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Birdshot producer highlights value of taking things slow

‘There’s a reward when you take things slow’

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“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.

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Skyroam Solis: The jet-setting girl’s best friend

Make the world your office

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I’m writing this at the Hamad International Airport in Doha. Work and life circumstances brought me here for a quick layover. And although this particular airport has great internet connectivity, I can’t say the same for, well, everywhere else in the world I travel to.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where global unfettered and unrestricted internet exists so instead, I resort to bringing around this tiny thing.


This is the Skyroam Solis and for those of you who move around a whole lot, this thing will be your best friend. This nifty little device is a hotspot that works in 130-plus countries (which is a lot). I’ve used it in the US, Japan, and the Philippines with no hitch.

It’s also mindblowingly simple: Turn it on, connect to its Wi-Fi and you’re all set. You can subscribe to different data plans, Wi-Fi cards, or day passes depending on your use. To monitor usage, you just log on to the Skyroam app, easy peasy.

Basically, it’s reliable LTE internet anywhere I go. This means I don’t ever need to hunt for hotspots and I have the flexibility to work anywhere I go. I’ve typed away and filed stories and articles from a beach and let me tell you, there’s no going back to a desk for me. Actually, there’s no going back to a desk for me and four more people because the Solis can handle up to five connected devices so you can share the internet love.

Of course, there are still some areas where the Solis had spotty signal. But, that was when I was on a teeny boat in the middle of the ocean, hopping from remote island to the next so I’m pretty sure any device would have a problem, seeing as I didn’t even have service from a local provider.

An added bonus: The Skyroam Solis doubles as a power bank with 6000mAh or close to two smartphone charge cycles. Obviously, this also means that it will take a while of nonstop use for this thing to die. The Skyroam website says 16-plus hours of non-stop Wi-Fi battery life and although I’m always online, I’ve never really needed to be online continuously for that long.

If you’re ready to make the world your office, you can buy the Skyroam Solis for US$ 150 and add on an internet plan of your choice. If you’re not sure about committing to the Solis just yet, or for those who don’t travel as much, Skyroam also rents out the device at a more affordable cost. 🌎✈️

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Emoji documentary to show at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival

Tracing the history

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Linguist Tyler Schnoebelen with the San Francisco emoji poop rock

Have you ever wondered where emoji came from? Are they connected to symbols as ancient as Hieroglyphics? Were they simply evolved from our lazy typing as a product of cellphones? A documentary will finally explain all that and more.

Picture Character is an 81-minute film that explores all this. Directed by Martha Shane and Ian Cheney, the documentary explores the rise of the emoji, roughly translated from Japanese: picture character.


Emoji inventor Shigetaka Kurita drawing his original smiley face emoji

The visual narrative looks at the history, evolution, and present purposes of these cute but meaningful characters. It also looks at the process of how emoji came to be — from their journey to being lobbied up until being passed by the Unicode Consortium.

Rayouf Alhumedhi, the creator of the hijab emoji

The documentary looks at the rise and fall of the biggest text symbols in today’s time, putting into perspective the meaning of each one and just how exactly they came to be.

You can catch Picture Character at the Tribeca Film Festival happening in New York from April 24 to May 5.

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Huawei P30 hands-on: All the cool features applied in real life

How zoomed in is zoomed in?

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After all the “oohs” and “ahhs,” and as the dust settles from Huawei’s flagship launch, the question is: What’s so great about the Huawei P30? And no, I don’t want to hear any specs.

To answer this question, I road tested the Huawei P30 to see just what it can do and how I can use those features in real life.


In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

SEE ALSO: Selfie and posing tips from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

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