Jun Lana on Dementia star Nora Aunor: "She exceeded our expectations."



Nagsimula nang mag-shooting si Nora Aunor para sa Dementia noong Linggo, January 5. Ito ang unang pagsabak niya sa trabahong pam-pelikula ngayong 2014.

Ang young actress na si Jasmine Curtis Smith pa lamang ang nakunan, along with Ate Guy (palayaw ni Nora) among the main cast na sa puntong ito ay binubuo pa lamang.

Hindi isang independent film o indie production ang Dementia, which is being produced by Studio 5, ang Film Division ng TV5. Isa itong horror-suspense drama na idinerehe ni Perci Intalan.

Line producer is the Octobertrain outfit of writer-director Jun Lana and his team.

Intalan is former head of the Creative and Entertainment Department of TV5. As he bids goodbye to his post, Perci welcomes a new chapter of his professional career with his movie directorial debut.

Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and TV executive-turned-director bago magsimula ang shoot sa isang malaking vacation house in Balagtas, Bulacan.

When asked how he feels about the new challenge in his career, sabi ni Perci, "Happy... actually, timing talaga. Bagong taon, bagong simula."



ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE. In Dementia, Nora Aunor plays Mara, a woman afflicted with dementia, a disease characterized by a severe impairment or loss of intellectual capacity and personality integration due to the loss of, or damage to, neurons in the brain.

Hindi pisikal na karamdaman, kundi isang mental imbalance ang dementia, which needs psychiatric treatment.

"Dementia is equated with Alzheimer's disease," paliwanag ni Perci.

Naging basehan ni Perci ang experiences niya with his own mother, who has Alzheimer's, upang mauunawaan ang complexities ng karakter ni Nora.

"That's why in the blurb we prepared for the movie, it says, 'Sa pagitan ng naaalala at nakalimutan matatagpuan ang katotohanan.'"

Madali raw ipagpalagay na ang taong apektado ng dementia ay baliw, o may topak.

Ang kaibhan lang, tahimik at tila normal ang pag-uugali ng taong may ganitong karamdaman.



ON JASMINE CURTIS SMITH. Parte rin si Jasmine Curtis Smith sa Dementia bilang pamangking babae ni Nora.

As Rachel, si Jasmine ang naging gabay ng kanyang tiyahin (aunt) sa inaasahang pagpapanumbalik sa normal ng pag-iisip nito.

Para maibsan ang mga puwang sa kanyang alaala, minabuting magbalik ito sa ancestral house ng pamilya, sa isang malayong lalawigan.

Pero magiging mas kumplikado ang sitwasyon, habang nagbabalik sa alaala ni Mara ang nakaraan, kabilang ang ilang malalagim na tagpo sa nakalipas na panahon ng kanyang buhay.

A complex character na puno ng ligalig at ng hindi nagtutugmang agam-agam sa isipan ang katauhan ni Mara (Nora).

And as a demented soul, she would uncover some hidden truths about her existence.


HORROR FILM? Sa unang araw ng Dementia shoot ay naging mahalaga ang hindi pa nabubuong mga piraso ng jigsaw puzzle.

Ito ang pinipilit na buuin ng Nora character, as seen in the first shots which came out in many social media posts (Facebook and Instagram photos).

Direk Perci shared, "Sa eksena, makikita na parang normal si Mara, pero we really don't know what's going on in her mind."

Most of the scenes taken in the first-day shoot, ayon din kay Perci, would be used in the film's teaser ad.

Kabilang dito ang mga eksena ng kababalaghan sa paligid, na maaaring naririnig pero hindi nakikita. At ang aparisyon ng isang multong maaaring tumatak lang sa isipan, bilang isang guni-guni, pero nagdulot ng kakaibang sindak sa tauhang ginagampanan ni Nora.

"Sa teaser, may mga hint na ng istorya, character... na horror [genre] siya.

"The mood is set. Kaya yung camera test, briefing sa character, ginawa na naming shoot.

"It's a 'zizzle' reel, yes! Pinapauso namin yun!" masayang sambit pa ng baguhang direktor.



SHOOTING IN BATANES. When the group resumes shooting, sometime in mid-March, sa Batanes island naman tutungo ang buong team.

Hinggil dito, nabanggit ng premyadong cinematographer na si Mackie Galvez ang nakikita niyang challenge sa trabaho niya, bilang director of photography (DOP).

"It's exciting to work on the film, especially since it's my first time to work with the superstar-actress," aniya.

"Ang challenge sa akin ng project is to make Batanes [main location] less romantic but more creepy, which is an apt location or setting for a horror story."

At the end of the first-day shoot, pare-parehong satisfied, kundi man extremely fulfilled, sa ginawang trabaho nila ang director of photography na si Mackie, Direk Perci, at ang screenwriter na si Jun Lana (na siyang una sanang magdidirek ng Dementia).

"Of course, she exceeded our expectations. Yung ipinakita niya, in that crucial scene [sa open field], is very impressive!" sambit ni Jun Lana.

The writer-director was referring to the intense projection by the actress, of the varying emotions that registered on her face—from shock to fear to confusion and anguish, in less than a minute—through her very expressive eyes.

Walang dialogue ang lahat ng mga eksenang ginawa ni Nora nang araw na yon, at sa ganito siya higit na napapansin at napapapurihan.

"Kaya yun ang hindi ko ipa-pass up na pagkakataon, e," dagdag pa ni Direk Perci.

"Sinasabi nga ni Ate Guy na pagkakatiwalaan niya ako, bilang direktor. Hihindian ko pa ba?"

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