All-American cast of Treasure Hunters shoot movie scenes in Bataan

Anita Curran (left) and Martin Santander (right) are some of the American stars who shot scenes in Bataan for their movie Treasure Hunters.


Ilang American film production outfits na ang pumili sa Pilipinas upang maging location ng kanilang mga pelikula gaya ng Apocalypse Now (1979), Platoon (1986) at Born On The Fourth of July (1989). Noong 2012 nga ay naging malaking bagay ang pagpili sa Pilipinas bilang location ng The Bourne Legacy. Tampok dito ang sikat na Hollywood actors na sina Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz at Edward Norton.

Ang Pilipinas din ang napili ng Los Angeles-based production company na Magic Elevator para sa action-adventure movie nilang Treasure Hunters, na nakatakdang ipalabas sa Amerika sa December 20, 2013. Tampok sa pelikula ang all-American cast na kinabibilangan nina Martin Santander, Anita Curran, Cece King, Frezno Iam, Irit Hoffenberg, Jonathan Rosenthal, Omar Hansen, Alex Sturman, Bobbi Laird, Prince Rijan, Suzanne Ferry, Paul Katona at Ashley Rivard.

Ang Treasure Hunters ay tungkol sa dalawang grupo ng treasure hunters na naghahanap ng nawawalang ginto na ibinaon sa Corregidor Island, Philippines ng Imperial Japanese noong World War II.

HOMECOMING FOR PINOY PRODUCER. Nagkaroon ng pagkakataon ang PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na makausap ang Pinoy producer at Magic Elevator Vice President for Production na si Jeff Solema pati na ang ilang cast members ng Treasure Hunters sa Gap Plaza Hotel sa Balanga, Bataan noong July 10.

Ayon kay Jeff, nagsilbing homecoming ang shooting ng pelikula para sa kanya dahil sa Bataan siya ipinanganak at marami sa mga kamag-anak niya ang nakatira rito.

“My dad was from Cabcaben in Mariveles, Bataan but I am from L.A. now. Ipinanganak ako dito, then umalis kami noong seven [years old] ako. We lived in Germany for six years then from there, we lived in Seattle. Now, everybody’s in Seattle but I live in L.A.

“I try to come here [to Bataan] at least every two years. Noong ginagawa pa lang namin yung script, yung story, we already had Bataan in mind. Perfect kasi yung Bataan, kailangan namin ng bundok, ng gubat, ng dagat, nandito na lahat. Kaya nga the movie is shot entirely here in Bataan,” sabi ni Jeff.

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Sa 18 movies daw na ginawa ng Magic Elevator, ang Treasure Hunters ang first film nila na kinunan dito sa Pilipinas. Bukod sa U.S. release, ilan sa mga pelikula nila ang naipalabas na sa Cannes Film Festival at sa Hong Kong Film Market. Inaayos na rin daw ng Magic Elevator ang paghahanap ng distributor sa Pilipinas para maipalabas din dito ang Treasure Hunters.

Hinangaan naman ng PEP ang pagsasalita ng Tagalog ni Jeff kahit na sa Amerika na siya nakatira. Paano niya nagawa ito?

“Actually, before hindi ako nagta-Tagalog. Natuto na lang akong mag-Tagalog kasi every two years umuuwi ako and then natututo ako. Before talaga pinagtatawanan ako kasi yung Tagalog ko baluktot na baluktot. And then pag umuuwi ako ngayon it takes me two days para makuha yung language pero halata pa rin na hindi ako galing dito or hindi ako nakatira dito, halata pa rin,” natatawang sabi ni Jeff.

Bagama’t all-American ang cast ng Treasure Hunters, ipinagmalaki naman ni Jeff ang all-Pinoy production crew na kinuha nila.

“Great crew, they are just great. I would love to work with them again. There’s something with the crew, with the all-Filipino crew, kahit na ganun yung Tagalog ko I can still connect with them.”

Tinitignan din daw nila ang posibilidad na kumuha ng mga artistang Pinoy sa susunod nilang mga pelikula.

“Yeah, I want to, of course. Maybe with the right project.”

