Sa ikalawang pagkakataon ay nag-produce ng pelikula ang direktor na si Paul Soriano.
Ito ay ang Cinemalaya entry na Transit, kunsaan tampok sina Jasmine Curtis Smith, Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, at ang child actor na si Marc Justine Alvarez.
Ang pelikula ay isinulat at idinirek ng baguhang filmmaker na si Hannah Espia.
Paliwanag ni Paul kung bakit hindi siya ang nagdirek ng Transit, “This is Hannah’s story kaya hindi ako at siya ang nagdirek.
“And I’m not the type of person na I will direct, di ba? ‘This is your story, let me help you make it.’
“I mean, a filmmaker can also be a producer, di ba? To help produce the story.
“So with my new studio, I’m hoping to encourage other stories also.
“I can produce. If you have any idea, you can pitch to me.”
Nakausap ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Paul sa pocket presscon ng Transit kahapon, Tuesday, July 15, sa Fleur De Lys sa Timog Avenue, Quezon City.
FILM PRODUCER. Tuluy-tuloy na nga ang pagpo-produce ni Paul ng pelikula dahil pagkatapos ng Transit ay may panibago silang project na pinaplano.
“Well, you know, I opened up my own studio, yung 10-17-P, which is also my birthday," pagtukoy ni Paul sa production outfit na ipinangalan sa kanyang birthday, October 17.
“After the success of Thelma , it’s like… I wanna put up my own studio, and you know, produce films, direct films also.
“And I was very busy with advertising, e, TV commercials—that’s what I do, di ba?
“So when I met Hannah last year at Cinemalaya, I said, ‘Let me produce your film because I like the story.’”
Tinatalakay sa Transit ang tungkol sa naging batas sa Israel na pagpapa-deport sa mga anak ng mga dayuhang nagtatrabaho roon.
Saad ni Paul, “Ang ganda ng kuwento about the deportation law and OFW sa Israel.
“And the fact that we can shoot about ninety percent of the film in Israel, I mean, what an opportunity, so, game!
“But I’m still gonna direct. Actually, I’m gonna be directing my third film later this year.
“Pero I can’t say yet the details about it, kasi ano… wala pang final.”
PROBLEMATIC. Pero hindi biro ang pagpu-produce ng pelikula, maraming sakit ng ulo at problema.
“Oo naman!” nakangiting pagsang-ayon ni Paul.
“But of course, it was very very challenging, kasi I’m also working with a first-time director [Hannah].
“So I was also teaching her as we go along the way.
“But you know, all these challenges, lahat ng mga hardships, it’s all worth it kapag tapos na yung pelikula.
“So that’s kind of what keeps me going, tapos yung passion ko.
“’Coz I know at the end of the day, when the film is showing sa cinemas, ang sarap ng feeling, e, di ba?”
Ano ang pinakamahirap na pinagdaanan niya sa pag-produce ng Transit?
“Well I think yung… the fact that we have to shoot it in Israel.
“I have to bring a very limited crew and actors—we are less than twenty people.
“And even myself as producer, I was also production assistant, I was also a messenger.
“Almost two weeks kami doon.
“But actually, what’s nice about Israel, they’re so used to tourism, di ba?
“A lot of people want to shoot there, that when we went to… parang the film office, they gave us a permit easily.
“It’s actually not expensive to shoot there because they make more money in tourism.
“So yung mga shooting there, it’s very affordable, it’s very, very cheap actually.
“So, that was a very big plus.”
GIRLFRIEND TONI GONZAGA. Bakit hindi na lang ang girlfriend niyang si Toni Gonzaga ang kunin niyang artista sa ikatlong pelikulang ipu-produce at ididirek niya?
Tugon ni Paul, “She’s still doing a movie with Piolo [Pascual] directed by Inang [Olivia Lamasan].
“So I know intensive ‘yan, si Inang, iba ang workflow niya.
“But I’m excited for Toni kasi she’s gonna work with Inang for the first time.”
Pero gusto niya talaga maging artista din si Toni ng pelikulang ipu-produce at ididirehe niya?
“Oo naman, why not?” sambit ni Paul.
Ano kaya ang magiging advantage at disadvantage kapag sila ni Toni ang nagsama sa trabaho?
“Well, yung advantage is I know her, we know each other so well.
“Yung disadvantage naman, I guess, you know, if we have disagreements, it can go beyond the movie set.
“Pero I’ve worked with Toni sa commercials, and what’s nice about the both of us, we can be professionals.
“When I’m her director, I’m her director. And when she’s my actor, she’s my actor.
“So far, so good naman ang working relationship.”
WEDDING PLANS. Marami ang nag-aantabay kung kailan ang wedding nina Paul at Toni. Wala pa rin ba silang plano hinggil dito?
Tugon ng direktor, “Sooner than later.
“I always say sooner than later because… of course in the back of my mind, I’m also saving for a family, and a future with Toni.
