Three filmmakers direct erotic drama trilogy

Leah Salterio - The Philippine Star
Three filmmakers direct erotic drama trilogy
Playing the lead as the hopeful and brokenhearted Lucas is Vince Rillon, who is trying to overcome loneliness after his girlfriend leaves him. Vince was previously seen in director Brillante Mendoza’s Captive (2012), Ma’rosa (2016), Sisid (2021), Resbak (2021) and the 13-part mini-series, Amo (2017).
STAR / File

Three directors — Topel Lee, EJ Salcedo and Roman Perez Jr. — were recently tapped to work on an erotic film, Larawan, Liko, Lipat, a unique trilogy with inter-connected episodes featuring the same character (Vince Rillon) in all stories.

Written and produced by director Jon Red, Larawan, Liko, Lipat will actually be shown in a series. Direk Topel was assigned to the “surreal” part, Larawan, while EJ megs Liko and Roman wraps up with Lipat.

Playing the lead as the hopeful and brokenhearted Lucas is Vince Rillon, who is trying to overcome loneliness after his girlfriend (Stephanie Raz) leaves him. Vince was previously seen in director Brillante Mendoza’s Captive (2012), Ma’rosa (2016), Sisid (2021), Resbak (2021) and the 13-part mini-series, Amo (2017).

Clockwise, from top left: Topel Lee, Roman Perez Jr. are directing Larawan, Liko, Lipat, an erotic trilogy with inter-connected episodes featuring the same character in all stories. It is written and produced by director Jon Red.

Vince also starred in Roman Perez Jr.’s Siklo (2022). The other female leads in Larawan, Liko, Lipat are Cara Gonzales, Ayanna Misola and Chloe Barretto.

Aligning the episodes was not a problem for the three megmen. “Magkaka-ibigan kami,” granted Roman. “Nag-AD (assistant director) ako kay direk Topel. Naka-work ‘yung godfather ng digital filmmaking at nag-assistant director ako kay direk Jon. Aside from that connection, lalake ang kwentuhan namin. Malaking bagay ‘yun.”

Topel has charted a number of horror films with or without the gore — from Ouija (2007), Basement (2014), Bloody Crayons (2017) to a series of the popular Shake, Rattle and Roll trilogy.

Topel is directing his first sexy and erotic film in Larawan, Liko, Lipat. Initially, he had a challenging time. “Mahirap at nangapa ako since this is my first sexy project,” Topel admitted.

“Our title has different meaning, Larawan, Liko, Lipat. Primarily, we wanted to revolve around lust. Lahat ng episodes involve lust. Direk Jon made sure every story stood on its own. Magkakaiba ang kwento gaya ng bawat tao, meron tayong iba’t ibang experience.

“The character in my story, pinagdaanan niya, ‘yung journey na pagiging isang visual artist niya. Medyo may mga eksena na magpapa-init sa viewers.”

EJ’s first writing job was the short film, Talahib, which garnered a Gawad Urian nomination as Best Short Film and was a segment in the full-length film, Imahe Nasyon (2006). He also previously directed another short, Kawal (2013), and the film, Third World Happy (2010), with Sam Milby and Jodi Sta. Maria.

Meanwhile, Roman worked on such films as Hugas, Taya, House Maid, Adan, House Tour and Siklo.

“Nasa baul na ni direk Jon ito for two years,” informed Roman. “We’re very honored that direk Jon chose us to execute it. Direk Jon allowed us to treat every episode with a different flavor. The audience will get three, different kinds of movies.”

Larawan, Liko, Lipat is a dramatic film. “This is a struggle and journey of a young man,” Roman said. “Naghahanap siya, nawawala at susubukang magbago ng buhay after ng break-up with his girlfriend.

“‘Pag romantic-comedy kasi, sanay tayo na babae lagi ang market at nasasaktan. Dito sa Larawan, Liko, Lipat, we focused on what the guy feels after a break-up. Nasasaktan din sila sa mga relasyon. May sex scenes at love scenes kasi may pagmamahal.”

Topel noted all three of them were very careful from the start when they regularly met to discuss the project. “We had a lot of meetings,” he disclosed. “Ayaw naming magka-pareho ang mga kwento namin, especially sa sexy scenes. We really talked about the sexy scenes.”

When Jon talked to the three directors before filming, he explained that “love and lust” are part of the story of Larawan, Liko, Lipat. “Direk Roman said Lucas is lost, while some of the girls are longing,” EJ shared. “The L word signifies a lot of things in life — that’s another L.

“For us, it was a challenge to pick up the drama in all three episodes. At the same time, we needed to give a different flavor to make the stories sexy. Tatlong mata ang umatake sa sexy scenes. Tatlong director ang gumawa. I can guarantee you’ll see something different. A lot of scenes.”

Jon gave the directors the freedom to put their respective “flavors” into their stories. “Hopefully, we achieve that and the viewers will see the difference,” EJ said. “At the same time, makikita nila na tuhog sa tatlong stories ang character ni Lucas.”

Yet, Jon shuffled the assignments to his directors and took them out of their comfort zones. “Inikot niya kami,” Roman shared. “Hindi niya binigay ang para sa amin. ‘Yung mystery, hindi niya binigay kay direk Topel dahil alam niya si direk Topel ang master ng mystery.

“Kay direk EJ din, ganu’n at sa akin din. Parang bago ulit sa amin ang paggawa nito. But nag-work ang pagtahi ng kwento. Ako ang gumawa ng mystery. Si direk Topel ang sa artist, si direk EJ naman ang liko ng character ni Lucas. Direk Jon shuffled us. Nahirapan ako pag-tono ng kwento. Hindi ko genre ang ginawa ko, pero naluto naming lahat.”

No doubt, the three directors were challenged to work on their respective scripts. They took the challenge and put their flavor to the story, helping and supporting each other along the way and they all hurdled the challenge.


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