adding that with the volume of films being made it has “become harder to weed out the bad ones.”
Making Filipino films internationally competitive
The craft, though, definitely goes beyond the tools you make it with. Especially when you want your films to do well internationally.
“There’s a reward when you take things slow,” said Reyes, who has won and been nominated for various local and international awards for her role as producer for the award-winning film Birdshot. She says it’s also about uplifting the film’s production value. That includes creating a good and sustainable working environment on set.
We’ve all heard our fair share of stories from people in the film industry about insane work hours and talent fees that are not paid on time. Reyes wants to do away with these practices.
It starts, she says, with building the right kind of team all while making sure that everyone is paid appropriately, on time, and that their well-being is taken into consideration by making sure the work hours are reasonable.
“There’s no shortcut to making good films,” said Reyes, who is currently working on a few local and international films. She believes in investing the right amount of time when making films. Consequently, she’s turned down projects which demand that she rush things.
“Don’t rush it. The best film will come out if there’s a lot of love and passion in it,” she explains.
Stories that are true
A Visual Communication graduate from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Reyes shared that she initially had an agency job that lasted no longer than three days. She said she “knew right away” that it wasn’t for her.
Her calling is in storytelling. When asked which stories she wants to tell the most, she beamingly replied: “I really want to tell stories that are true.”
“Most of the films I do are kind of feminist. That’s what I really want to push for because I haven’t seen that in a lot of films here [in the Philippines]. One that’s truly feminist. By that I mean you show what you have to show. You say what you have to say.”
Reyes is currently working on a coming-of-age film and a horror film — two of her favorite genres. Talking excitedly about her two projects, she once again highlighted the importance of taking the right amount of time in developing films. This way, you get the reaction you want to get out of your audience which is what pushes her to keep on making films.
“It’s just seeing the reaction of people and knowing that I affected their life a bit or I scared them a bit, made them think a bit. That’s the payoff that is enough for us to keep going.”
In a fast-paced world where we have a constant diet of content that’s bite-sized but oftentimes fails to hold our attention, Reyes champions the importance of running at your pace. Haste makes waste and to create something that you’re truly proud of and elicits a reaction from your intended audience, you need to take your time.
YouTube Original Series to feature TWICE
First K-Pop girl group to be featured
K-Pop continues to be more popular than ever and it’s now making its way to YouTube Originals. TWICE, who constantly tops Korean charts, will be featured in a YouTube Original Series. They are the first K-Pop girl group to star in the award-winning series.
The series will feature the North American leg of their 2019 World Tour called TWICELIGHTS. This might prove to be an emotionally charged content from the group as one of the members — Mina — took a leave in the middle of the tour due to anxiety.
According to Billboard, the series is “unlike anything released by TWICE before. The series will showcase exclusives, in-depth interviews, as well as an “intimate and personal portrayal of all of TWICE’s members.” It will also dabble into the group’s four-year journey so far. The series will launch in the first half of 2020.
TWICE debuted in 2015 with nine members namely Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group first hit their stride following their first comeback Cheer Up. The group has consistently released hit songs since and have been tapped as endorsers by multiple brands including tech-related ones like LG.
YouTube Originals and YouTube Premium
YouTube Originals had previously worked with K-Pop boy groups, most notably the one with BTS called BTS: Burn The Stage. It features various shows produced by YouTube itself. The show series was launched alongside YouTube Premium — a subscription based entertainment platform akin to Netflix, Hulu, et al.
YouTube Originals are currently only available to YouTube Premium subscribers but the content will soon be accessible for free but with ads starting September 24.
Sights and sounds of summer in the Upper East Side
Capturing New York City on film
“You need to come back, New York is different in the summer,” a friend urged one absurdly cold day back in May. “It has a different energy to it; it’s more alive,” another friend noted with excitement about the magical effects of the impending warm weather on the city.
