Award-winning filmmaker Dan Villegas empathizes with girlfriend, director Antoinette Jadaone, who lamented recently on social media the supposed repeated delays of her film shoots.
On Monday, Jan. 15, Jadaone published a cryptic blog (www.ilayailawa.wordpress.com) about a troubled project that she claimed was “anticlimactic” and “causing disappointment at the end of an exciting or impressive series of event.”
Speaking with Bulletin Entertainment, Thursday, Villegas was asked for his reaction to Jadaone making her sentiments public.
“Sabi ko kay Tonette, ‘Ganyan na-pi-feel mo eh, Okay lang.’ he said. “Very emotional kasi siya, maybe some people are over thinking about it pero siyempre, imagine-in niyo rin ‘yung pressure for a director.”
Villegas, the man behind the 2017 MMFF entry “All Of You,” said any director would feel that way if a project was put in similar situation.
“Director din ako. I can say na nakakawala talaga ng bwelo (kapag napa-pack up ang shooting). Especially kaming dalawa ni Tonette, mayroon kaming ‘Diesel factor’ (na tinatawag),” he explained. “Kung ako man ang director noon, hindi matutuloy ‘yung (shoot), nakabuwelo ka na, synch na kayo ng actors mo, synch na kayo ng staff mo. Titingnan mo, you’re shooting great footage, noong ini-edit mo siya, it’s working, ta’s biglang tigil. That’s frustrating.”
“Kasi sa first three days, kapaan pa kayo ng actors mo, ng production. Pero once na alam mo na… alam mo na ang dapat gawin, du’n lumalabas ang brilliance ng director. Tapos mapa-pack up? Eh alam niyo naman, kapag nahihinto nawawala (ang momentum). At ang hirap niyang hanapin para ibalik,” Villegas added.
He noted that such occurrences are “heartbreaking.”
“Kung ako man ‘yung director noon, heartbreaking iyon, promise, na napa-pack up ka sa shooting. She’s very frustrated. ‘Yung frustration niya meron, and I stand with her,” he said, referring to Jadaone.
Lack of professionalism?
Jadaone did not specify which film she is referring to on her blog, only using the hashtag “foolishmovie.” However, she had used this same hashtag in previous blog posts on a film project starring reel and real life couple James Reid and Nadine Lustre before it was officially titled “Never Not Love You” late last year.
Thus, netizens quickly speculated that the 33-year-old director is pointing fingers at JaDine’s latest film output.
Meanwhile, a day after the blog came out, Lustre, whose last announced big-screen project is with Jadaone, took to Instagram with a cryptic post of her own.
In Lustre’s Instagram story, she posted a spinal X-ray accompanied with the text: “Diarrhea, fever, severe back pain since last Friday. That’s all you need to know.”
Some followers of the 24-year-old actress assumed the post had something to do with Jadaone’s blog.
Viva Films, the producer of “Never Not Love You,” has yet to release a statement about the matter. However, Viva Artists Agency, which manages Lustre’s career, re-posted the actress’ Instagram story captioning it with: “Loud and clear. Get well soon, Nadine.”
As of press time, there is neither confirmation nor denial from any of the camps that are supposedly involved.
Villegas, on his part, withheld commenting specifically on JaDine.
“Ang hirap magsalita. Sa tingin ko, kahit anong sabihin ko parang talo ako eh. Again, I will only speak as a director kasi nakakakainis talaga (‘yung nangyayari). As much as possible, ayoko mag-magsalita. Nagpapaka-positive lang ako sa outlook sa life. I guess, let’s all be positive na lang,” he disclosed.
On rumors that James might have been “drunk” and had a “hangover,” the reason the shooting has been canceled resulting to its delay, Villegas has this to say.
“Fair din akong tao. Kung nabalita na lasing, (kailangan ba) na i-assume ko na agad na lasing nga siya?” he said.
“Alam niyo lahat naman yan depende sa konteksto. Halimbawa, gusto mo mag-enjoy the night before, pero dapat kaya mong dalhin. Who am I to judge you ‘di ba?” he further explained but speaking in general terms. “Nagpakalasing ka the night before, nalasing ka the next day pero dumating ka pa din (sa shooting). Nag-work ka, nakapag-deliver ka (ng maayos), I don’t care about your life outside (work). Trabaho ‘to but at the end of the day, you have to deliver.”
Villegas worked with JaDine on the television series “On The Wings Of Love,” and according to him “Okay naman sila (ka-trabaho).”
Some fans declared they’re concerned with JaDine’s supposed “unprofessional behavior.” As for Villegas, he would rather not comment on these talks until he experiences it on his own.
“Sa lahat naman ng artista, merong negative publicity. I think it really depends on the experience of the person. So I need them to direct them (again) to know or para ma-gage ‘yung sinasabing unprofessional sila, na nagka-ego na nga but I’m hoping na hindi,” he said.
All that said, the director added: “Ayoko mag-judge. Ayokong, kumbaga, poisoning the well.”
We caught up with Direk Dan at the press conference of his Cinema One Originals 2017 entry “Changing Partners.”
The reporters also took the chance to ask Villegas about the success of his 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival Entry “All Of You.”
“Hindi ko pa nakikita ‘yung recent figures (earnings) ng pelikula though medyo okay naman. (Inisip ko din na) sana mas malakas. Eh lahat naman ng pelikula, dumadaan sa ganu’ng dilemma. Kaya sabi ko na lang, ‘Wala na tayong magagawa diyan pre, ganu’n talaga,”’ he disclosed.
According to him, he is the type of director who watches the finish product over and over again in able to assess every detail of the film.
“Grabe ako mag-self analyze eh. Minsan kapag pinanuod nasasabi ko na ‘Ah mali ‘yung desisyon ko sa ganito.’ I try as much as possible not to think about it pero I think that makes you better as a filmmaker, dapat may re-assessment. Para alam mo saan ka nagkamali, para sa susunod mong pelikula, hopefully, hindi mo na maulit,” he said.