Show Me Your Bewang: The “Ang Maskot” Experience

Late last year, I was asked to be the production manager for a short film called “Ang Maskot”, a story about a guy who works as a mascot for a fast-food chain and gets stuck in his costume.


“Ang Maskot”, directed by Chris Costello and Mihk Vergara, was written by Macoy back in 2009. If you want to know more about Macoy and “Ang Maskot”, do yourselves a favor by CLICKING THIS LINK. Macoy’s a really nice guy too. He graced our shoot with his presence and support. He seemed very happy about everything too. Yay!

I admit that I did not know much about the story before our first pre-production meeting so when Chris showed me the storyboard, I knew that this was going to be one of the most interesting projects I will ever do. “Ang Maskot” is hilarious and full of heart and I’m glad that Chris and Mihk decided to adapt it to film. We were privileged enough to have Ketchup Eusebio, Alessandra De Rossi, Ramon Bautista, Sonjia Calit and THE Pen Medina onboard for the project.

Day 1. Sta. Cruz Manila

If you get a call from your location manager two days before the shoot telling you that your first loc can ONLY and STRICTLY be used between 12 midnight to 11 AM (as opposed to the initial agreement of 1 PM to 1 AM), you get mad, calm down for a while and then freak the frak out. It was either we take the over or look for another loc but because the latter option was completely out of the question, we gave in.

Jholeebird in the flesh!
Jholeebird in the flesh!

 

Mihk Vergara, director and mascot double
Mihk Vergara, director and mascot double

By giving in, I meant making art dept. set up at 12 midnight, calling in the crew at 3 in the morning and grinding by 5. As stressful as it was, the team managed to do very well.

Our Directors share a tender moment on the set.
Our Directors share a tender moment on the set.

By the time we transferred to our second location, which was just across the street, everyone was able to breathe and relax a little.

View from the second location
View from the second location
Obligatory Art Shot.
Obligatory Art Shot.

 

Mihk briefs Ramon Bautista and Ketchup Eusbio for the next scene.
Mihk briefs Ramon Bautista and Ketchup Eusbio for the next scene.

It also really helped that we had really funny talents with us. They made the wait between setups fun.

Met THE MASTER, Ramon Bautista. We may have gotten a bit too close on that day.
IMG_7524
With Stylist Sharon See, Ramon Bautista, Ketchup Eusebio and Sonjia Calit (and my oily, tired face)

Day 2. Metrica St, Manila

First shot of the day. It was obviously a pretty hot day.
First shot of the day. It was obviously a pretty hot day.

The stress of Day 1 made Day 2 seem so much more…relaxed, so to speak. Alessandra’s management initially said that she only had until 12 midnight but Alex was kind enough to stay until around 12:30 or 1 in the morning to finish her scenes.

Alessandra de Rossi and Ketchup Eusebio acting amidst the presence of styros. Haha.
Alessandra de Rossi and Ketchup Eusebio acting amidst the presence of styros. Haha.

We had a lot of exterior shots that afternoon. Thank goodness the skies were kind enough to give us sun. Crowd control was quite a hassle and because the houses in the neighborhood were so close to each other, it was kind of difficult to filter out unexpected noise. But hey, it wasn’t as bad the as the incidents that occurred during first day.

Sleepy mascot boy
Sleepy mascot boy

We finished the rest of the scenes without Alex at almost 3 in the morning.

OH YEAH CRANE SHOT FROM THE GROUND TO THE ROOF.
OH YEAH CRANE SHOT FROM THE GROUND TO THE ROOF.

Day 3. Rajah Sulayman Park

Ketchup Eusebio, Jun the Goon and Alessandra blocking before the big fight began.
Ketchup Eusebio, Jun the Goon and Alessandra blocking before the big fight began.

And just like that, it was already the last day. All of the shots for that day were all exterior DAY. We were worried that it was going to be a cloudy day but the shooting gods may have decided to take it easy on us. It was already our last day after all.

That's Mau the camera caretaker and Along the setman. They were assigned to catch Jholeebird when he falls.
That’s Mau the camera caretaker and Along the setman. They were assigned to catch Jholeebird when he falls.

We shot the most hilarious fight scene that day. We’d always crack up right after every take because seriously, how can you take a fight a giant chicken man seriously?

Two birds, one set. Ketchup making sure that Mommon, our mascot double is doing okay.
Two birds, one set. Ketchup making sure that Mommon, our mascot double is doing okay.

Friends dropped by during our last day, too. They were kind enough to agree to extra. Hooray for supportive friends.

We wrapped the moment the sun set. We took photos and drank beers (℅ Ketchup) in the public park, right beside the police station.

IT'S A WRAP! IT'S ALSO BLURRY!
IT’S A WRAP! IT’S ALSO BLURRY!
Beers with Ketchup the person. Cheers!
Beers with Ketchup the person. Cheers!

We were not arrested.

The road to production was not easy though (then again, when was production ever easy?). We encountered budget issues, evil businessmen, last minute schedule changes and a strange guy (whom we believe to be perpetually high…on life) with an American twang but the moment Chris said “It’s a wrap for Maskot!”, I could not help but feel a bit sad that it’s over. This tends to happen to me when I’m deeply in love with a project and greatly inspired by the people I work with.

Putting the Jholeebird mascot to rest. For now.
Putting the Jholeebird mascot to rest. For now.

This was my first shoot of the year and my first narrative since 2008. Not bad for firsts.

We’re submitting this to Cinemalaya. I’m crossing my (chicken) fingers. I really hope more people get to see this wonderful story.

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