Wenn Deramas may already have proven his ability to make people laugh through his previous comedy movies and shows, but the Box Office comedy director says there are still times when he insists on doing drama projects.
This is partly the reason he was given the primetime drama series Kahit Puso'y Masugatan by the ABS-CBN management.
“'Yon naman ang usapan namin. Hinihingi ko kasi ‘yan.
“Nagsimula naman ako na drama talaga, di ba?
“ Nagulat nga ako na marunong din pala ako sa comedy,” the TV and movie director related to PEP.ph and other invited media during a visit on the set of Kahit Puso’y Masugatan recently.
Direk Wenn considers it as a “breather” to work on a more serious project after doing several comedy projects.
These include the movies Moron 5 and the Crying Lady (2012), This Guy’s In Love With U Mare (2012), and the defunct fantasy-comedy Wacko-Wacko.
“Ang sa akin, gusto ko lang TV, sabi nga ni Ma’am Charo [Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN president] sa akin at saka ni Boss Vic [del Rosario, Viva Entertainment], ‘Pagdating sa comedy, binibili ka, e.
“‘Kahit ano’ng gawin mong pelikula, nagbabayad sila para tumawa. Huwag mong sirain ‘yon.
“‘You’re already a brand, na parang sabon, binibili ka dahil sa comedy mo.’
“Kung talagang gusto mong magdrama, ito ang TV, libre.’
“Pagdating sa pelikula, comedy talaga.”
UNEXPECTED. During his earlier days in show business, Direk Wenn never thought he would become a popular director.
Like others, the former production assistant strived hard to be where he is today.
Direk Wenn remembered that it was ABS-CBN Business Unit head Deo Endrinal who gave him an opportunity to become a writer.
He narrated, “Sabi nga ni Deo, ‘I heard so much of you, marunong kang magsulat?’ Sagot ko, ‘Marunong!’
“Ganun kaagad ako kahit hindi naman marunong.
“Bakit ko naman sasabihin, e, hindi ko pa naman naita-try?”
From Tatak Pilipino to Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata to Teysi ng Tahanan, Direk Wenn slowly made a name as a program writer.
The most memorable among these, according to Direk Wenn, was when he became one of the writers in the morning talk show of Tessie Tomas.
Initially, he was assigned to produce a 15-minute segment for the program, titled “Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang,” which related heartwarming stories of housewives.
“Doon ako nagsimula. Ako ang nagsusulat, nadi-direct, nag-e-edit, naglalagay ng music nang walang nagturo,” he recalled.
“Using one camera, ilaw, lumalaki na ang [production] ko nang walang nagtuturo.
“Lahat ‘yon hanggang sa paglalagay ng music, bumibili ako ng mga canned music, mga soundtrack. Ako ang naglalapat noon.”
After Teysi ng Tahanan, Direk Wenn was asked to be the executive producer of the docu-drama Calvento Files.
But he always had a heart for writing and directing a show, so Direk Wenn asked the network executives to put him back to his previous job.
Since then he has been directing different soap operas and movies.
His TV series include Mula sa Puso (1997), Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan (2001), Marina (2004), Kampanerang Kuba (2005), Walang Kapalit (2007), Dyosa (2008), and Habang May Buhay (2010).
Meanwhile, the comedy movies that Direk Wenn produced were Ang Tanging Ina series, Petrang Kabayo, and the highest-grossing local movie of all time The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin.
DRAMA AND COMEDY AT THE SAME TIME. While doing Kahit Puso’y Masugatan, Direk Wenn was also busy with the latest Star Cinema comedy movie This Guy’s In Love With U Mare, which now earns P200M for its initial two-week run.
Although these are two different genres, Direk Wenn does not get confused when shifting from drama to comedy.
“Laging kapag may pelikula akong ginagawa, may soap akong kasabay.
“Nasanay na akong Monday, Wednesday, Friday ang TV; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday ang pelikula.”
He also mentioned, “Sabay kong sinusulat ang drama at comedy.”
It seems like a tough job, but Direk Wenn has very good motivation.
“Naku, ang tinitingnan ko na lang ay payslip. ‘Naku, comedy ito, ang payslip!’ ‘Ito drama, ang payslip!’” Direk Wenn said with a laugh.
He also said, “Alam mo, mas malulungkot siguro ako kapag iisa ang ginagawa.
“Ang totoo niyan, sobrang breather sa akin ang Kahit Puso’y Masugatan, wala silang naririnig sa akin kahit araw-araw akong magtrabaho.
“Wala, kasi gusto ko ‘yong ginagawa ko.
“Pero noong ang ginagawa ko ay Moron at Wacko-Wacko, nakukrung-krung ako kasi parehong comedy.
“May ganun ako.”
Did he ever experience losing his creative juices while writing?
Direk Wenn did not deny that there are times when he experiences writer’s block.
When that happens, “Walang biro, ewan ko kung maniniwala kayo, kapag dumarating ‘yon, dasal. ‘Lord, ito na ba ‘yon, titigil na ba ako?’ May ganun ako, e.
“Kunwari nariyan na lahat, nakapagkape na ako kasi di ako nakakasulat ng hindi nakakapagkape, ayan na naghihintay na ang lahat.
“Nakakanganga na sa akin lahat ng mga tao.
“Dasal ka lang nang dasal na ‘Lord, tulungan n’yo po ako. Bigyan n’yo po ako ng nakakatawang eksena.’
“Pak! Mayroon agad ‘yon, ayan na ang ballpen, dire-diretso na.”
Direk Wenn does not mind doing two projects at the same time.
He reasoned out, “Hindi naman everyday may ganitong klaseng dikit-dikit ang pelikula.
“Sino pa ba ang gumagawa ng pelikula na tatlo hanggang apat sa isang taon?
“‘Tapos ganun din ang teleserye, pagkatapos ng isa may kasunod din agad.”
He also stressed, “Ang lahat ng ito ay trabaho na lamang para may pambili tayo bigas.”
When asked to choose between drama and comedy, Direk Wenn refused to choose one.
Instead, he said in the end, “Mas gusto ko na ‘yong ganyan para ‘yong mga manonood, hindi magsawa.”