Apr 18
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PROFILES: Promising director Jerrold Tarog talks about putting depth into his films

Jerrold Tarog (in photo)  joins about 20 filmmakers in launching ANC's Ambisyon 2010.   Other noted filmmakers who were tasked to create short films were: Ditsi Carolino, Jade Castro, Kiri Dalena, Eman dela Cruz, Henry Frejas, Jeffrey Jeturian,  Eric Matt

Author: William Reyes

Award-winning indie filmmaker Jerrold Tarog says he sees the future of Philippine society in his own experiences and probable destiny as an artist.

His preamble, "I wouldn't be making films, kung wala akong pag-asa."

Tarog, 32, is one of the 20 filmmakers, who were selected by ANC SkyCable Channel 27 and ABS-CBN network to be part of AmBisyon 2010, an anthology of short films depicting relevant issues like corruption, democracy, economy, education, environment, health, justice and human rights, population, poverty, and security.

The advocacy project, which will simulcast starting 10:00 p.m. on March 7 via ANC 27 and ABS-CBN Channel 2, also serves as an awareness campaign for the May 2010 national elections and will premiere on March 7.

"I chose education as a topic," says Jerrold Tarog, talking about his film's teaser, "primarily because, for me, it's the starting point if you want to try at least to change society."

By way of a seven-minute feature entitled Faculty, the film highlighted the value of education, especially for the Filipino children.

"It's about two college teachers-portrayed by Che Ramos and Bea Garcia-who have opposing views on educating the youths," Jerrold added in an e-mail message to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

In a way, Jerrold's contribution to the omnibus AmBisyon 2010 is a prelude to his third film, where the writer-director (who also edits, mixes the sound, and scores the music of his films) hopes to present a glimpse of the current educational system and the problems the Filipino students now face.

HIGH SCHOOL 2010. Meanwhile, the director is currently busy working on the script of his third film. He previously did the award-winning Cinema One Originals debut feature Confessional (2007) and the Cinemalaya Filmfest finalist Mangatyanan (2009).

He temporarily skipped the idea of completing his "camera trilogy" by choosing to delve on high school life.

As for the casting, Jerrold's production team already picked a number of pre-teens and high school students, who will play major and minor roles in the film. A series of extensive acting workshops had also taken place.

"The workshops were intended to inspire a fictional story from the entire process of working with the selected high school students," he said.

Aside from the newcomers, will he be utilizing some known actors, too?

Jerrold informed, "We hope to cast known actors for some of the teacher and parent roles. Some of the students will also have adult versions of themselves and, for these also, we're hoping to cast known actors, kahit cameo lang. Sana makuha namin sila. Alam ko na kasi yung mga gusto kong kunin."

EMIR'S FILM EDITOR. Jerrold Tarog is also currently editing the musical film, Emir, for director Chito Roño.

PEP also asked Pats Ranyo, the name he uses in film credits, if he experiences the same challenge in editing a musical film like he does in a non-musical feature.

"I'm enjoying the work, so far," Jerrold began his quite-lengthy explanation.

"Editing a musical is pretty much the same as editing a non-musical, with the obvious exception of having strict beats to follow whenever there are production numbers. Alam mo dapat kung saan ang downbeat or kung kelan syncopated yung cut or yung kanta. Alam mo dapat yung time signature para puwedeng mag-sync yung pacing ng cut. You also have to be more careful with the choreography. I guess dito papasok yung musical training ko. But the act of editing itself, of constructing the film, I also consider that a musical endeavor.

"As for the actual music in the film, mga drafts pa lang yung nakalatag sa film so I'm really looking forward to hearing [composer] Chino Toledo's [Emir's musical director] final orchestration. He's been my idol since college and his music was an early inspiration for Mangatyanan."

WORKING WITH DIRECTOR CHITO ROÑO. On working with-and-for the multi-awarded veteran filmmaker, Chito Rono, it was an opportunity that a promising filmmaker would not miss.

Source: Philippine Entertainment Portal