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Erik Matti likens film producing to playing in casinos: ‘Prayers play a big role’

/ 01:21 PM March 07, 2019
Erik Matti

Image: Facebook/Erik Matti

Director Erik Matti once again took to social media to air his sentiments about the local film industry. Matti dispelled the notion that the loss of the Filipino audience is due to bad filmmaking, saying there are other factors in the picture.

There are a lot of uncertainties involved, he said, from not knowing how many days a film will stay in the cinemas to recoup the investment, to being unsure if the rest of the country would even see the film when there are Hollywood-produced movies showing in the theaters.

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Producers would opt to do a movie with a conservative budget in the hopes that with a good story even with just a few cinemas and with the big Hollywood film in 8 other screens beside their own, he can still hopefully recoup the investment to produce the next film,” Matti wrote via Facebook on March 5.

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Matti likened film producing to playing in the casinos. Return of investment is unpredictable and yet, producers still dive in with prayers that the film would somehow make it at the box office.

“In fact film producing might be one of the few business models where prayers play a big role in its success,” he said.

And it is not as if filmmakers and producers do not dream of making films that are ambitious. But with the uncertainties involved, he asked, “How can the producers risk spending big on a movie?”

He further said that filmmakers and producers want to do bigger things, too, other than “shooting two people talking in empty ex-deal cafes.”

We want a meet cute in the heart of Edsa traffic with 3000 onlookers. We want an MRT train exploding in front of Ortigas while an Edsa rally is simultaneously happening,” he said. “But what can we do when we can only afford a bench in an empty park to manage our financial investment?”

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Despite the constraints mentioned, however, Matti said producers will continue to produce films come what may, all for the love of telling stories. But he also said that they can only make quality films worth everyone’s money if it is sustainable.

Give us the same privileges as a Hollywood tentpole movie and we’ll give you a big budget epic movie worth your money…” said Matti. “Give our Filipino films a chance to be seen by the entire country, that’s all we are asking for.”  /ra

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TAGS: “On The Job: The Series”, BuyBust, Erik Matti, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), filmmaking, Philippine Cinema
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