“Mahal po talaga. Napakamahal,” says Robin Padilla of the production budget for the movie Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, which is one of the official entries to the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
This period film, one of several Filipino films that tackle the life of the Filipino revolutionary, promises to portray Andres Bonifacio in a different light.
Robin admits that the production budget alone reached a whopping P90 million. “Wala pa pong promotion [cost 'yan],” he adds.
The action star credits director Enzo Williams for not going with the usual Filipino mentality of “puwede na 'yan.” According to Robin, Direk Enzo is not the type to make compromises on the quality of the film.
“Sumama siya sa mga location manager, pinilit niya maghanap ng location na puwede, pero pag hindi pumasa sa kanya, nagpapagawa kami ng sarili naming [set],” says Robin. Among those that they had to recreate were the fort of El Polvorin, the house of Emilio Aguinaldo, and the house where La Liga Filipina meetings were held.
Robin also expresses his confidence in Direk Enzo, saying, “Malaki ang tiwala ko sa aking director. Sa katunayan, ako ang action star na nagko-choreograph ng sarili kong fight. Pero dahil may sarili siyang fight choreographer, sumailalim ako doon at di kumontra.”
He adds that there’s no reason for him not to trust the fight choreographer, since he is also the same fight choreographer of James Bond movies in the United States. “Sampalataya kaming lahat sa direktor namin,” adds Robin.
The movie marks a first in the Filipino film industry. Scenes were shot using the ARRI Alexa camera with anamorphic lenses, and the complete ARRI raw post-production workflow was used afterwards. The high precision camera plus high-tech editing procedures produce crisp and clear images favored by the makers of Hollywood movies such as Gravity and Iron Man 3.
Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo marks the much-anticipated big screen reunion of Robin with Vina Morales, who plays Bonifacio's wife Gregoria de Jesus.
The movie boasts of an all-star cast including Jericho Rosales, Daniel Padilla, Jasmine Curtis Smith, Joem Bascon, Eddie Garcia, Junjun Quintana, Cholo Barretto, Isabel Oli, RJ Padilla, Richard Quan, Ping Medina, Isko Moreno, Rommel Padilla, and Dennis Marasigan.