My year of on and off involvement in the Cebu independent filmmaking scene through SineBuano has expectedly opened a lot of doors and eyes for me. For one, it is proven that artists like filmmakers do not necessarily have to look outlandish although a number inevitably look such. I mean, admittedly, we do have the tendency to stereotype filmmakers to all look like Lav Diaz.
The burden (and perhaps the beauty) of looking like him is probably that you will be expected to also produce outstanding works. And that’s even despite that you are not an artist but only share the same fashion statement with Mr. Diaz.
When I say entering the filmmaking world opened a lot of doors and eyes, it does not immediately mean I am now in a more enlightened state. Perhaps knowledge always has two effects on people – making some things clearer and blurring other aspects. Or to make it safe, it has that impact on me. And I think it is because of such fact that we are not supposed to stop learning.
(Person shift, don’t be surprised) Just like any newbie at something, you would feel fascinated and excited about everything that happens within a shoot. It is at this point that the passion and eagerness are still overwhelming.
This is also the stage where the “professionals” could be laughing at this wannabe’s excitement and “paninibago” that is why you want to try everything. But if you happen to be with the more mature experienced filmmaking guys, they do not laugh at you but actually share the feeling of joy while watching the baby steps of a budding filmmaker. Sometimes, it makes you strive to become the filmmaker they wish to see. At times, you could only fear about failing their expectations (because actually, you yourself really do not know yet what you exactly are).
I do not advice you to be optimistic (or naïve) that you only get to meet the latter guys. The negas are useful to your learning, anyway. And that’s also speaking about the world as a whole. 😉
Talking about outside film production, I have also taken a tiny glimpse of the state of the Cebuano arts, heritage, and culture because of the activities where SineBuano gets invited. If I may say, there is a growing number of people who exert effort and take time in developing Cebu arts and literature too, at that. It can be surprising how many people actually care about these matters.
The probable problem is, there may be an unready audience. Cebu may not be a prepared audience. It has been a common observation that the Cebuanos can be passive especially with matters concerning arts, literature, even music.
A local multi-awarded writer once remarked (referring to promising young writers), “they may just be wasted talents.” This statement was poignant enough to bring the idealistic student writers to soul searching.
Then again, he may not just be talking about the student writers. Not only about the doers, the movers of literature and arts. He may also be talking about the recipients, the unknown and unknowing recipients.