Future Perfect Life of A Party
Text & photos - Nante Santamaria () - April 27, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - When I do things for fun, that’s when they’re recognized.” That’s what Gino M. Santos has realised so far. That’s why he makes films about parties. His musical, Ang Tangke, won five awards because he had fun with it. Santos may just be what it takes to get convinced second looks from this year’s Cinemalaya jury after he filled in for director Emerson Reyes’s controversial back out. He trained at Asia Pacific Film Institute and Marilou Diaz-Abaya Film Institute when he was in high school. Fresh from Benilde’s School of Design and Arts, he is now shooting his first full-length film, The Animals, featuring Albie Casiño, Dawn Balagot and PBB’s Patrick Sugui.

YOUNG STAR: Where did you get your idea for your first Cinemalaya entry, the short film Every Other Time?

GINO M. SANTOS: It’s actually a personal story about me losing my phone and the relationship between me and my folks and how my actions affect everyone.

 Is it only this one that’s autobiographical?

Recently, after I took a workshop under Bing Lao (screenwriter of Serbis and Kinatay), I’ve been using my experiences more in my storytelling. You tell what you know, what you experienced already, so it’s easy.

 You attended New York Film Academy’s workshop in Kyoto. How were the parties there?

I remembered the party scene in Babel. There’s a scene there where the deaf girl goes inside the club; that’s exactly how I pictured the clubbing in Japan. It was in Shibuya. I was in awe when I saw it, also because of the way they dressed.

 What did you get out of it?

Just being a one-man crew. You do everything by yourself there. Sometimes, you’re the actor. Sometimes, you’re the director of photography as well as the director and the sound guy, the production assistant and everything. It was quite a challenge because we were just a group of four doing everything.

Who are the directors that inspire you?

Hands down, Paul Thomas Anderson. I’m a big fan — from There Will Be Blood to Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

Do you write in detail?

There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of his heroes.

Frame by frame, but with the dialogue, I want my actors to be in the script. Those are the things you can’t cheat.

So let’s talk about your 2012 film for Cinemalaya.

It’s about privileged high school kids who created an open party, those trendy ones when I was in high school. The story happens in one day…

And what’s gonna happen?

All the nightmare stories in parties, combine them in one night.

Sex, drugs and violence?

Yes, pretty much. There are things that actually happened, and you’ve seen them in the news. It’s just a coming-of-age party.

What else do you wanna do?

I’d like to go to NYU. This is a learning experience, but I have to learn more.

ALBIE CASI ANG TANGKE ASIA PACIFIC FILM INSTITUTE AND MARILOU DIAZ-ABAYA FILM INSTITUTE BING LAO CINEMALAYA LEFT PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON THERE WILL BE BLOOD
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