Interview with Zig Dulay: I Was Afraid of Being Eaten by the TV System

Zig Dulay was born in Santiago, Isabela and holds a level in Communication Arts from the College of the Philippines Baguio and Masters in U.P. Diliman specializing in inventive writing. He directed his debut function, “The Final Kiss” in 2011. He wrote a number of scripts for various administrators. After his brief “Lacking” in 2013, he directed a number of multi-rewarded lengthy options, with “The Baggage” profitable various awards, together with the Golden Cyclo at FICA Vesoul in 2016.

On the event of his presence within the Worldwide Jury of FICA Vesoul 2022, we speak with him in regards to the methods he has modified as a filmmaker by way of the years, capturing indigenous individuals, the way in which he shot “Black Rainbow”, his newest film, the Filipino film trade and plenty of different subjects.

You’ve got been capturing films and TV sequence for greater than 10 years now.In what methods do you are feeling you have got modified from the start of your profession till now? Did engaged on TV have an effect on the way in which you shoot films? 

I nonetheless let the story physician me someway, and from there, I select which therapy is suitable for the subject material. It’s all the time like that in my movies, for instance, my first movie was framed with a tripod and was composed primarily based alone perspective. I needed to seize the province, the placement that’s the setting of the movie so I wanted this sort of vast pictures. The second, which additionally talks in regards to the Aita, “Paglipay”, a romance/love triangle a couple of man who has to decide on if he’ll go together with a girl from Manila or the one from the mountains. It talks about cultur subsequently I needed to seize the temper and the tone and in addition use vast pictures to seize the surroundings. The subsequent one is “The Baggage” which is completely different from the primary two as a result of it’s shot in a sort of documentary fashion. I needed to painting what is absolutely taking place realistically, beneath that course of. After “The Baggage” I shot a brief movie, “The Crown Is Mine”, whose therapy was additionally like that.  Then got here “Black Rainbow”, which is completely different. In the course of the pandemic, I had this epiphany that I needed to push my limits, I needed to make one thing new for me, however not tremendous drastic although. Due to this fact, the movie shouldn’t be as sociopolitical as “The  Baggage” however is extra inspirational and it looks like, once more, I let the subject material determine the therapy. 

Alternatively, as a result of I’m engaged on TV, I’m conscious that someway, as a number of filmmakers within the Philippines are telling me, should you occur to direct a movie, particularly an indie one, and it’s important to additionally go to the station to work on TV, you can not keep away from being affected by the way in which the TV system works, unconsciously. However then should you see “Black Rainbow”, the explanation I shot it, is as a result of I labored on TV for 3 consecutive years after “The Baggage” and I used to be afraid that I won’t come again to that sort of filmmaking, and simply turn out to be fully familiarized with the way in which the TV works. 

To come back again to your first query, I can not actually pinpoint the modifications, except for the truth that I notice “Black Rainbow” is extra accessible, in layman phrases, and I’m not positive if that is because of being influenced from engaged on TV. As a result of there are components there that really feel which can be coming from TV; not that it’s precisely dialogue-driven, however there’s something within the dialogue that’s not purported to be in there, as a result of I needed it to be seen by youngsters additionally.  Alternatively, in the course of the pandemic, I watched a number of movies and I studied filmmaking and storytelling, and I additionally watched a number of interviews from administrators and thought lots about movies. I additionally learn books. I would like my unconscious to assist me into doing my subsequent movie, so there is likely to be a brand new king of change there. . 

How about modifications in technical phrases although?

In my final movies, I shot in documentary fashion, I needed to check myself if I may shoot within the explicit means of framing and composition, and in addition I leaned a bit extra in direction of cinematography. As a result of within the Philippines, attributable to Netflix tradition, individuals began liking movies which can be visually lovely, eye-candies, so in an effort to make them watch my movie (in lack of a greater phrase) I studied the technical aspect, and that facet of my filmmaking modified lots. As a result of earlier than, I used a digicam that was match for documentary-style therapy, however this time, I needed to hire one thing larger, one thing that match higher to the wants of the cinematography. The identical applies to the music and sound, all the weather have one thing to do with the narrative and the storytelling. This method is new to me, all these components are completely different in “Black Rainbow” in comparison with the movies I shot earlier than. Perhaps as a result of, now, I need to make movies that aren’t a lot me, I need to check my limits, to not discover myself or my voice as a filmmaker, however as an effort at experimentation and my progress as a filmmaker and as a human being.