Living in a tropical country my whole life and enduring constant humidity year per year, I never really understood the hype. What could be so special about spending yet another summer in another city, I thought. On the contrary, it’s lower temperatures that always excited me. The thought of layering with soft wool sweaters and thick coats, and wearing thigh-high boots on vacation was ideal. It was something I never get to do on the daily, so I longed for it — until I was forced to live out of a suitcase from winter to spring, that is.
Having gone through the chore of exactly that — wearing wool sweaters, thick coats, and boots just to get eggs at the nearest bodega or go for a coffee run next door — made me appreciate being able to wear just about anything I want in the summer including the potential sweating that goes along with it. After months of freezing weather, summer just feels so liberating that you’ll appreciate the heat even if it means smeared eyeliners and a face so oily you could fry two eggs on it.
That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. This article certainly doesn’t, but here are some vignettes I caught on film, complete with audio recordings, using the Instax Mini LiPlay, one Sunday morning stroll along Upper East Side.
One large cold brew to go
Like any other day, I start with a nice cup of cold brew. Cafes like Bluestone Lane usually gets packed for brunch. It’s especially nice when the sun is out that friends and families eat al fresco. Listen to the audio recording here.
Hotdogs and city performers
Hotdog stands can be found at every corner of the city. This one is outside the Guggenheim Museum, which tourists flock and buskers frequent. Listen to the audio recording here.
Honking yellow cabs
The sound of the train arriving or cabs honking is normally unbearable, but in New York it’s part of what makes the city full of character. Listen to the audio recording here.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
This spot in Central Park is beautiful whether you’re there to see snow falling or flowers blooming; hear trees rustling or dried leaves crackling. Listen to the audio recording here.
Pick a spot at Central Park
Central Park is so big of an oasis that you can have your quiet little spot for reading and alone time, or watch kids and dogs play if you wanted to. Listen to the audio recording here.
Sun’s out, bikes out
Whether it’s for cardio, getting from one place to another, or just for leisure, everyone seems to be on their bikes during summer. Other locals take advantage of this and sell ice cold water for $2 in the middle of the park for anyone who needs to cool down. Listen to the audio recording here.
Grab something quick and cheap
For those who might want a quick bite after a long walk or bike ride, there are food trucks everywhere. Tacos? Check. Gyros? Check. Ice cream? Check. Listen to the audio recording here.
It can get too crowded for my taste, but The Met is quickly becoming my favorite place in the city. It’s where I can run to for shelter when it’s below freezing outside, or when temperatures get higher, walk around the vicinity for no reason or people watch on the steps. I can get trapped here for days and not feel like I’m wasting my time. Listen to the audio recording here.
Witnessing New York City transform from a dark, cold abyss in the winter, to a city with blossoming tress in spring, to the vibrant concrete jungle that it truly is in the summer, is special. If you live in this city, or travel here a lot, it’s something you will learn to cherish once you see and hear it for yourself.
She implanted an RFID tag in her arm to operate a Tesla Model 3
A new way to never lose your keys again
A software engineer who goes by the name Amie DD on YouTube wanted to do an ultimate Tesla Model 3 hack — one that involves implanting an RFID tag in her own body so she could unlock and operate her vehicle with just a wave of her arm.
She released a short documentary on her thought process and how she began the project. According to her, she’s not new to playing with RFID tags and implanting them in her body. So when she got her new Model 3 and found out it uses RFID to unlock and start the vehicle, she immediately came up with the idea.
To make this possible, Amie DD reached out to a body modification place capable of performing such procedures. You may watch the implant process here but be warned that it’s a bit graphic and shows blood.
She didn’t actually show in her video that it actually works but she told The Verge that it does. Amie DD even tweeted Elon Musk jokingly (probably) that she could run Musk’s Body Hacking Division.
— Hackster.io (@Hacksterio) August 12, 2019
It may sound cool and all — and props to her for having the courage to do something like that — but as for me, I think I’m okay with using standard keys right now.
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