Director Erik Matti shares how the online series will differ from the 2013 crime drama ‘OTJ’
After the success of the original OTJ the movie in 2013, director Erik Matti admitted he is excited to start on his first online series with HOOQ. "On the Job is also inspired by true events. The first movie was a composite of maybe three or four stories. This is one is maybe a composite or ten or 12 stories that we put together and I think you’re going to recognize some of the stories there. The series is going to take on the same kind of energy that we had in the first one. I don’t have any other word to describe it. The kind of energy that sort of gives you a snowball effect wherein there’s an urgency to things that are going to happen from the first frame that they will show you in the story and it feels like something big is going to happen and you’ll look forward to it. What we enjoyed in the first movie was the kind of casting that we got. And we wanted that same kind of feel like bringing in together a lot of actors that could possibly do refreshing kinds of roles,” he shared.
The OTJ: the series Season 1 director also admitted that he is carefully choosing the right soundtrack for the series. "We’re already talking about a few songs that we’re also bringing in. What’s good with the music of On the Job that we were proud of when we made it was that we got a lot of our Filipino songs and put it together in the series. We’re already picking several titles. We were talking to Lourd de Veyra from Radioactive Sago Project and we’re also thinking of getting some Joey Ayala songs. We’re thinking of doing some original songs. We’ll see. We’re finalizing all of it. Also, there are no black or white characters. It’s really just gray characters. Even the people that you respond to, that you relate with, even the prisoners when they kill, you will find some sort of humanity in them so that in the end of the story you just find out how you feel about them and that’s how they are to you. In the same way that we’re not being judgmental about certain characters,” he explained.
Direk Erik said the show will focus on the media industry this season. "The series opens on Christmas season and everyone is trying to prepare for a Christmas party but during the party, eight journalists go missing. But we see what happens to them. They were killed and buried. So that’s the premise of On the Job. Bela (Padilla) comes in after the news becomes big. Sinasabi nila millenials are disloyal, tamad, self-entitled di ba? But we want to portray a millennial that is fiery and passionate even if she comes a upper middle class family so she doesn’t really need the job. But she wants to find out the truth. She wants to do a good job as a journalist. We will be exploring about how news are created and how news can sometimes be changed or about who has the louder voice. When news can sometimes be distorted in favor of other implications, in favor of business, in favor of a lot of things. So I hope you join us in discovering the story of media. I think it’s timely given the news that we have of late. It’s actually a tribute to all of the press people,” he said.
Aside from Bela Padilla, other members of the new cast include Arjo Atayde, Dominic Ochoa, Smokey Manoloto, Ria Atayde, Jake Macapagal, and Christopher de Leon. "Masuwerte kami with the actors we always cast. With Bela for example I knew that she’s about to start a new movie and when we discussed this with Viva and Bela, immediately they found a schedule to work around because they really wanted to do this project. Even with Arjo, at the height of Ang Probinsyano which is shooting practically everyday, they found a schedule for Arjo. We’re just very lucky all the actors are excited to do it. Minsan ka lang makakuha ng ganung dedication. Especially si Dominic Ochoa, the role that we asked him to do is something he hasn’t done before,” he admitted.