“AMAZING” EXPERIENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES WITH FILIPINOS. Nakausap din ng PEP ang Polish director na si Filip Maciejewicz at ang ilang cast members. Pawang mga papuri at magagandang salita ang ibinahagi nila tungkol sa kanilang karanasan na mag-shoot sa Bataan. Humanga nga sila sa ganda ng lugar at sa kabaitan ng mga tao.

Ayon kay Filip, “The local community here in Bataan has been extremely friendly, helpful and enjoyable to work with. We have experienced amazing hospitality and we’re impressed with the Filipino crew and local actors.”

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Ang isa sa lead stars na si Anita Curran, na nakalabas na sa pelikulang The Princess Diaries kasama si Anne Hathaway, ay tuwang-tuwa sa kanyang naging karanasan dito sa bansa. Ilan sa mga pagkaing Pinoy na nagustuhan ni Anita ay ang chicken adobo at kare-kare.

“The experience is amazing, wonderful. If I could show you all my e-mails back home, that would explain everything. What’s best about the Philippines? The people. The people are friendly and just beautiful, I mean everybody’s just so simple. Life is so simple here and happy. The people are just so giving, you know, everybody has been so nice to me,” sabi ni Anita.

Gugustuhin naman daw bumalik sa bansa ni Martin Santander bilang turista. Si Martin ay napabilang na sa ilang Hollywood movies katrabaho sina Val Kilmer at Eva Longoria at nakalabas na rin siya sa popular American vampire series na True Blood.

“I’m enjoying my stay here a lot, beautiful people. I love the place and I would come back as a tourist. I love the jungle, Balanga, Mt. Samat, there’s a lot of history in this town. I’m excited and happy to be here. The people are really humble, so polite and very helpful,” ani Martin.

Ilan daw sa mga salitang Tagalog na natutunan niya ang “Salamat po,” “Mahal kita,” at “Pogi,” na ikinatuwa niya dahil lagi raw siyang sinasabihan ng pogi ng mga taga-Bataan.

Si Irit Hoffenberg naman ay nakaplano na agad ang pagpunta sa Boracay pagkatapos ng shooting. Mahilig daw kasi siyang magpunta sa beach at ang Boracay ang isinagot sa kanya nang magtanong siya ng magandang beach sa Pilipinas.

Kuwento ni Irit, “After the movie I’m going to have a vacation here in Boracay. My husband’s gonna fly here and we’re gonna go together in Manila to Boracay. We’re gonna stay here for another week before we go back to the States.”

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May dalawang kaibigang Filipino-American naman si Cece King sa Amerika at ang bilin ng mga ito sa kanya ay kumuha ng maraming pictures sa Pilipinas. Hindi niya raw inakala na ganun kababait ang mga Pilipino at tuwang-tuwa siya sa mga bata.

Kuwento ni Cece, “When we shot in Cabcaben there were so many people watching. I was so surprised to see all these people, all the little children and everyone. Everybody was so friendly and so nice. I couldn’t believe it. All the little children were like, ‘You’re so pretty, you’re so pretty!’ But you know, all these children and Filipino people they are the ones who are really beautiful. We put them in the film and they are very cooperative, they are very professional. They were so amazing.

“I have lot of pictures with them. There was a point where I went to buy a lollipop and I turned around and there was all these kids behind me and taking my picture. I took a lot of pictures with them. I have two Filipino friends back home and they got really excited when they learned that I was going to the Philippines. And they wanted me to take lots of pictures, so I did. I put all those pictures in Facebook, in Instagram and so many people liking the pictures and calling me and saying, ‘Isn’t it amazing?’ I didn’t really know what to expect. But it’s really amazing, great experience.”

Naging kaibigan naman ng lahat ng Pinoy crew at maging ng staff ng Gap Plaza Hotel na tinutuluyan nila sa Bataan ang tinaguriang Mr. Congeniality na si Frezno Iam dahil sa galing niya sa pagtanda ng mga pangalan at pagiging palakaibigan. Aliw na aliw daw siya sa kanyang naging experience sa pagpunta dito sa bansa natin. Nakakaaliw din ang sagot niya nang tanungin ng PEP kung paano niya ide-describe sa isang salita ang naging karanasan niya rito.

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Nakangiting sabi ni Frezno, “Sarap! Because it’s delicious. It’s a feeling in the mouth, it’s a state of mind, and it’s the perception of everything great. Sarap!”


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