‘Times’ artist finalist in Gawad CCP film and video festival

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Rey Tamayo Jr. behind the scenes

Rey Tamayo Jr. behind the scenes

BEHIND the scenes of a film, roles are cut into tasks determined by skills. There is a scriptwriter, a director, an editor and one who creates promotional materials, among others.

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But The Manila Times layout artist and aspiring filmmaker Rey Tamayo Jr. defies the odds and does it all.

Tamayo is in the newsroom from 2 to 10 p.m.  Monday through Saturday–a schedule that seems to allow for little else, let alone writing, shooting and editing films. Still, this is exactly what he accomplished.

Later today his short film Ang Huling Pagkikita will be screened at the CCP Dream Theater
for Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video (CCP Independent Film and Video Competition) as part of Cinemalaya 2015.

The short film explores the story of letting go between a couple whose relationship was challenged by the incarceration of the man. Tamayo had fewer than 10 people, including actors, working with him to complete the film.

Ang Huling Pagkikita is originally a short story written by Tamayo himself in 2005 and published in Liwayway.

Such is the versatility of the man’s skills despite financial constraints that hindered him from finishing Journalism in South Eastern College and Creative Writing in the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Budgeting is also his greatest challenge as a budding filmmaker but through friends who share the same passion, he made his short film happen with no more than P3,000 in expenses.

Of his many stories, he chose to adapt Ang Huling Pagkikita because it was the least costly.

“Sa film talaga, mahirap kumuha ng budget. Yan ang dilemma ng mga filmmaker, frustration yun ng lahat ng mga filmmaker,” Tamayo said. “Actually yung mga artista ko, pinakain ko lang din.”

His actors and production team were from theater groups that he collaborated with through common friends.

When asked how he got into filmmaking, Tamayo revealed that his roots go as far as newswriting for a now-defunct independent production.

From there, he grabbed an opportunity to join a poetry writing seminar held by literary critic Virgilio Almario’s organization Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo (LIRA).

Zig Dulay, writer and director of GMA-7 series Wagas, was one of his biggest influences. Tamayo met Dulay through poetry writing and Dulay’s venture into film inspired him to dabble in it himself.

His Creative Writing stint in UP in 2012 opened him up to the different styles of writing, including scriptwriting for radio and TV, which he found useful in his newfound hobby and possible career track.

“Yung konting natutunan ko doon, inapply ko ngayon sa writing ng film,” he said.

Tamayo then joined free filmmaking seminars and met people he would later work with and learn from. One such person is Director Ralston Jover who tapped him to be a production coordinator of Da Dog Show, starring Mercedes Cabral.

Making short films also obliged the novice filmmaker to create promotional materials such as posters, and that is how he became a layout artist.

Tamayo began working for The Manila Times in August 2014, where he further honed his skills in layout through the help of his superior and colleagues.

To balance his job and filmmaking, he works around his schedule to write scripts. Sometimes, he even changes his dayoff to make time for shooting.

“Yung available time ko sa gabi, doon ko ginagawa yung scriptwriting ko, tapos itutuloy ko sa umaga,” Tamayo said.

Ang Huling Pagkikita, spanning 20 minutes, took seven Sundays to shoot while the editing was passed on between Tamayo and his friends. Filming began in 2014 and editing was finished in February. He submitted it to CCP along with a short film/documentary Ang Metamorphosis ng Apoy, Tubig at Pag-asa, which explored a real-life fire incident that Tamayo covered.

Ang Huling Pagkikita was chosen for Short Feature “A” category while Ang Metamorphosis ng Apoy, Tubig at Pag-asa will be screened under the Experimental section on Sunday.

The announcement came as a surprise for Tamayo when a colleague greeted him on the news before he knew it himself.

His attitude is to keep submitting his works without fear of being rejected or put down by critics.

As advice to fellow filmmaking aspirants, he said, “Kailangan pumasok ka talaga sa mundo ng film. Kapag pumasok ka, obligado ka na kilalanin sila kasi wala namang ibang tutulong sa iyo kundi filmmakers at film lovers lang din. Kahit ako, hindi pa naman ako totally nakakapasok sa mundo ng pelikula. Ngayon, obligado ako na kilalanin at kaibiganin sila.

“Ilalagay mo ang sarili mo na kulay berde. Parang marami ka pang gustong matutunan, parang wala ka pang alam. Kasi kung hindi ka na berde, bulok ka na. Parang ayaw mo nang tumanggap ng new knowledge,” Tamayo added.

In the future, he hopes to have a full-length film titled  Tactical, an action movie on social issues whose script is undergoing revision.

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