So, that was the explanation you shot “Black Rainbow”? Did the truth that you shot a number of content material on indigenous individuals affected your determination? 

I shot “Black Rainbow” as a result of I needed to reenact myself in filmmaking, as a result of I used to be afraid of being eaten by the TV system. The second motive was as a result of, previously, I labored on a number of tales and supplies about indigenous individuals, additionally a TV sequence that talks about Bajau, the individuals who reside within the lowest a part of Mindanao. That was really my first massive mission on TV that I can name mine, so I took the chance as a result of I felt like I’ve the identical sensibility and the identical voice with the subject material. Then they gave me one other TV sequence about indigenous individuals and these had been really the primary instances the Filipino TV would present one thing about indigenous individuals and I used to be grateful and I accepted the mission. Then, I did a mini sequence in regards to the Ifugao, indigenous individuals who reside within the Cordillera. After that, I shot one other sequence about indigenous individuals, the Maranao, which focuses on polygamy in Islam, and their tradition as Muslims. I accepted the job as a result of it was nonetheless one thing new to me, one other alternative to be concerned in a mission which showcases the lives and tradition of indigenous individuals. After that, I shot “Black Rainbow”. I made 5 topic issues about indigenous individuals, and possibly that’s the predominant motive I shot the brief. I needed to contribute within the eradication of discrimination, utilizing mainstream media. I imagine that if Filipinos noticed the lives of indigenous individuals who they understand as ‘others’, they’d notice that we have now the identical predicaments, the identical issues, the identical hopes, we’re the identical we simply have completely different cultures, alternative ways of life. 

Having stated that, I additionally must say to you that it’s sort of private, as a result of “Black Rainbow” talks a couple of child who desires to check, however his household are poor and can’t afford it. However then he finds a keyboard, which is one thing that additionally occurred to me as a child. I used to be residing in a small village in a home in the midst of the rice fields, and I had no concept what a pc was. However in 2000, because of the Y2K program, a number of computer systems had been utilized and the native governments began to introduce computer systems to the provinces. As a result of we had been fairly a giant household, 11 siblings, my dad and mom couldn’t afford to ship us all to high school. They selected my older sister, whom they thought was the extra clever one and the hope of the household  and I used to be not included, as a result of I used to be only a child then. However I needed to check, make one thing of myself and once I noticed this keyboard, me and my youthful brother did one thing comparable with what the children within the film do. We made enjoyable out of it, we pretended to be secretaries (laughter), typed the names of our households and our neighbors. I someway memorized the ASDF typing technique (which is definitely the preliminary title of “Black Rainbow”). After that, I attempted it on a typewriter, as a result of my sister who was finding out in a non-public faculty borrowed one. Finally, my instructor advised me that I used to be clever, and I actually wanted to take that check for a scholarship, supplied I knew methods to function a pc. I took it and I used to be positioned within the prime place in the course of the check, and everybody was stunned at how this boy from this distant space who is meant to be unaware of computer systems obtained on prime. Simply as within the movie, I then wrote one thing, not for my sister, however for my mom. I got here from a village the place not many individuals have a level or go to high school for that matter; in my household I’m the one one who completed faculty. I needed to encourage them with the movie in that means and I additionally needed to impart to the Filipino viewers the significance of schooling, the way it may help in reaching your objectives. 

One other inspiration for doing that movie is Norman King, who performed the characterof the daddy, is the primary Aeta who graduated from a state college within the Philippines, he obtained a bachelor in behavioral sciences. When he obtained his diploma on stage, he was carrying a conventional apparel and obtained a number of protection from the press, making headlines in newspapers and had a number of interviews on TV, he grew to become viral. The very fact impressed me. I needed to advertise the significance of schooling, as a result of notably indigenous individuals want it much more. In the course of the analysis for “Black Rainbow”, which lasted for 3 months, they obtained this letter from the federal government, supposedly an settlement, coming after a earlier session with the area people, that the federal government will hire the place in a means that will assist the locals. It turned out nonetheless , that the federal government was mendacity they usually included one thing else within the settlement, that they’re promoting as a substitute of renting. If nobody understood the context of the settlement, which included authorized jargon that I couldn’t perceive additionally, what would occur then?

