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…











10 comments:

Randy P. Valiente said...

welcome to blogworld, direk mike:) link ko kayo

Jonas Diego said...

Welcome po, sir! :)

Floro Dery said...

Mike,

malagyan nga ng dekorasyon pangpataranta itong blog mo, ito,


http://comicsillustration.blogspot.com/

Dell said...

Hi Mike
Welcome to blogging.Hindi pa tayo nagkikita diyan sa pinas pero marami akong nagawang kuwento mo noon.

arman said...

Thanks to Randy dahil sa kanyang blog ko nakita ang pangalan ninyong naka-link sa kanya. Expect me to visit your blog always dahil isa po kayo sa nabasahan ko ng mga kuwento at nobela sa komiks bukod pa sa napapanood ko ang mga pelikulang idinirek n'yo. Kaisa rin po ninyo ako sa paniniwala na hindi naituturo sa akademya o ng mga professor nito ang pagiging tunay na writer o direktor, ito ay talentong sumisibol sa isang tao dahil kung wala nito, kahit pa pinakamagaling na guro ng akademya ang magturo, wala ring kahihinatnan. Hanggang theory lang sila. Para pong ordinaryong mekaniko sa isang mechanical engineer. Mas magaling na di hamak gumawa ng sasakyan ang mekaniko dahil siya ang nagkukumpuni nito directly. sa isang writer o painter, hindi komo nag-aral sa akademya ay napakagaling na. Mas mahuhusay sa kanila ang sinanay lang ng experience hindi po ba?

TheCoolCanadian said...

Mike:

In a way, you're right. Some Film Academicians are mere TWADDLERS dipped in gold. But this case might just apply to those who went to universities in RP. I know for sure that there is no such thing as HONEST-TO-GOODNESS film schools in that country.

But it is different in north America and Europe.
In these continents, film schools offer the latest facilities and the latest trends one can learn about filmmaking. Besides, you just can't graduate at a drop of a hat. You have to have a PROTFOLIO to showcase your ability. It is therefore accurate to say that those who studied filmmaking in these continents know exactly what they are talking about when they open their mouths.

I have been a part of RP showbiz as well in the 70s. I've seen some pretty ugly stuff, especially in the local film industry. An example would be a guy named NESTOR ARSENAL. He used to be a LEG MAN, and I have met him when we were shooting on location for my TV show Alindog. He befriended me and even asked me to write a screenplay for a film he would be directing. I declined because I was too busy with my own work. Despite the gap in our ages, we became friends, and when he started shooting his film, I would drop by in the set from time to time. The stuff he did really knocked me out. All the bad taste and the cliches one could think of were being implemented by this fellow in his masterpiece.
Surprisingly, the film made a lot of money at the box office, despite the fact that it was disjointed, had awful dialogs, mismatched visuals, and many of the shots were copied from different films from Hollywood, plus a script that meandered and never got anywhere. It was such a HODGEPODGE of nonsensical filmic expression.

And this case is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so much more incidents and standards that are so ugly and sadly proliferating in our film industry.

When I left RP to go to school in north America, I was hoping to come back afterwards and share whatever knowledge I would gain from my studies. But due to the unprofessionalism of many people involved in the local film industry, I decided to stay away from it... forever.

Sad... but true. And I admire you for staying in the industry despite all the shenanigans one gets from throngs of uncanny personalities inhabiting the industry.

- Jose Mari Lee

augusto said...

JM,

Agree strongly with that ! Sina Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Speilberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, to name a few ay mga graduates sa film schools iyan, kaya alam nila ang ginagawa nila. THEORY & PRACTICE ,eh malakas sila. Kahit si Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Ingrid Bergman, Michaelangelo Antonioni, eh mga accomplished university graduates ang mga ito, kaya alam nila ang ginagawa nila. Yung mga French auteurs noon na exponent ng New Wave eh mga higly literate at cerebral na grupo. sa lokal scene hindi ko masasabi iyan, maliban siguro kina Lino,Bernie, Mike de Leon....


Auggie

Mike Relon Makiling said...

WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Hello!!!
Salamat sa pagpatol n'yo sa blog ko. Bago lang po ako sa raket na 'to kaya kayo na'ng bahalang tumulong sa mga pagkakamali ko. Gusto ko lang naman makipag-bonding sa inyong lahat out there na mahilig din sa blogging. Sori kundi ko kayo masagot individually. Sa totoo lang, di ko po alam kung pa'no gawin 'yon. Anyway, matutuhan ko rin naman 'yon. Tiyaga lang muna ngayon.

Again, welcome po sa inyong lahat! Nice to have you with me in this, Dery! More success and God bless always!

Anonymous said...

magandang gabi direk mike, kaka diskubre ko lang nitong blog nyo, naalala ko ang pangalan nyo for some reason, malamang nakikita ko to sa mga tv shows o pelikula na napapanood ko nung bata pa ako. mike relon makiling. basta for some reason tumataktak ung pangalan nyo sa utak nyo, its so strange since my memorys really bad. anyway your blog is such a nice surprise. i would like very much to be a filmmaker someday, and it would be nice if i could learn from you, i notice you average about one entry a month, i hope you could write more. id very much like to know more about your experiences in filmmaking. any knowledge shared would be much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Good day Direk!!

I'm a Creative Researcher of a respective production company. In line with this, I'm currently researching on the updated contact numbers or addresses of the people behind Mang Kepweng especially the Directors F.H. Constantino and you of course, Mike Relon Makiling and the Komiks Cartoonist of Mang Kepweng, Al Magat.

This Mang Kepweng really got my attention and I'm really interested to know more about it -- it's history, the comic strip itself and how it was managed to put up on big screen.

I'm really looking forward to this.

You can email to me at kevin_arriola02@yahoo.com at your most convenient time.

Your help is highly appreciated. Thank you so much and God bless!
Sincerely,
Kevin Arriola