Rolling in the deep
Filmmaker Chris Martinez and comic Eugene Domingo wanted a change of pace.
The two are best known for making people laugh, with “Here Comes the Bride” (which Chris wrote and directed) and Joyce Bernal’s “Kimmy Dora” and Marlon Rivera’s “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” (which he both wrote).
But for “Rain, Rain Go Away,” an episode in this December’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll 13,” director and muse are gunning for serious scares.
“When the offer came,” Martinez said, “Uge (Domingo’s nickname) said she wanted to go for serious horror.”
He’s grateful that producer Regal Entertainment trusted them enough to take the huge risk. “I don’t want to be boxed in comedy,” he said. “It’s good to venture out of your comfort zone.” He is confident that Domingo will do equally well in drama.
“We’ve done drama before [with the Cinemalaya winner] ‘100,’” he recalled. “We also did a short film, an urban horror film entitled ‘Bakas,’ and it won at the Gawad CCP.”
Martinez looks at “Rain,” which was inspired by the Typhoon “Ondoy” tragedy, as “some sort of reintroduction for us.”
Reinvention is key, he said. “Uge will be reintroduced as an actress who can cross over from comedy to horror and drama.”
Primarily because of the somber theme, Martinez tried not to have too much fun on the set. “We couldn’t laugh too much behind the camera—which was difficult because we’re friends.”
To help his actress get in the mood, “I played sentimental music on the set and stayed away from her…especially when we had to do scenes that involved a lot of crying.”
He admitted that “Rain” was a tad challenging. “It’s my first horror film as director, even though I cowrote ‘Sukob’ with Chito Roño,” he related. “It’s very difficult to do horror. All the elements are in full force all the time: makeup, production design, acting, lighting, mood.”
Making matters more arduous, Martinez recounted, “Our requirements were never simple on any given day. We needed set pieces like a flooded house, a flooded elevator, a flooded car… each day was a challenge for everybody.”
Scripted by Jerry Gracio and based on a concept Martinez and Rivera had been toying with, “Rain” dares to ask: What are Filipinos most frightened of? “Disasters, typhoons, floods,” Martinez quipped.
He dreams of making a horror film that’s “so scary, people will walk out because they simply can’t bear it.”
In the meantime, he’s back to lighter fare. He’s about to start work on a musical based on the songs of the Apo Hiking Society, entitled “I Do Bidoo Bidoo” under Unitel. He is also done writing the script of the “Kimmy Dora” sequel entitled “Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme” for Joyce Bernal.
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