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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 7, 2016

Director Olivia Lamasan Says She Succeeded In Her Goal To Make More Mature Actors Of Kathryn And Daniel In 'Barcelona: A Love Untold'

DIRECTOR OLIVIA LAMASAN started directing in 1994 with “Maalaala Mo Kaya, The Movie”. After that, she directed “Sana Maulit Muli”, “Madrasta”, “Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin”, “Minsan Minahal Kita”, “Got to Believe”, “Milan”, “In the Name of Love”, “In My Life”, “The Mistress”, “Starting Over Again” and now, her latest, “Barcelona: A Love Untold”. That’s a total of only 12 movies in 26 years. How come she’s not as prolific as other female directors, like Cathy Molina who has made 16 movies in 10 years, from 2006 to 2016? Or Joyce Bernal who has 28 movies to her credit from 1998 to the present?

“Kasi directing is not naman my bread and butter,” she says. “I hold a corporate position sa ABS-CBN as head of creative. Okay na rin yung output ko kasi when I direct, I give so much of myself to each film kaya nade-drain ako. Like here in ‘Barcelona: A Love Untold’, I wasn’t able to attend the first presscon kasi nagkasakit ako, hindi ko na talaga kinaya. We shot the movie for 52 days. 21 days noon were in Barcelona and we’re shooting there everyday with only 4 hours of sleep. We have to make the most of our stay there kasi we’re spending P1.5 million a day while filming there.”

Kath and DJ said that she really demanded so much from them while doing the movie on location in Spain. “Piniga niya talaga kami nang pigang-piga,” they said.

“I admit, istrikta ako. Hindi sila puedeng maglaro-laro lang sa set. Ayokong di nila memorized ang lines nila at naga-adlib lang sila. Nasermunan ko sila, lalo si Kat napagalitan ko nang bonggang-bongga at hinubaran ko siya, but they took it positively. After that, nag-jell na kami. It led to greater bonds between us. They know they’re not getting any younger and they need to grow and offer something new and different not only to their fans but to the general audience.”

She quickly agreed to direct Kathniel when the project was first offered to her. “I was challenged kasi this is meant to be a transition movie from their being teenyboppers to being more mature actors. So anong klase ng kuwento and atake ang babagay sa kanila? We can’t delve naman into heavy relationship issues showing physical intimacy kasi they’re still young pa rin as millennials. At first, I thought we can make use of Kat’s kikay, perky screen persona but when she did it na, we realized it won’t work for her character in ‘Barcelona’. Also, Kat wants to be more recognized kasi she felt that in ‘Pangako Sa’Yo’, she was being compared to Kristine Hermosa. So we had to make her character in ‘Barcelona’ more real. Sabi ko, trabahuhin natin yan, but it would depend on how open you would be with me guiding you. Now, I can proudly say that I have achieved our objective. Both of them, inaral nilang mabuti ang roles nila, nag-focus sila, and they come out as real actors in this movie. Sabi nga nila, they realized what craft means while filming it and I’m very happy sa naging passion and commitment nila sa pelikulang ito.”

Her last movie, “Starting Over Again”, which revived the career of Piolo Pascual, was a topgrosser at P410 million. Is she pressured for “Barcelona” to also earn that much or even surpass its box office take? “Ay, hindi ako napre-pressure. I’m 51 years old, ayokong pine-pressure ang sarili ko. Basta lahat kaming involved sa ‘Barcelona’, we did our best to come out with something the audience will find very entertaining and we guarantee them they will enjoy it very much.”