One of the perks of being a film school teacher is that you get to see a lot of creative talent develop in front of your eyes. You see their enthusiasm, their work, their hard labor, their perseverance amidst defeat, and their talent. And last week, we saw them again — in our school’s semestral film production thesis defense of our graduating seniors.
may pa-poster-poster pa. taray lang ha! chos! pero wagi ito, pramis! keep it up!
I had two kids under my wing as thesis adviser who defended this sem. And I must say, I am so proud of these two. Two genres I like working with myself — radical documentary filmmaking and children’s stories — were their main handles. That’s why it was always exciting to work with them during consultations, and it was even more rewarding to see them battle their own selves in order to produce great, great work. Yes, there were moments of doubt and, I assume, fear and loathing (especially towards me! hahaha!), but hey, if push comes to shove, good talent becomes exceptional talent. Sometimes, these kids don’t know they are diamonds in the rough, and a little polishing won’t harm them a bit.
(I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t be vocal about these things because I could be read as biased but what the hey! I’ve always wanted to write thesis defense postmortems like this but in my earlier years, I felt restricted because I felt I had to be “objective” [also because I held an academic administrative position in our unit back then] but I think it’s time I break that self-regulatory instinct. But that’s just me. )
This has always been my style of handling in terms of guiding and mentoring these young generation of talents, ever since I started teaching back in 2005. I guide them until they see what they are capable of, and sometimes, we don’t see eye to eye in terms of this guidance. Sometimes they rush into things prematurely, sometimes they plod through egotistically. But once they have slowed down and stopped to actually ponder on things, then real genius emerges. And I secretly smile at the triumph of such a revelation. Growth really comes in when you least expect it. And no, I don’t take credit for it, even if they cite me. Perhaps I just know that all creative spirits need space to expand, and I just give them that. C’est tout.
I’ve handled lots of kids before who are as talented and as driven as this bunch this semester. And like a proud mama, I sit back and smile as they taste the fruit of their labors come defense day. And it is then that I know that my deed is done… and the rest of their future is theirs to navigate. No, I did not set the course for them nor did I point to them the coordinates to follow. No, I am not that messianic. I just merely tell them that there is a world to navigate, and that there is a map, and that there are bumps along the way. The rest is up to them to figure out (yes, no spoonfeeding, either!). I don’t step in or meddle needlessly, unless they want me to. But if they need pointers, I’m always there for them, willing to share my thoughts. It’s that simple, really.
Bonchon moves! Di ba????
This is my (nearly) 7th year of teaching film students, and this is my 13th semester of guiding thesis defenders. A mighty long time, if you look at it in earth years. But you know what? I’ve never felt any younger. These kids inspire me — to think, to still teach (even if dementors want me to apparate na out of Hogwarts), to create my own creations I’ve (nearly) abandoned/put on hold. And I can’t wait to see what they will produce next. And in some instances, I can’t wait to work with them, as well. Already am, actually. And you know what? It’s really, really cool.
because of this kid's film, my new mantra is "bad mamaw, bad mamaw, bad mamaw!"
Philippine cinema is in good hands. So guys, create!
Congrats to this sem’s batch of films. You all did great, actually. Please do more films. Don’t let anyone or anything destroy your artistic souls. But always check ego at the door, ya hear???
[all photos swiped from Mai Calapardo's FB]