One more reason I shot “Black Rainbow” was for my psychological well being. I needed to do one thing extra inventive, one thing that feeds my soul. I’m not saying that TV doesn’t do this, however I needed to do one thing the place I determine for all the pieces. And the third motive is as a result of I needed to create some work for my crew exterior of TV (I’ve two completely different crews). I’m not so positive “Black Rainbow ” can examine to “The Baggage”, as a result of the previous pleses the viewers someway, though the sociopolitical points are there. Which was my goal really, to shoot a movie which is inspirational, as a result of the Filipinos at that time wanted that sort of movie, one thing that provides them hope.

Black Rainbow exemplifies the function of native governments and native academics. Are you able to elaborate on that? 

Sure, the movie confirmed the efforts of each, however as a result of it comes from actual life, it’s natural, it was purported to be within the movie. However I additionally needed to level out within the movie that, though there are efforts like that, I feel it isn’t sufficient. The rationale that there’s a component of establishment within the movie is as a result of I needed to say that it isn’t only a dream of the primary character, but additionally of his household and neighborhood and the indigenous individuals of the nation. They’re supposed to attain their objectives with the assistance of those establishments, it isn’t simply their downside, it’s a societal downside of the entire nation. They’ve to guard and take care of all of the indigenous individuals scattered throughout the completely different components of the Philippines. 

Moreover, the very finish of the film exhibits an issue that’s larger than that. In addition they must do one thing about unlawful, irresponsible mining and to guard a bit extra the life and tradition of the indigenous individuals.The mining downside is a big one and the federal government doesn’t do something about it. We’ve this situation within the Philippines, as a result of the federal government has good relations with the Chinese language, and their corporations get a number of land from the federal government in an effort to use it. It isn’t simple to go to their space, I used to be fortunate sufficient to get the approval of the neighborhood to shoot there. That’s the reason the movie is one thing new, not just for the international viewers but additionally for the Filipino, not everyone seems to be allowed inside their space. 

So basically, no individuals can get within the areas of the indigenous individuals, however the Chinese language mining corporations can? 

Sure, that’s the place the larger downside is, as a result of seemingly, the federal government is placing an effort to assist native communities, however should you see the larger image, they really don’t.

What had been probably the most vital difficulties in capturing “Black Rainbow”? How did you deal with the child actors? 

It was fairly arduous engaged on a movie about indigenous individuals, as a result of final time I did so, the process was fairly lengthy and arduous, as a result of I needed to do analysis within the location, interview lots of people, and I needed to immerse myself in a sort of ethnographic means. I additionally needed to trip within the mountains in the course of the pandemic, each weekend I needed to take a PCR check and go there, in an effort to present them I used to be Covid-free. 

So, probably the most troublesome facet was the logistics, as a result of it’s a mountainous space and the Aita are literally strolling from mountain to mountain however we couldn’t do this because of the filming tools. It was arduous as a result of the capturing occurred not simply in a single space, however from one mountain to the opposite. There was no accomodation after all, so we needed to deliver our personal tent. Nonetheless, the entire neighborhood helped us in all the pieces, meals, transportation and many others. The crew was small, 12 individuals, 17 together with drivers, who didn’t, nonetheless, go up the mountains. The locals had been glad as a result of they thought-about it their mission and I used to be glad as a result of we additionally created jobs for them.

Relating to the children, after all they aren’t actors and I actually needed to work with them, however I’m used to it, as a result of that was the case with my different works about indigenous individuals. We did a sequence of workshops for the children after which we did rehearsals within the location. They weren’t acquainted with the filmmaking system, not even with memorizing, and a number of youngsters there don’t even know methods to learn and write, so it was actually a battle. I needed to seek for kids who may learn and write and may also perceive. As a result of they didn’t communicate our language, I needed to have a translator with me each time.

