How screening platforms affect the making of a film | Inquirer Entertainment

How screening platforms affect the making of a film

/ 12:20 AM December 14, 2022

Perci Intalan

Perci Intalan

We no longer need to second-guess ourselves,” said producer-filmmaker Perci Intalan on what he thought was the advantage of having both the streaming apps and the cinemas as platforms to show his films.

“Determining which platform to screen our projects in affects how we make them. If we intend to show it on the big screen, then we already know what we should watch out for. I think it’s now the role of producers to be realistic with their ambitions,” Intalan told Inquirer Entertainment over lunch recently.


He explained that for “Livescream,” his horror-thriller flick that’s currently streaming on Vivamax, “we didn’t have to water down the story in order to get a suitable rating from the MTRCB (Movie Review and Classification Board). We already know that its market is the streaming audience.”


Intalan continued: “Before streaming, the rule is to practice self-regulation. We would already remove scenes that we think will not be approved by the MTRCB. What happens, for example, is that we end up seeing the same scare tactics in our horror films. Now, we can experiment and expand. It’s actually a good thing.”

Tricky situation

Intalan said the issue on regulating the content of streaming apps puts the MTRCB in a “tricky situation.” He explained: “These streaming platforms already have their own mechanisms for filtering their audiences. For Netflix, there are warnings and ways for parents to control what their kids can watch. This is the same mechanism used in all the countries that Netflix is servicing.

“Of course, producers, especially those who are parents as well, will still want to be responsible. None of us wants to get involved in controversies. Ultimately, the platforms will try to self-regulate by putting their filtering mechanisms in place. The MTRCB need not impose this,” Intalan pointed out. “Even movie houses have their own rules. It has been the choice of SM cinemas not to screen films classified by the MTRCB as R-18 since 2012.”

Intalan (third from left) with the cast of “Livescream”

“What is needed is a review of the agency’s original mandate. Streaming platforms, even radio, aren’t included in its jurisdiction. If I could make a suggestion, I would tell them to create an R-21 rating (meaning only audience who are 21 years old and above are allowed to watch a particular film inside the cinemas). This is so that more films will get screened. Currently, there’s no rating higher than R-18. After that, your film gets an X (or banned from exhibition). Before the agency touches on the issue of streaming, which I think is very complicated, it should deal with the basics first.”

Growing differences

Intalan’s IdeaFirst Company, which he co-owns with filmmaker Jun Robles Lana, currently has three films in postproduction: The movies “Amoral” and “Sampung Mga Kerida,” both directed by Lana, and “Death by Desire,” by Prime Cruz. Lana’s “About Us But Not About Us” is currently touring international film festivals and has no local release date yet.

“We also have three projects that are in creative development, and another one that is set to begin production in 2023 for a streaming platform that is talking to us to develop a project for them. Also, I still owe Viva Films four projects,” Intalan declared.


Intalan placed emphasis on the growing differences between the audience of streaming platforms and the movie houses. “Streaming is more of a personal experience. You use your smartphone or iPad or similar devices. Cinema, on the other hand, is a social experience. Usually, you watch with your friends or date. The dynamics is different, so are the kind of films to see.” INQ

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