Filmmaker Lem Lorca widens his horizons via the upcoming comedy horror-flick Echorsis: Sabunutan Between Good and Evil, which stars Alex Medina, Kean Cipriano, and John “Sweet” Lapus.
“This is my sixth film,” said the native of Quezon Province in a recent interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
Lem started as a regional filmmaker in Quezon.
His previous films include the JM de Guzman-starrer Intoy Shokoy ng Kalye Marino (2012), Mauban: Ang Resiko (2014), Water Lemon (2015), Pulis and Ned’s Project, which is an entry to the upcoming CineFilipino Film Festival.
Budget-wise, he said that Echorsis is his biggest film. “Ito po yung pinakamalaki sa ginawa ko, medyo mainstream na commercial,” he described.
Asked how the concept of the movie was created, Lem related, “2011 nagkwentuhan ni Jerry Gracio [award-winning screenwriter] tungkol sa pelikula.
“Pinagtatawanan namin yung concept, ‘What if merong sumasapi na bakla na demonyo?’ Pinagtatawanan lang namin, hanggang sa sineryoso na namin noong 2012.
“Isinulat na yung script, not until late last year, do’n lang namin nabuo yung script, so nasa limang taon sinulat yung script.”
The person who becomes possessed is a gigolo/swindler named Carlo (played by Alex Medina). Kristoff (played by John Lapus) is the gay victim who exacts revenge by possessing Carlo. Kean Cipriano is cast as Father Nick, a priest who specializes in exorcisms.
As it turned out, completing the script is just one of the many challenges that the movie had.
Another one was finding a producer willing to shell out cash to finance the project.
“Mahirap humanap ng producer sa ganitong klaseng project kasi hindi naman lahat pumapatol sa ganitong klaseng idea,” confessed the budding director.
“It took a while before makahanap.”
He sent the script to Chris Cahilig, a PR specialist, who agreed to finance the project.
“Pinadala ko kay Chris yung script, di na siya nakatulog,” beamed Lem.
For the filmmaker known for serious indie films, Echorsis came as a breath of fresh air.
“Kasama po ako sa nag-conceptualize. I love the concept so much, light lang, nakakatawa.
“Maiba naman sa ginagawa ko na seryoso na indie films,” he explained.
Another challenge is the schedule of the celebrities.
Direk Lem made sure that there was a conducive working environment because he firmly believes that a happy set would produce good results.
“Sa ‘kin naman relax lang, yung set is happy set.”
Echorsis, which will be screened starting April 13, is showing quite a promise as its trailer on Facebook has already reached 2.8 million views.
Asked about the positive feedback that the trailer is generating, the seemingly overwhelmed filmmaker responded, “Unfamiliar yung territory kasi kapag gumagawa ako ng independently-produced films, alam naman namin yung ginagawa namin, hindi masyadong commercial ang subject.
“Ito, medyo iba lang. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam. Kung lahat o kalahati [ng nanood ng trailer] manonood, masaya na [kami].”
Echorsis also stars Chokoleit, Alessandra de Rossi, Kiray Celis, Nico Antonio, Bekimon, Francine Garcia, Mich Liggayu, Ruby Ruiz, Negi Negra, Odette Khan, and the boy band 1:43 (composed of Yuki Sakamoto, Anjo Resurreccion, Gold Aquino, and Yheen Valero).