There was additionally a number of battle on their aspect as a result of they needed to memorize their strains and specific them with emotion they usually weren’t used to doing issues in entrance of the digicam or in entrance of lots of people. They’re additionally someway was handled as inferior, so they’re all the time timid and shy, they don’t need to draw consideration for so long as potential 

Even the daddy? 

Him, not a lot. As a result of he had stayed within the metropolis and had studied there, he knew methods to communicate English and many others. He was additionally one in every of my consultants and my translator. However total, they’re all as I described. The analysis technique was ethnographic, as a result of they needed to belief you, to imagine in you that you’re not going to do one thing dangerous, exploit them. Generally, I simply went there to be current and to speak to them about their every day lives and the issues they do. So I needed to make investments a number of time and in addition cash for bills, transportation for instance. However in the long run, it was fulfilling to me.

The auditions had been additionally troublesome. We referred to as for auditions and at first, nobody got here (laughter), they’re fairly shy. I requested Norman to assist, and little by little, they began coming. After all, I perceive that a number of them are serving to their dad and mom in farming and on a regular basis chores. Due to this fact, I advised the coordinator that you may give an honorarium to those that come to the auditions (laughter). Then a number of youngsters appeared and we began the auditions. Then I selected ten, additionally contemplating which may cope with the entire translation factor additionally, 5 male 5 feminine and began to do workshops, for familiarization with the digicam, familiarization with the feelings. I believed of their organicness, I simply needed them to familiarize with the entire idea of capturing a film, and to observe appearing in entrance of individuals and in entrance of the digicam. It grew to become like a actuality present, since finally I selected 3 and three, after which, for the following stage, they needed to examine the script and act. Then I selected 4, in an effort to have two backups. Then we had extra workshops, and the final days of that had been rehearsals on set. It was unusual, as a result of I needed to be the director, however they did their very own factor first, then I took some notes on what they did, and in addition took notes of issues I assumed may assist the story and my imaginative and prescient. After which I needed to ask them to do it once more.

Did you get impatient at any level?

It’s arduous to be impatient, as a result of they’re youngsters. There’s a scene, which I edited into a really small one, the place the boy has an accident whereas driving a motorbike. It was purported to be a giant scene, with the ache displaying on the child’s face however we needed to do a number of takes. We really did a number of takes for each scene, at the very least 20, it was actually arduous. However I selected this materials so I needed to be affected person. There was this interview on-line, the place I simply introduced the 2 youngsters, they usually had been requested what was probably the most memorable factor of the capturing, they answered that it was the repetition (laughter), having to do the identical issues again and again. I’ve to say although, that they had been dedicated sufficient

How was your cooperation with th DP Mark Joseph Cosico? 

I’d describe it as wholesome as a result of we speak lots and we have now labored earlier than on TV, so, kind of, we all know one another, he is aware of my therapy and basically, what I would like. I’ve a shot record and we talked about every shot. The primary level of cinematography in “BLack Rainbow” was to seize the dynamics of the connection of the human with nature and in addition the connection of nature with the ancestors, and in addition to point out the wonder that’s being distorted by these unlawful mining operations. 

Are you able to give us some extra particulars in regards to the location? 

It’s in Pampanga, a mountainous place close to the well-known mountain Pinatubo, which erupted in 1981, and that was the explanation the Aeta within the mountains needed to go to decrease areas. That began their resettlement to completely different components of Pinatubo. Should you discover the placement, you possibly can nonetheless see the volcanic ashes. It’s actually scorching really within the location. 

Should you made the brief right into a function, what would you add? 

I’d add one thing about their struggles and their resistance in opposition to mining. Additionally I’d speak a bit extra in regards to the dynamics between the daddy and the son. 

What’s your opinion of the Filipino film trade in the meanwhile? 

After the pandemic, we’re experiencing a sort of recalibration of all the pieces, from the manufacturing to the movie screening/distribution. As a result of, because of the protocols, it’s important to work with a restricted time, restricted crew, restricted funds. Nonetheless, someway, Filipinos nonetheless handle to shoot in their very own means. Additionally a number of mainstream and impartial manufacturing corporations don’t think about cinemas anymore, they go straight to streaming.



  • Try your lucky to get discount coupon
  • 1 spin per email
  • No cheating
Try Your Lucky
Remind later
No thanks