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Newbie director Joey de Guzman leaves New Zealand to pursue filmmaking in the Philippines

by Jojo Gabinete
Jul 6, 2022
joey de guzman newbie director
Joey de Guzman (left) is one of the neophyte directors introduced by Reality MM Studios' Erik Matti and Dondon Monteverde. The others are Dean Marcial, Kerwin Go, Kip Oebanda, and Siege Ledesma.

Sina Joey de Guzman, Dean Marcial, Kerwin Go, Kip Oebanda, at Siege Ledesma ang neophyte directors na ipinakilala ng Reality MM Studios producers na sina Dondon Monteverde at Erik Matti.

May mga proyekto ang Reality MM Studios para sa HBO, Netflix, Disney, at ibang mga international company kaya kinuha nila ang serbisyo nina Joey, Dean, Kerwin, Kip, at Siege.

Paliwanag ni Matti, “There are lots of talented filmmakers we have known over the past years who may specialize in TV series, melodrama or love stories but our projects are meant to be brought somewhere else.

“We found in our directors what we were looking for in terms of sensibilities. They can tell bigger stories than what were used to, but keep the characters purely Pinoy pa rin.”

erik matti dondon monteverde

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(From left) Kerwin, Siege, Dondon, Erik, Joey, Dean, and Kip

Isa sa mga baguhang direktor na ito ay si Joey na isinilang sa Pilipinas ngunit lumaki sa New Zealand.

Muli siyang bumalik sa ating bansa para matupad ang pangarap niyang maging direktor.

Maganda ang kuwento ni Joey, na nagtapos ng Digital Design sa Auckland University, dahil hindi niya personal na kilala sina Dondon at Erik kaya gumawa siya ng paraan para ipakilala ang sarili.

Lahad niya, “I don’t know who Direk Erik is or Sir Don is. I just saw their film and I saw their names and I searched their email.

“I said, 'I just got out of university and this is my show reel. I have some concepts I wanna show.'

“So, in-email ko sila. Nag-reply naman si Sir Don. Sabi niya, ‘O sige, come here on your holiday. Usap tayo.’

“Ipinakita ko ang concepts, mga show reel ko. Sabi niya, ‘If you wanna make movies here, if you wanna be a director, you move here.’

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“So I went back to New Zealand, I sorted some stuff, quit my job, nagtrabaho kasi ako sa ad agency as content creator, and then I came here in 2016. Kasi it’s always been my dreams to make big movies.”

Ikinuwento ni Joey na bumalik din siya sa Pilipinas dahil malaki ang interes niyang matutunan ang kultura sa bansa na pinagmulan ng kanyang mga magulang na matagal nang naninirahan sa New Zealand.

“Kaya rin ako pumunta sa Pilipinas from New Zealand, na-notice ko ang mga Pilipino sa New Zealand are very proud to be Filipinos, sino-show off namin.

“Every year sa New Zealand, may gathering ang mga Pilipino, we have beauty contests, we have basketball tournaments.

“Pagdating ko sa Pilipinas, everyone’s Korean, everyone mas gusto ang foreigners, baligtad. Kasi sa New Zealand, everyone’s wearing 'I am Proud Pinoy' so I came here to rediscover my cultural roots.”

ERIK AND DONDON AS MENTORS

Tumatanaw si Joey ng malaking utang na loob mula kina Erik at Dondon dahil ang dalawa ang naging mentor niya at matiyagang nagturo ng kanyang mga dapat malaman tungkol sa paggawa ng pelikula.

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Isinasama siya ni Erik sa mga shooting ng mga pelikula nito, ang Seklusyon at On The Job 2 para mag-obserba at madalas naman ang pagyayaya sa kanya ni Dondon na manood ng sine.

“Nasa likod lang ako ni Direk Erik, nanonood sa mga shooting at ng workshop niya sa mga artista.

“Si Sir Don, kapag weekend, mag-i-invite siya, 'Manood tayo ng sine.'

“Kaming dalawa lang. Nanood kami ng Frozen 2. Sabi ko, 'Okay ‘to,'” natatawang kuwento ni Joey.

Patuloy niya, “Si Sir Don, he’s very hard on me. Kunwari, yung reviews sa Day Zero, talagang he’s always pushing me.

“He never gives compliments hanggang maging satisfied siya. I think kahit okay na yung hitsura, aanuhin pa rin niya and it ends up becoming better than what you thought you can do so dun ako naging thankful.”

Nang bumalik si Joey sa Pilipinas, visual effects supervisor ang unang trabaho na ibinigay sa kanya ni Dondon na hudyat ng pag-uumpisa ng katuparan ng pangarap niyang maging direktor.

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Saad niya, “Na-experience ko ang Filipino TV production na nagulat ako dahil 24-hours yun. Ginawa nila akong VFX supervisor sa My Super D sa ABS-CBN kasi may background ako sa visual effects.

“I am very determined to learn everything and after that, I directed commercials, mga TV series.

“The first commercial project I did was yung Philippine Airlines safety video. Yun ang nagpe-play sa plane bago lumipad.

“I did mga TV series like Mano Po 1 and 2, Gen-Z with Regal and TV5.

“Actually, nag-pelikula ako before that, I did one in 2019, The Ghosting with Andrea Brillantes. That was my first film which I’m not so proud of.

“The latest one I did with them is Day Zero with Brandon Vera. It’s an action zombie film.

“I am more prepared. Nakapasok siya sa isang film festival sa Switzerland and there are two other festivals in Europe, dalawa sa North America that are very interested in Day Zero.

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“It’s a very fun film. Medyo violent pero it’s fun to watch.”

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Joey de Guzman (left) is one of the neophyte directors introduced by Reality MM Studios' Erik Matti and Dondon Monteverde. The others are Dean Marcial, Kerwin Go, Kip Oebanda, and Siege Ledesma.
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