MMFF ‘picture lock’ protested

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RICKY CALDERON

RICKY CALDERON

PLUS: Singer plays closeted gay in Cinema One Originals

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This year, the Metro Manila Film Festival executive committee introduced the most crucial policy change in selecting finalists for the commercial run and competition of the annual all-Filipino movie extravaganza.

Instead of basing choices on screenplays, as had been the practice for many years, the committee required producers to turn in movies completely shot and packaged for screening.

When the MMFF execom recently extended the deadlines for submission from October 31 to November 2, so long as a “picture lock” version was turned in on the original date, the move elicited a howl of protests from film producers who rushed to finish their films on time.

In reaction, the execom released the following statement, “Our decision to accept films submitted and finished at the picture lock stage is merely a clarification of the rules and not a revision.

“This allows the refinement of all eventual eight finalists in terms of sound, music, color, and visual effects, but definitely disallows any alteration to the edit of the film.”

For the information of the public, a “picture lock” is defined as a stage in film editing prior to online editing when all changes to the film cut have been made and approved. This is then sent to subsequent stages in the technical process of filmmaking, among them online editing and audio mixing. [The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age, Ascher, Steven and Pincus, Edward, 2007]

Khalil Ramos in ‘2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten’

Khalil Ramos in ‘2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten’

Producers who naturally cried foul over the “picture lock” submission and deadline extension felt that the execom bended rules just to accommodate other movie outfits. In Roving Eye’s humble opinion, they were right to complain as it isn’t fair to submit such a film form when the rules explicitly stated movies need to be finished when turned in. Especially so in this first year of implementation.

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Former Pilipinas Got Ta­lent contestant Khalil Ramos is playing his biggest role to date in the Cinema One Original entry titled 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten where he is one of the leads.

Roving Eye learned he auditioned for the role of Felix, an anti-social teenager whose life changes when he befriends two Fil-Am boys. In a sit-down interview at Studio One of ABS-CBN, Khalil acknowledged the film is his first time to portray a closeted gay and admitted finding the workshop he underwent before shooting difficult.

He prepared for the role on his own as well by watching other gay-themed movies to have some idea as to how closeted gays move and talk.

“I also asked our director Petersen Vargas if we could do the delicate scenes during the workshop so that my co-actors and I won’t be uneasy during filming,” Khalil added. He was further thankful that their director involved them in the movie’s creative process by asking their inputs on what they imagined their characters to be like.

“He asked for our ideas so I must say that I was able to play the role much better because I was involved in fleshing out his character,” added the singer-turned-actor.

In the story, Felix has no friends in school. He leads a routine life—home, school and back. Plus he’s an anti-social who always pokes fun at people around him. When he meets two Fil-Am boys and becomes friends with them, he feels something he couldn’t explain.

“It was the first time for Felix to have friends so he didn’t really know how to deal with it. Then all of sudden, he has this gender identity crisis and starts questioning himself.”

While he started his career in showbiz as a singer, Khalil is happy to be given a break in acting.

“I am open to any opportunity that comes my way. I still love singing but since there are opportunities to do movies so I’m also making the most of out of it,” said the boy, who idolizes John Lloyd Cruz and Coco Martin among local actors, and Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day Lewis and Matthew McConaughey.

Cinema One Originals runs from November 14 to 22.

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