Thursday, February 28, 2008

I guess when you reach my age it is but natural to want to relive the past at least in memory. Either in bitter regret or in sweet nostalgia.

Indeed, it is only when something has gone like a dried leaf blown away forever before you could relish its presence in your life that you learn to appreciate it in perspective. Yes, in perspective. As life should be lived. With certain detachment. Proximity does overwhelm appreciation of what we erroneously thought would always be there.

And so when the subject of blogging came up in a chance meeting with fellow artists, Mario Macalindong and Al Sanchez, the idea of reliving the past though blogging starts to gel in my mind.

Looking back, I cannot find anything worth reliving in my life. It has been one lonely journey. Nothing significant. There is always that lounging for something I do not know what or why. Yes, nothing worth bothering you with. Except perhaps the twenty years that I have spent as a movie and television scriptwriter /director cum part time line-producer. Again, nothing to brag about.

But to my surprise, the name Mike Relon Makiling seems to have made quite a ripple in the local movie industry. This got me to thinking. Perhaps there are things in my experience that I can share. To be of value to you out there.

I notice that there are quite a lot of young people interested in movie-making. Students who are purportedly being trained in this modern art by so-called professors who have no practical hands-on experience in the creative craft or very little of which, if at all. I dare call them “textbook” professors. And I also dare say that there is a bit of shortchanging involved.

Writing and directing movies are creative processes and I maintain that anything creative can never be thought within the confines of a classroom with occasional excursion to “practical” application of what they have learned from textbooks.

There is no denying that concocted principles are necessary to any profession. But these are mere guides, nothing more, especially with creative professions. If you’re not born creative no amount of memorized principles or theories would ever make you a writer or a painter or a movie director..

Even if you’re a Ph.D. in creative writing or fine arts, if you do not have that natural gift I doubt very much if you could ever write a decent short story or come up with a komiks strip. But of course, you could be a “professor!”

Even in grade school, I’ve tried to draw a simple cartoon but lacking the natural talent, walang kamay, I’ve never succeeded. I doubt very much if even a Nestor Redondo or Alfredo Alcala could ever make me a komiks illustrator. You either have it in you or you don’t.

Even if you’ve graduated from prestigious schools for film-making here and abroad and yet you’ve never finished even a decent documentary, you do not have the right to teach film-making to those innocent hopefuls.

Theories and formula are not for creative endeavors.

I’ve personally encountered a couple of these so-called professors in film-making and they are now teaching in respectable schools here in the country. Pity their students.

I have written more or less 130 full-length screenplays, directed more or less a hundred full length movies and around 50 television shows and the truth is I still have to come up with something that I could personally be completely satisfied of.

If there is any worthwhile reason for me to be filling this blog with my experiences in movie-making, it is none other than my belief in the wisdom of Khalil Gibran’s admonition to make our lives serve as a warning to the stumbling stones on the path of life over which I have tripped over again and again and bruised myself, sometimes grievously.

I addressed this blog to those who aspire to wade into the modern art of moving pictures, either in celluloid or tape or disk, in the hope that some may pick up something that will serve them in their aspirations.

So from here on, the Almighy willing, expect from this blog bits and pieces of what has been my life as “Direk Mike.” Till then…