What’s in a movie title
2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” director Petersen Vargas admitted to have “fought so hard” with members of his production team to keep the film’s title. He even came up with a three-paragraph essay to defend his choice.
“It was originally titled ‘Dos Mestizos.’ I changed it because it has already become a very different material from its first draft,” explained Petersen, adding that he has come up with some 20 other titles before finally settling on one. “Nothing was working, until my mentor (filmmaker Jade Castro) and I came up with it one night while having drinks.”
The original material was by writer-filmmaker Jason Paul Laxamana.
Petersen explained his title of choice. “I wanted to capture the youthful and carefree vibe of the film, which is set in the ’90s. Direk Jade remembered this obscure song of the same title, also from the ’90s. When he read more about it, he found out that the singer (Lucinda Williams) first saw it as a random vandal on a wall.”
Petersen said the resistance came mostly from his producers and scriptwriter. “I guess they thought that using numbers in the title makes it baduy. For me, it was perfect for something so youthful and dark.”
He explained that the original concept centered on the effect of the arrival of the half-American Snyder brothers (portrayed by Ethan Salvador and Jameson Blake) in their new school. “But I wanted my film to focus just on their relationship with Felix (Khalil Ramos). I wanted the title to talk about all three of them,” Petersen pointed out. “In the end, it worked because people liked it.”
“2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten,” last year’s best picture at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival, will be shown in theaters nationwide starting March 15.
A portion of the essay, which Jade sent to Cinema One producer Ronald Arguelles, said: “Petersen never loved any of the titles we threw his way, except this. It took me a moment, too, to realize why words like ‘mestizo’ or ‘lessons’ were too cumbersome and old. Everything else just seems ordinary and boring after you encounter a title such as this.”
The director said he was pleased that the film had received positive comments from members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. Petersen, a Kapampangan, shot the film in Pampanga.
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