The direk behind Two Wives

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda - The Philippine Star

Much has been said about the success of Two Wives starring Erich Gonzales, Jason Abalos, and Kaye Abad. Critics and fans have noticed on the show’s daring scenes and quotable lines, not to mention the performances of its stars. But not much attention has been given to the man who weaves all of those things together from behind the camera to create the show — its director Erick “FM” Reyes.

Better known as direk FM, he has been in the industry for years and has steered several teleseryes to success for ABS-CBN. Before he signed on to direct the Philippine adaptation of Two Wives (it was originally a Koreanovela), his last project was the sensual afternoon drama Moon of Desire topbilled by Ellen Adarna, JC de Vera and Meg Imperial. Before that, he worked on shows like the Kapamilya version of Recuerdo de Amor in 2001, Maging Sino Ka Man in 2006 and Apoy Sa Dagat in 2013.

He has become known for skillfully and successfully using sensuality in his projects without letting even the most daring of scenes turn out vulgar. When asked how he manages this, direk FM says that it’s all down to his definition of what makes something sexy or sensual. “Sa akin kasi ang sexiness laging nandito sa brain,” he explains. “It’s cerebral work. I don’t just rely on showing skin. I don’t believe that the more skin you show, the sexier you’ll be. Although it depends din on the stars I work with. Like in Moon of Desire, Ellen and Meg could go a little bit sexier so there’s more skin. But for me, it’s really more of the mind’s work when it comes to sexiness.”

Direk FM prefers to leave certain things to viewers’ imagination — that’s what he means when he says sexiness is the mind’s work. For example, when he directs a love scene, he uses images that suggest sexiness rather than have his actors take off all their clothes. His mantra, he says, is “less is more.”

“Yun ang laging motto namin,” direk FM says of him and his team’s approach to their material. “Less is more, that’s good enough. Pag nagpakita ka ng something that will elicit mind work, okay na yun sa akin. Nasa choice din yun ng shots mo, pipiliin mo lang yung shots na alam mong kikiliti lang sa imahinasyon ng tao and the rest will take care of itself. Manipis din kasi ang line. We’d rather go to a beautiful shot rather than something that’s almost pornographic. Like when we shoot kissing scenes, for me, it’s not really about the kissing but it’s more about the neck and how it moves. I tell my actors to just let the neck work when they do such scenes.”

With these principles in mind, direk FM was able to mount scenes like Dominic Roque’s shower scene in an episode of Moon of Desire without overdoing it. However, although he has become known for doing shows with a hint of sensuality in them, direk FM says that’s not really why he signed on to direct Two Wives. The daring scenes of the show weren’t what drew him to the project but the chance to use a teleserye to deliver a message about family and the sanctity of marriage.

“Kinakapitan ngayon ng mga tao ang mga ganitong kwento,” he says of the show’s premise of a man’s infidelity. “Pero I’m concentrating on the sacredness of the family and the love. Through a show like Two Wives, what I want to tell Filipinos about love and relationships is this: Not everything that feels right is right and marriage isn’t all about happiness and sex. It’s more about the sacrifices we have to make.”

Direk FM recognizes that being in showbiz gives him a certain kind of influence which he wants to use for good. He’s very happy that the Kapamilya network’s top brass gave him the go-ahead to make Two Wives more of a thought-provoking show about family instead of a simple one about husband-stealing. “They told me I could make it more reflective, so I did. Nandito ka nga sa trabahong ganito so you might as well make something that is credible, something that will stimulate people to reflect. It’s my humble way of giving back sa mga tao. I hope magmarka itong show in the way that I want. I hope it makes people go, ‘Oo nga, ano. Uy, miss ko na misis ko.’ I’d like for them to feel like that habang pinapanood nila kami,” he says.
Bravo. Direk FM!

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