Of Cast Reveals and Story Conferences

Two of the most important strategies being employed by film production outfits and television networks to officially drumbeat their projects are story conferences, cast reveals and the occasional set visits once the production already rolls.

The main objective of these strategies is obvious: to arouse the curiosities and pique the interests of their intended market and audiences, and advertisers and sponsors as well.  Majority of these happenings are set in network studios or in restaurants, where it is most conducive to share about the storylines (the main task of the screenplay writer), roles of the respective actors in the cast and the director’s vision for the forthcoming motion picture. Members of the media, from the traditional and seasoned to the online bloggers and entertainment news anchors and their crews, are present to cover and write about these exciting movie and television developments.

Thus, I cannot help but wonder about these cast reveals and story characters: does the intended market take note and remember all the information? What truly arouses the curiosity, piques the interests and leaves an imprint that stays with the end user prompting them to troop to the cinemas or watch the TV show come playdate time?  And how does one measure if these strategies are truly effective, cost efficient and bring the intended results?

THE cast of Huwag Mo akong Iiwan: (from left) Tom Rodriguez, Rhian Ramos and JC de Vera

Love triangle with a twist

Producer and engineer Ben Austria of BenTria Productions knew the importance of first impression, and this was most evident in the choice of venue for the cast reveal, story conference and media launch of his second film Huwag Mo Akong Iwan, held at the Café Ilang-Ilang in Manila Hotel.

The venue alone screams grand and important and yes, with the tandem of Eric Ramos as its screenplay writer and film master Joel Lamangan as its director, the love triangle movie with a twist will surely appeal to lovers of finely written and well-directed romantic dramas with societal realities as intriguing components.

Adding stellar wattage to its marquee are some of the most important actors of the current generation, notably JC de Vera as Joseph, Tom Rodriguez as Attorney Edwin and Rhian Ramos as Lara.

Putting more sizzle to the movie, this is Bartolome Alberto Mott’s (real name of actor Tom Rodriguez) comeback after his sabbatical from show business. He is at his most handsome now, and definitely has more truth and vulnerability to give after the life experiences he encountered and survived.

Ramos’ Lara is the truest embodiment of a damsel in distress. She has for her Prince Charming De Vera’s Joseph, and the arrival of Rodriguez’s Attorney Edwin is the third angle to the love triangle.

Both Ramos and De Vera have become trusted names when it comes to acting and giving commitment, depth, nuance, sincerity and texture to the characters assigned to them.

Producer Ben Tria’s first film was Broken Blooms, which had its fair share of international recognition, gave Jeric Gonzales and Norman Balbuena (a.k.a Boobay) the opportunity to present themselves as good actors and also showed to all why Therese Malvar is a true member of the Philippines’ new acting hopes.

The strengths of Huwag Mo Akong Iwan are a plenty, and its theme song by Ogie Alcasid, reflects the agony and the ecstasy that the characters of De Vera, Ramos and Rodriguez will go through in this Ramos and Lamangan film.

‘SENIOr Moments’ Cast: (from left) Nova Villa, Noel Trinidad and Tessie Tomas.

Thank you for being my friend

First time producer Sucil Nipa, together with writer and director Neil Buboy Tan, presents a movie close to their hearts that all the making of being a gem of a movie with Senior Moments. It has three of the most seasoned and revered actors in the Philippines, such as Noel Trinidad, Nova Villa and Tessie Tomas as its lead stars.

On the silver screen, what will flicker and unfold are the lives of Primo, Pilar and Segunda, played by the trio con brio. The movie tells the start of their friendship, individual bliss, happiness, loneliness and trepidation, and how they accept and manage it with grace and the bond they gave forged that is stronger than love and friendship.

Lady producer Nipa also knew that first impressions count that is why her venue of choice was Limbaga 77, a home adaptively reused into a restaurant with its delicious Filipino food. The homey ambience of the restaurant, plus the undeniable chemistry, camaraderie and friendship of Villa, Trinidad and Tomas made the cast reveal and story conference more fun, interesting and memorable with the personal anecdotes and banter of the three lead stars.

The trio was ecstatic with the trust given to them by the producer and, evident as well was their genuine concern and care for each other.

The trio con brio shared what they are most sensitive — the physical and some personal things that ail them, and how much love and passion they put into their careers that have become personal vocations already.

The biggest strength of Senior Moments is the spontaneity, honesty and love of Nova Villa, Noel Trinidad and Tessie Tomas for one another and acting.  If all these are captured and presented on screen in the Neil Buboy Tan movie, it will surely be a laugh-out-loud and pulling-the-heartstrings kind of motion picture experience.

The finished film and the audiences who will watch it, and positive word of mouth, are the biggest proofs of a movie’s success. However, these marketing strategies, cast reveals and story conferences, tell us that everything is off to a good start and that because of it, we cannot wait but want more and see the development and the film’s coming into fruition.