Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Worthy Experience in 2008

Life is a Game. Practice makes Perfect. Forgive and Forget.

This is the story of "G&g - Goals & girls"

In mid 2008, our production company was commissioned by a well-known company in Malaysia, Red Communications SDN BHD, to produce a Philippine version of its award-winning film "G&g - Gol n Gincu", turned into a hit Malaysian series, directed by Bernard Chauly. With no hesitations, the company started its pre-production stage, from creating a story to fit the Philippine audience, go-sees and talent scouting to find the best actors and actresses that will portray the specific characters in the story, building props and designing sets, actors' training and character development, finding the best possible locations, and so much more. I was even part of the cast, where I was part of Shasha's futsal team. I also provided some training and blocking for all the futsal scenes in the series, since I had been playing soccer since Middle School back in Indonesia. It gave me a chance to play again somehow, after not being able to play since I left college. A good exercise, I guess. Hahaha! I even had my real soccer mates to play roles in the first episodes of the story just to give it a little more kick.

Casting was a bit challenging for the supporting cast, as we wanted fresh faces. Fortunately, we found a cast that, not only portrays the character physically, but also through their own personalities, as most of them were able to relate to their own roles as the story went by. Since most of them never played soccer or futsal before, we had to show them some basic skills they needed so that it would look a little more realistic as we shoot the scenes. With the help of professional soccer players from the Mizuno team, it definitely gave them more confidence.

The first week of taping was, of course, the most difficult, as everyone was still trying to get used to how things work and move. It was given that, time would go slow, and it actually did. I wouldn't say that we didn't have hard times, like arguing, pretending, covering up, blaming, and all that stuff, because we did and we all learned our lessons. Things got better, of course. ;) The cast became deeply involved with their characters as the story went by. It was definitely a good learning experience for the cast, not only they underwent training and support, not mentioning the dramas in between, from our veteran director, Direk Al Quinn, who showed them his commitment to making this a good production. This gave everyone the chance to prove themselves and perform better.

Here are some BTS shots, from the first few episodes. The first video is the scene of Eddie's team playing a futsal game. The second video is where Patrice tries to play futsal with Shasha and her team.

Here are the dream sequences where, first, the main character dreams about her fear from losing a fight, and the other one, where she brings out her frustration, stands up and meets a guy who she would fall in love with as the story goes. Patrice gets caught up in a game of love and hate.

I even had my car used in the story, as Shasha's car. My partner did most of the driving scenes for our car and all the other cars used in the series.

As the story went by, more and more back stories of other characters were revealed with more discoveries, complications, challenges and realizations. The whole production was finally getting together. By the end of the year of 2008, everyone was already hoping that the TV Series would launch its first 4 episodes, but it didn't. Wow! How long are we going to wait? Hah!

Since the beginning of the pre-production stage, I had been part of the development process as well, I worked closely with the writer, director and producer and was given the chance to write some episodes. I wrote Episode 11 and the Season Ender, Episode 13. I was also responsible for organizing and managing the wardrobe for the series and styling the cast, specifically, Empress Schuck, Lovely Rivero, Nikki Guevara, Paw Diaz and Kristel Moreno.

We ended production Mid-November of 2008, with the season-ender. The show finally aired its Pilot Episode, "I want a Striker, not a Cheerleader" on July 19, 2009 on TV5, gaining a 3.8% TV rating from Mega Manila - AGB Nielsen. I believe it's a good rating for a new show in a newly launched network. The hardwork paid off somehow. ;)

The last day of shoot was the last time we all saw each other, in set, in our sweaty clothes and in stress-mode. The perseverance, support, commitment, and understanding that each one had put in to make the production work, could never be replaced.

Here are some photos from our Christmas Party 2008, with the cast and crew of G&g - Goals & girls and our other TV Show, 3R - Respect, Relax, Respond.

(Click on the photo to go see the rest of the photos)

For more info about the show, please visit its official site:

For more info about our production company, please visit:

Still Thoughts by Dharma Master Cheng

Life lasts but a few decades, whereas wisdom is eternal. Just as we give life to our children, we should also provide them with wonderful memories and an education with love. In this way, we can make our wisdom immortal. The reason the world, the nation, society and families cannot achieve a peaceful and friendly state is because we only fight to survive, but fail to discover the significance of survival.

All human affairs are reciprocal. Our lives will be filled of truth, goodness and beauty, if we treat other people with sincerity and consider things with an open mind. To be really free, we must have a religious spirit and a true goal in life.

If a person indulges in excessive self-love, he can hardly avoid conflict with others. He thinks that others are making fun of him, and he is afraid of what they might do to him. Being so suspicious and insecure, he feels that his life is only misery. If you want to lead and inspire others, you must first light up your heart. A true leader must be sincere and hardworking, not just capable. You must accommodate others with an open heart and give your love to all living beings. A river of love can be as dangerous as a tidal wave; an ocean of lust can be as treacherous as a hurricane. It is painful when you fail to attract the one you love, yet it is even more unbearably painful when you succumb easily to other temptations after winning the one you love.

True love does not distinguish time, place religion or race. No matter when or where people are suffering, if we can see, hear and reach them, we should do our best to help them without asking for anything in return. We should offer our pure love even to people with whom we do not have a special relationship, and we should have the compassion to share in the unhappiness of others. The desires of ordinary people can never be satisfied. The desires for material comforts and carnal pleasures in life are like waves, coming one after another. This is the source of unhappiness.

We must be careful about what we are going to say. We must make sure our words will be reasonable, inspiration and helpful. You should always keep your mind free from anxiety, cultivate healthy concepts of life, conquer worry, and shun the material desires of this world. When you have, do not be greedy for more; when you have not, do not be frustrated. This is the way to achieve mental and spiritual freedom. We can never rely on others to help cultivate our morality. We can only enjoy the fruits of enlightenment by our own efforts.

We should not forget: "No Pain, No Gain."

Our wealth is like fire: in winter, it can keep you warm; but if you get too close, it can be dangerous. If you can't let go of it, it will be like holding a piece of hot iron: you will surely get burned. Worldly fame and fortune are like ice: it looks beautiful, and it can keep your tea cool in summer; but if you hold it too long in your hands, you will suffer frostbite. People are confused: they know that fame and wealth can be dangerous, yet they are willing to be hurt. For fame and wealth, most people dishonestly flatter others. You must know that it is painful when people cannot be honest with each other. If you don't want this pain, turn your greedy heart into an honest heart. Earn your money honestly and use it in meaningful activities for the good of all. In this way, you will be happy and free. Money can hurt people, but it can also save people. We should use money to help others, and not be used by it. If the rich and powerful cannot learn to limit their desires, they will have nothing but unlimited anguish. If people cannot let go of fame and wealth, their spiritual lives will become corrupt and everything will be meaningless.

We must always walk on the road of justice. If a person only walks on the road of evil, he is more pathetic than a person with no feet. A devil is one who blocks the road of justice, prevents people from doing good things, and breaks their commitments. The devil outside of you is not as horrible as the one inside your heart. The inner devil can disturb your sense of peace and love so that you harm others and ruin yourself.