THE power couple behind IdeaFirst Company, Jun Lana and Perci Intalan, lined up several films that they’re doing for the rest of 2018, including one project that they entered in the December Metro Filmfest. “Ipinasok namin 'yung script sa festival, but we’re not sure kung tatanggapin ng screening committee,” says Jun.
Their next release is “Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi”, directed by Jun, starring Sue Ramirez in the title role, with Jameson Blake, newcomer Markus Patterson, Boots Anson Roa as Sue’s lola, Yayo Aguila as Sue’s mom, and Candy Pangilinan and Lee O’Brien (Pokwang’s partner) as Jameson’s parents.
“The story is based on a news article I read in the U.S. four years ago about a girl who committed suicide after she was diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome. There’s a special village now in the U.S. where people with the same ailment live. I had trouble writing the full script so I went to Amsterdam at doon ko nabuo ito.”
It’s while shooting this that he lamented in social media that most young actors today just treat their projects as mere “rakets”. In a presscon, Jameson admitted Jun was referring to him. “He came to me and asked kung anong problem ko sa kanya,” says Jun. “I told him I have no problem with him but doon sa nagha-handle ng schedules niya. Kasi tatawag, sasabihing puwede raw bang ma-late dumating. Pag dumating naman, gusto isalang na agad sa shoot at kung puwede raw bang makaalis agad kasi nga may raket pa. Maraming ganun ngayon, e. Tanggap nang tanggap ng mall shows o fiesta o events, ang nagsa-suffer, 'yung movie na ginagawa nila, lalo na’t pag may teleserye pa sila. E, iba ang pelikula. Dapat pag-aralan mo talaga 'yung character mo. Nagkaintindihan naman kami ni Jameson at natapos namin ang movie nang maayos.”
He seems to be having problems with his actors, like Christian Bables who gained fame and even won awards for his role as Barbie in “Die Beautiful”. “Oo nga, e. Nag-shoot na kami ng teaser at lahat, tapos biglang nag-backout. But we’re happy with Martin del Rosario, who replaced him.”
Perci is the one directing the project, “Born Beautiful”. “Napakagaling ni Martin at napakabait pa. He’s hairy so everytime we shoot, all his hair has to be shaved and waxed kasi naka-tangga siya. Pumurol na nga 'yung razor namin sa kakaahit sa kanya. But he never complains. Galing siya sa taping ng GMA soap niya so matutulog muna sa set. But once ginising mo, bangon agad at memorized na lahat ng lines niya. He’s paired with Akihiro Blanco, Kiko Matos and Chai Fonacier and he has love scenes with all of them. Walang takot. The show is meant to be a mini series sa Cignal, six episodes na one hour each. But we’ve watched it na at gandang-gandang lahat with what we’ve come up with, so we’ll release it muna in theaters as a movie then release the full mini-series on Cignal later na parang director’s cut.”
Aside from this, Perci has also finished directing another movie, “Distance, Sa Pagitan ng Doon at Dito”, partly shot in London and an entry in the Cinemalaya Filmfest this coming August. It stars Iza Calzado as an OFW who left her family to work in London but is forced by her husband to come home. Whatever happened to the horror movie project of Jun with Viva, “The Nurse”, to be filmed in Japan, that had problems with Nadine Lustre?
“We decided to shelve it muna,” says Jun. “Napagod ako dahil ilang beses akong pabalik-balik sa Japan hunting for locations tapos hindi matuluy-tuloy due to scheduling problems. Siguro it’s not meant to be made this year.”
Their company is one of the most active content providers today, collaborating with various companies. This year, they did the hit comedy, “Ang Dalawang Mrs Reyes”, with Star Cinema and Quantum Films, “My Fairy Tail Love Story” with Regal, “Mr. and Mrs. Cruz” and “Pambansang Third Wheel” with Viva and they also have projects with Netflix, Cignal, Disney and Google.
Aside from “Born Beautiful” for Cignal, they also just completed new other shows. One is “Sleepless, the Series”, directed by Prime Cruz who did the original “Sleepless” movie starring Glaiza de Castro. This time, the stars are Shaira Mae, Mara Lopez, Martin Escudero, Albie Casino and Victor Anastacio. Then there’s the horror-adventure series, “The Orbiters”, with Cedrick Juan, Bob Jveili, Adriana So and Aicey Aguila.
It seems most of their project are geared for millennial viewers. “Siguro dahil millennials din ang directors namin,” says Jun. “Like Dominic Lim who did ‘The Write Moment’ na showing na on June 27, Miko Livelo who’s directing ‘Unli Life’ with Vhong Navarro and Winwyn Marquez for Regal, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo who’s directing the comeback movie of Claudine Barretto for Viva, Patrick Tabada who did ‘Si Chedeng at si Apple’ and Dwein Baltazar of ‘Gusto Kita with All My Hypothalamus’. Most of them are graduates from my CinePanulat writing workshop and I told them to do their passion projects. Movie attendance is down now kasi ang hirap hulaan what our viewers will like, so I tell them, let’s just do what we want to do.”
Jun is also alarmed by the piracy that’s happening now with the award-giving bodies who borrow copies of their films. “Two of my films, ‘Anino sa Likod ng Buwan’ and ‘Barber’s Tales’ were uploaded sa internet and somone even tagged me. When we investigated, nalaman namin from our control number na nakalagay roon, screeners for Urian. Kung humingi pa naman sila ng kopya ng movies namin, one for each member, unlike other giving bodies na isang kopya lang at sabay-sabay silang nanood. Sana naman, ingatan nila 'yung copies nila kasi hindi naman naibabalik sa amin at ayan na nga, napupunta pa sa film pirates so nakakadismaya.”