“Six years na ang relationship namin, pero yung wedding talaga kung kailan, we don’t know yet.
"Uhm… I guess in time.
“But you know, for me definitely… soon! Sooner than later.
“I know Toni doesn’t like me to talk about it, gusto niya, quiet muna, na let’s keep it a mystery!” bahagyang natawa niyang sabi.
If ever, okay lang ba sa kanila na maging open ito for public, na may media coverage, o mas gusto nilang maging pribado at solemn ito?
Sagot ni Paul, “You know me, I’m a very private person, e, di ba?
"So if you’ll ask me, I just want it to be very personal.
“But I have to respect Toni’s industry also, di ba?
“So at the end of the day, the wedding talaga is about the girl, e, siya ang spotlight.
“So if she agrees to that, okay rin sa akin.”
Sa six years na nilang relasyon ni Toni, may ups and downs din daw sila.
Was there a time na parang naging shaky talaga ito at muntik na silang maghiwalay?
Sabi ni Paul, “Wala naman. I mean… I think what’s nice about me and Toni is that we have trust—for these six years, it’s never been broken.
“So even though we have arguments, even though we have disagreements, we still trust each other to fix it.
“I think after six years, parang tapos na yung growing pains.
“Yung first at second year, of course, maraming adjustments ‘yan, kasi very private ako, very behind the camera.
“Siya naman, very public and everyone is very interested, di ba?
“So we went through… it was more of getting used to each other’s families, work, di ba? Adjustment days.
“Now that we’ve been together for six years, parang… relax lang kami ngayon, e.
“Like she’s shooting a movie now, we can’t see each other, okay lang.”
JEALOUSY ISSUE. May pagkakataon ba na naging isyu sa kanilang dalawa ang selosan?
“Wala naman, wala,” pagsisiguro ni Paul.
“Well, I mean… si Toni talaga, zero selosa ‘yan, but for the six years, she hasn’t shown me anything.
“For me naman, if I get jealous, it’s about time.
“Kasi, of course, may time that you wanted to see her, di ba?
"It’s been a long day or a long week. And she has still shooting, or she still has taping, pero okay lang, I understand.
“I understand the demands of her job.
“I mean, you know, she’s one of the best hosts, comedian, and she has a lot of shows.
“So I don’t want to stop her from being all that.”
GOODLOOKING. Muling nangiti si Paul nang matanong kung ano ang reaksiyon niya sa sinasabing siya ang "pinakaguwapong direktor" ngayon.
“Really? Well, I hope it means that I make good films! Ha-ha-ha!
“But, ah… I guess it’s flattering. Thank you!
“Pero you know, I thank my lolo [the late Nestor de Villa] and my dad [Jeric Soriano] for making me this way.
“I love to make films, hopefully they watch my movies, di ba?”
Naniniwala ba siya na dagdag-inspirasyon daw sa mga aktres kapag bukod sa magaling ay guwapo rin ang direktor, gaya niya? Na mas nakakaganang mag-report nang maaga sa set? Mas madaling maka-motivate?
“Ganoon ba?” tawa na naman ni Paul. “That’s a good thing.”
Dahil guwapo nga siya at pang-matinee idol ang dating, pumasok ba sa isip niya kahit minsan lang na mag-artista rin?
“No! I’m the type of person na if I feel I won’t do well, I won’t explore.
“I really found my calling behind the camera."
JASMINE CURTIS SMITH. Puring-puri naman ni Paul si Jasmine bilang isa sa pangunahing artista sa Transit.
Sabi niya, “It’s my first time to work with Jasmine.
“What I like about her, she’s a passionate hungry actress.
“For me… teachable, she’s very teachable—she listens, and she trusts her director, her producer.
“What I like about Jasmine is she auditioned for the role, number one. Nagpila siya, di ba?
“And to think sister ni Anne Curtis ‘yan, di ba? Anne Curtis is such a big star.
“Pero normal lang si Jasmine, and I think that’s what I like about her.
“And what I admire about Jasmine is she’s trying to make her own name.
“Of course, uncontrollable na sister ni Anne, di ba? But she’s doing things different from her sister.
“And sa pelikula, she has to speak Hebrew dahil anak siya ng isang OFW na isang Israeli.
“And she told me nga bago kami nag-start ng shooting, ‘Direk, if I have to do workshops or language workshops, tell me.’
“Ginagawa niya despite her busy schedule… three times a week nag-Hebrew workshop siya.
“And she speaks Hebrew in the whole film.
“That’s why, for me, bilib na bilib ako kay Jasmine.
“For her first film na nag-Hebrew siya and in a foreign country, she was helping us carry bags.
“I mean, wala siyang… hindi siya artista kung umasta.
“And it goes with everyone in the cast—sina Irma [Adlawan], Ping [Medina], Mercedes [Cabral].
“Walang complaints from Jasmine, she’s very teachable. I think that’s her best trait.
“And I told her, ‘Just keep that attitude up and you’ll be one of the best actresses in the future.’”