Whereas “Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” director Chito Roño and producer Roselle Monteverde stated they’d initially deliberate for the mystery-thriller film to be proven on the large display, they each admitted to being conscious of the drastic change within the viewing habits of the Filipino viewers after the pandemic.
“This was why we opted to have it launched by way of a streaming app,” stated Roselle, co-CEO of Regal Leisure, throughout a latest particular screening of the film starring Joshua Garcia and Angie Ferro.
The movie, primarily based on the 2010 thriller novel by Bob Ong, has been streaming on Prime Video since Might 18.
“The native viewers’s conduct and habits modified on account of the pandemic. They now desire to only keep at dwelling. This was why streaming apps have turn into fashionable since 2020,” Roselle identified. “One other benefit of it’s that it caters to a a lot wider viewers. All of us thought it’s a greater possibility as a result of individuals from different territories will be capable of watch the movie, too.”
In the meantime, Chito stated he regretted that his masterpiece wouldn’t be proven in cinemas, “However I don’t thoughts that it didn’t make the minimize of the final two MMFFs (Metro Manila Movie Festivals). I nonetheless desire for individuals to observe it in film theaters, it’s simply that I don’t have a say the place it might be proven. I’m simply its director,” he stated.
Joshua, who performs the lead character Galo, added: “I’m happy with our producer’s resolution to launch it by way of streaming. It means quick access to those that need to see it anyplace they’re. In case you’re at dwelling, you may simply flip in your TV. You can too use your devices when you’re on the highway,” he defined.
Chito then recalled the challenges they needed to face whereas capturing the film in 2020, through the strictest implementation of the pandemic lockdowns. “We truly began filming earlier than the pandemic so we have been capable of shoot crowd scenes in a faculty. We first inquired a couple of location in Bataan province. After we returned there, the native authorities unit (LGU) stated it was not permitting outsiders into its city. We needed to search for one other place that will accommodate us,” he stated.
“The home of Mama Susan needed to be modified, too. This was as a result of the FDCP (Movie Improvement Council of the Philippines) demanded that we inform them of our capturing schedules. Let’s not even speak about different LGUs we contacted and had already stated ‘sure,’ solely to show us down after a while. Taking pictures was nonetheless so troublesome again then,” the director added.
Chito additionally took notice of two forged members who had already shot most of their scenes, however later died of COVID-19 an infection. “They each died in April and we resumed capturing in June. In the event that they’re watching now, I hope they like what they’re seeing,” he instructed reporters.
Chito additionally stated he and novelist Bob Ong needed to make needed adjustments to the story. “The novel’s ending felt missing. Whereas this proved efficient for the novel, it left terrifying ideas to its readers. Bob determined to make a distinct ending for the screenplay, and this had a distinct impact, too,” Chito stated. “It’s scary to suppose this was written some 10 years in the past. Nevertheless it’s just like the ebook predicted what is going on now.”
The story revolves round Gilberto “Galo” Manansala, a school pupil who’s tasked to make a journal by his professor. In his entries, he describes how day by day situations mysteriously flip into scary conditions, and the way he will get deeply concerned in them and, in the long run, is unable to flee them.
The movie is Joshua’s first challenge as a solo lead star. He stated he tried feeding off the feelings expressed by veteran actress Angie Ferro, who performs Mama Susan. “I’d wish to suppose that she additionally drew vitality from me. We needed to work carefully on this challenge,” he identified. “I’ve modified rather a lot since I began engaged on this film in 2019. I used to be simply 22 then. Bagets na bagets pa. It was additionally my first time to work with Direk Chito,” stated Joshua, who would later collaborate with Chito on Mars Ravelo’s “Darna.”
Less complicated life
“They stated Direk Chito is such a terror at work, however he wasn’t to me. He did make me take off my shirt for this explicit film. He didn’t have a tough time convincing me to do it. I agreed as a result of it knew that it was wanted within the scene, although I didn’t have an ideal six-pack to point out off. On the time, I nonetheless beloved consuming a lot,” he stated, laughing.
“I’m simply proud of how my profession is steadily transferring. I’m merely having fun with the method. I’m going the place it takes me. I don’t flip my again on any job provided to me. It’s an honor to have labored with Direk Chito beneath Ms. Roselle. Earlier than this, I had lengthy been inquisitive about what it’s wish to make a challenge with Regal,” he stated.
At this level, Joshua was requested to distinguish his “2019 self” from that of his “2023 self.” To this, he stated: “I’ve modified rather a lot. I used to be very emotional then. I can’t say that I’m extra mature now however, sure, there’s progress. I now desire to reside life merely. I’ve realized the significance of taking good care of the individuals I worth probably the most—’di kasi lahat might care sa ‘yo.”
Joshua not too long ago offered his luxurious automobiles, his Triumph Bonneville T150 motorbike and his two-door muscle automotive Dodge Challenger. “I’m extra sensible now. Mas easy, mas OK,” he defined.
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