Indie film fans are in for a treat as the movie adaptation of Vincent de Jesus’ musical Changing Partners can still be seen this February 2018.
Starring Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Sandino Martin, and Anna Luna, the film won the Audience Choice Award at the 2017 Cinema One Originals. Agot won Best Actress while Dan Villegas won Best Director, which he shared with Giancarlo Abrahan (for Paki).
This movie musical is being screened at Cinema Centenario in Quezon City until February 28.
Changing Partners is about a May-December relationship involving Alex and Cris, and how years of being together have brought their differences to the fore, threatening to unravel their affair.
In a previous interview with Sandino, he told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that he actually asked permission from Agot before he made a naughty move for their bed scene.
How was it like shooting his love scene with Agot Isidro?
"It's a good memory," said Sandino with a smile. "I love you, Miss A!
"Hindi siya gumagawa masyado ng bed scenes. It's a good thing that Agot and I became really good friends so naging mas kumportable kami.
"Sabi ko sa kanya, may gagawin ako sa iyo. Pinaalam ko. Sabi ko, 'Huwag kang magagalit.' sabi ko, 'Hindi ka ba mai-incriminate?' Sabi niya, 'Kaya 'yan.'
"It's nice to be with actors who are committed, who are great. If you want to be great, palibutan mo ang sarili mo ng magagaling na actors."
When asked what he did to Agot during their intimate scene, Sandino recalled, "Pinalo ko sa pwet!"
INTIMIDATING STAR? If there's one thing that Sandino shares with Direk Dan Villegas is the fact that they were both initially intimidated by Agot.
During his recent blog con for the movie, Direk Dan was overwhelmed by the challenge of creating the film version of Changing Partners.
“Yong translating it beautifully [from stage to screen] hindi ko pa alam while watching it. Nong napanood ko siya, pXXXXgiXa, ang hirap nito, ah. To make it into a film was challenging for me. Super hirap.
“Kasi nga ang ganda ng material. I fell in love with the material nong pinanood ko [yong play]. 'Yon 'yong mga moments na, ‘Wag ka nang kumuha ng director. Ako na 'yan, kasi ganon ko nagustuhan yong play mo.’
One of Vince's friends recommended Direk Dan to helm the film during a drinking session. “Ang nangyari don they called me first. Si Vince tumawag sa akin. Nag-iinuman sila.
“‘Sali natin sa Cinema One.’ Sino ang director?’ ‘Si Dan.’ Kasi pang relationship movie daw ako. Na totoo naman, gusto ko naman talaga ng relationship movie. And I think kakapanood lang 'ata ni Vince noon ng How to Be Yours, e. Yong Gerald Anderson-Bea Alonzo movie? So nakatulong 'yon.”
Vince gave him free rein—he was given the freedom to change the material, if he thought it was necessary.
The 35-year-old filmmaker pointed out, “Walang boundaries. Super love ko si Vince. I think I’ve said it before. Si Vince kasi binigyan niya ako ng freedom with the material. ‘Gawin mo yong gusto mo.’ At 'yon ang nakakatouch kasi it's very personal to him.
“Tapos for you to change it, may dinagdag kami, may tinanggal kami. Okay lang sa kanya basta nandoon yong heart ng film. It's one story told from different perspectives.
“Sa movie mas binigyan naming ng boses 'yong Cris. Kasi sa play mas angat yong Alex. Dito binigyan naming ng boses lyong Cris magsalita paglabas mo sa film kunyari sino ba talaga yong tama? Hindi pareho silang mali.”
It was an opportunity to work again with the outspoken Agot Isidro, whom he collaborated with in Huling Pasada, where he served as cinematographer.
“Nakakaintimidate talaga siya kasi nga kasi number one laking TV ako, pare.
"Nanonood ako ng Oki Doki Doc [Agot’s 1990s show that aired in ABS-CBN]. Kaya nga isang day tigil shooting kami nong kinakanta niya 'yong theme song. Hanggang ngayon nakakaintimidate pa rin. Haligi na kasi siya ng industriya.
Yet Agot, like the rest of the cast, worked cooperatively with him. “'Yon pa yong sobra ko pang swerte kasi parang pagka-work mo silang apat…'yong lack of ego nila. Iba, e, iba. Nakakatuwa for a director. Gusto ko 'yong nagkakaroon ng healthy discussion with an actor kasi at least meron siyang stake doon sa material.”
One of the film’s biggest fans is Direk Dan's sister, a lesbian. “Nagustuhan niya. Saka siya 'yong kinonsult ko. Sa gay scenes, may staff ako na bakla. Mas madaling magconsult sa kanila. At that time, wala kaming lesbian na staff. Sa sister ko ako nagtanong: ‘Gagawin ko ba 'to pare?’”
Changing Partners is being screened at Cinema Centenario for the whole month of February. (To view the schedule, CLICK HERE)
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