Directors Perci Intalan, Jun Lana reveal what it’s like working with Sarah

    Sarah Geronimo
    Sarah Geronimo

    There are actors who are great at what they do but a pain once the director shouts “Cut.”

    Then, there are those who are professionalism personified, whether behind or in front of the camera.

    Singer-actress Sarah Geronimo is one of a select few who is from the second category. Her “Unforgettable” directors Jun Robles Lana and Perci Intalan are one in praising the 31-year-old, comparing her to cinema greats like the late actor-director Eddie Garcia and superstar Nora Aunor.

    Intalan worked with Garcia in “Bwakaw,” which won best actor trophies here and abroad for the late actor-director.

    “It’s good you mentioned Tito Eddie, ang tingin ko sa kay Sarah, andun sya, ‘yung pagiging professional nya,” said Intalan, “There are few actors that I can say I love working with sincerely, with all my heart, because they make my life, our lives, easier. Sarah is like that, because she goes on the set prepared, she is so committed to the project, involved sya.”

    Writer-director Intalan, who worked with Nora Aunor in “Dementia,” related an observation of a staff on the “Unforgettable” set.

    “’Yung staff ang nag point out, nag comment dun sa huling shoot namin, sinabi nya na parang Nora Aunor si Sarah in the sense na ang mata nya pag tinapatan ng konting konting ilaw, ibabalik na kaagad sa iyo. The last time kay Ate Guy ko nakita ‘yun.”

    Direk Jun also added, “Sarah is also like Ate Guy in the sense na at the height of her popularity, she was brave enough to take on other roles, like ‘Banaue,’ ‘Bona’… ginamit nya ang kanyang star power to take on other films at para makagawa ng pelikulang iba, importante sa kanya.”

    Just like how it was a breeze working with Sarah, the two also had an easy time sharing directing duties on the Viva Films project, because they had clearly defined roles. What was important, said Direk Jun, was that they had a clear vision of what they wanted the film to be, and from the start, shared Direk Perci, it was agreed between them what tasks they are to take. Jun was in charge of storytelling, while Perci would take charge of the coverage.

    The same meticulousness happened even before shooting. The filmmakers recognize the significance of the project, and knew how vital it was to get Sarah’s unique input.

    “The film is important to us because of the subject matter we’re tackling and at the same time, it’s Sarah Geronimo. It’s a project na matagal ang discussion, two years from the time we pitched the project and then important sa amin ‘yung input nya at mga gusto nya gawin. That took time,” said Direk Jun.

    “It’s a brave project,” said Direk Perci, “’yung pinakamasasabi namin definitely ay very daring of Sarah to go into a story like this kasi we can say na walang mainstream film na gantong storyline.

    “It’s a journey film, walang love team kasi ang focus ay andun sa aso, sa family sa lola,” he continued.

    “The fact that it’s a journey, hindi sya storytelling na Pinoy na may destiny premise, na magpupunta sa hiwalayan tapos magkikita uli. Ito hindi, kaya susundan mo mga adventures nya para mag grow ang character. It’s a mainstream film na walang sinusundan na formula,” he concluded.

    In “Unforgettable,” Sarah’s Jasmine goes on a journey to Baguio to bring Happy, her dog, to her sick grandmother because she believes Happy would be instrumental to her grandmother’s healing.

    Also featured in the film are Gina Pareno, Regine Velasquez and wonder dog Milo.

    The movie will open in theaters October 23.