As a self-confessed fan of independent films, Batangas governor Vilma Santos admitted that she has long wanted to be part of an indie film.
“For curiosity kasi sabi paano ka makakatapos ng pelikula in 10 days and at the same time kapag pinanood mo iba yung passion na kayang ilabas ng isang artist na parang hindi pinipigilan, so matagal ko ng gusto,” Santos explained during a live interview with “The Buzz” aired on August 11.
But with her tight schedule, the Star for All Season had a tough time undertaking one until the script of the Cinemalaya Film Festival Director’s Showcase entry “Ekstra” came.
“Ang tagal ko na sa pelikula ako bida pero ngayon ako ang extra, yun na. Yun na yon. In two weeks’ time we were able to start,” she shared.
From her experience, as someone with over five decades of stellar, titular role under her belt, Santos said that the independent filmmaking is more driven by raw emotions and elements.
“[Ang difference] depende sa script and sa role na ginagampanan mo. Pero ako sa tingin ko, sa mainstream kasi mayroon tayong tinatawag na cinematic effect na parang comics na gustong gusto ng fans. Sa Indie hindi. Mas totoo, mas gusto nila,” she said.
“May dialogue na for mainstream para bumenta, kailangan bibigyan mo ng extra effort. Sa Indie hindi. May sarili silang world and attack kung paano magiging natural,” she added.
Another major difference between mainstream and independent movies that Santos had observed was on the profit-making aspect.
“Sa mainstream, parang kailangan may kadikit na dapat box office. Kailangan medyo comic, kailangan sinasampal. Sa indie, hangga’t maaari, hindi,” the Star for all Seasons supplied.
Apart from the exceptional experience of playing the role of an extra opposite equally big stars like her namely Cherie Gil, Piolo Pascual, Cherry Pie Picache, Marian Rivera and Richard Yap, among others, Santos noted that she was able to discover the sad undertakings of extras who are often “maltreated” on the set thru the film.
“Matagal ko ng nararamdaman yun, hindi ko nalang ie-elaborate kung ano ang ginagawa ko sa set everytime na nakakakita ako ng kung papano sila, sometimes, namamaltrato. Pero nakikita ko minsan na masyadong malayo ang gap between the stars at yung kino-consider na bit players or yung tinatawag na extra,” shared Santos
The veteran actress-politician has highlighted that such shouldn’t be the case because “even if they are bit players or extras, parte parin sila ng pelikula. Dahil walang mabubuo na TV series or pelikula kung walang extras.”
The independent film debut of the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2013 Director’s Showcase Best Actress will be released by Star Cinema, on August 14.