Frasco Mortiz and Cathy Garcia-Molina debut as horror film directors in Cinco


Television show director Frasco Mortiz (left) directs the "Braso" episode of Star Cinema’s horror flick Cinco. Romantic-comedy box-office director Cathy Garcia-Molina (right), on the other hand, megs the final episode titled "Puso."


Star Cinema’s new offering Cinco is touted as a milestone in the local horror genre. A collective effort of young and dynamic scriptwriters and directors, the film is made up of five episodes interestingly weaved together by a single element.

Each of the episodes are given to life by an all-star cast composed of Mariel Rodriguez, Pokwang, Bangs Garcia, Robi Domingo, Zanjoe Marudo, Sam Concepcion, Baron Geisler, Kristel Moreno, AJ Perez, Jodie Sta. Maria-Lacson, and a whole lot more.

The movie also boasts of the finest directors in the industry today with contrasting credentials and experience. PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) caught up with two of the directors on separate occasions last week during a press conference both held at Proud Mary Café Diner on Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

CATHY GARCIA-MOLINA. Even director Cathy Garcia-Molina was surprised to find herself at the helm of a scare flick project following a string of successful romantic-comedy films such as Close To You (2006), You Are The One (2006), One More Chance (2007), A Very Special Love (2008), and You Changed My Life (2009), among others.

The box-office director admitted feeling both intrigued and challenged with the idea of working in a completely different genre. And while doing horror was a "risk," veering away from her comfort zone was a welcome development artistically for the well-liked director.

"Marami na rin namang nagtatanong ’Direk, lagi ka na lang bang rom-com [romantic-comedy]? Saan ka ba pupunta?’" she recalled being constantly asked by close friends and colleagues.

It somehow helped that Direk Cathy’s foray into horror was not a full-length one as each of the designated directors were only given considerable minutes to accommodate the film’s overall concept.

"Maganda kasi isang episode lang kami bawat isa kesa isang buong pelikula," she said with a smile.

The title and plot of Direk Cathy’s assigned episode interestingly still falls in line with her image and expertise although there’s an added element previously absent on her previous projects.

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"Ang title ng episode ko ’Puso,’ laughed Direk Cathy. "Ang term ko nga dito ay horror-com [horror-comedy]. Meron kasi kami ditong love story angle tapos meron ding romance at comedy and may horror on the side. Actually mas gulat. Nung sinu-shoot nga namin sabi ko ’Ano bang ginagawa ko dito?’ Kasi itu-turn ko siya into a love story. Pero ’yon naman ’yong strength ng ’Puso’ nagsimula ang lahat dahil kasalanan ni Pokwang dahil sa kanyang puso, nagmahal ng sobra."

"Puso" is the final installment of Cinco and Direk Cathy acknowledged the pressure on their part to sustain the suspense and momentum paved by the four previous episodes.

"Siyempre ’pag fifth episode ka naka-angkla ka na ’yong apat ibinigay na sa iyo ’yong tamang set-up. Ganun naman ’di ba" ’Pag pinanood mo naman siya papanoorin mo ng buo kahit per episode. So supposedly naibigay na nung four episodes ’yong scare factor so pagdating sa amin kaya kami ’yong 30 minutes para panahon para huminga ulit ’yong audience, magsimula ulit namnamin papunta sa climax.

"Ang mahirap sa amin ’yong ending namin ay hindi lang ’yong ending ng episode namin, it’s also the ending of the entire film. Sabi ko nga kay Pokwang ’pag ne-let down natin ang audience hindi lang ’yong episode natin ang pinababayaan natin kundi ang buong pelikula kaya mabigat sa shoulders namin ang pressure," explained Direk Cathy.

Playing Pokwang’s love interest in the film is model-actor Zanjoe Marudo. Joining the two in the cast are Malou De Guzman, Bangs Garcia and Empoy Marquez.

FRASCO MORTIZ. Cinco is Director Frasco Mortiz’s baptism of fire in the field of commercial film making.

The son of actor-director Edgar "Bobot" Mortiz after all is more identified as a television behind-the-scenes guy, leading the charge for shows like Kapitan Boom, Gokada Go! Eva Fonda, Goin’ Bulilit and Banana Split.

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"Kinabahan ako dahil unang beses ko magdi-direk ng film kasi wala talaga akong kaalam-alam sa movie making kasi more of sa TV talaga ako na-expose," said Direk Frasco, recalling his initial reluctance when offered to oversee the film’s first episode titled "Braso."

"Natuwa lang ako kasi sabi ko ’Uy, 15 minutes lang!’ Sabi nila ’Maikli lang po direk ang gagawin ninyo.’ Nung binigay nila ’yong script nakita ko ’yong idea and ’yong basic concept na limang kuwento pero magkakatahi. Pero ’yong limang kuwento na ’yon iba iba ang mood so nakakatuwa kasi kahit papaano hindi ako nakatahi sa isang mood lang. Ang problema kasi dun sa isang buong pelikula kailangan isang mood ka lang all throughout. Ang challenge for me is sana matuwa ’yong tao enough for them para panoorin ng tuloy tuloy ’yong pelikula."

"Braso"—described by Direk Frasco as a "barkada horror film"—is topbilled by young actors Sam Concepcion, AJ Perez and Robi Domingo.

The episode was shot at an abandoned hospital building along E. Rodriguez in Quezon City.

"Meron silang isang wing na hindi na ginagamit and ’yong look niya post-war na American architecture na malalaki ’yong pintuan, mataas ’yong ceiling and nakakatakot talaga ’yong feel ng buong building. Thankful kami actually dahil pinayagan nila kaming mag-shoot dun," mentioned the young director.

Part of Direk’s preparations before doing the project was watching foreign horror films and consulting his Cinco co-directors to provide him a wide perspective on how to attack the episode.

Some might think that doing a 15-minute horror episode is easy. "Not really," Direk Frasco pointed out.

"Nagdagdag and nagbawas kami ng konting scenes kasi nga we have to fit everything in dun sa minuto na ibinigay sa amin. As a director, medyo frustrated ako dun sa mga hindi ko nakunan pero thankful ako dahil nung kinabit-kabit na namin nag-work din naman. Siyempre meron akong ’Sana meron ako nun, sana kukunan ko pa ng tighter shot ito’ pero given ’yong time limit... Ang problema kasi namin location, they only allowed us to shoot from 5 p.m. hanggang 4 a.m. in the morning so hindi ka makapag-whole day," he continued.

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"Pero happy naman ako dahil sa 15 minutes na ’yon marami na kong nailagay and karamihan naman ng gusto kong ilagay nandun. So as a director, fulfilled naman ako and hindi ko na iniisip ’yong what could have been. Ang iniisip ko na lang sana matuwa ’yong mga tao--matuwa sa takot," laughed Direk Frasco.

Cinco will open in more than 100 theaters nationwide starting on July 14. This Star Cinema film will have its premiere night on July 13 at SM Megamall.


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