After directing the Star Cinema drama Unbreakable last year, director Mae Cruz-Alviar goes back to work on Four Sisters Before the Wedding, the prequel to the 2013 hit film Four Sisters and a Wedding.
“This is the first project during the pandemic and major adjustment for me because time is of the essence. We have limited shooting days unlike before that we had double the number of shooting days. And we had limited shooting hours as well. So we have to be prepared. Everything should be ready. Actors should be ready. There’s no time to be asking questions, for delays, nothing like that. So we had major preparation for it. And everything had to be done via Zoom. We couldn’t be together, like meeting and doing script readings, preparation was all online. So it was extra difficult. So I had to give it to the cast, the staff, everyone in this project, because they all did their part to make this project a success and that we were able to pull it off even with the limitations and the difficulties, everyone was able to manage,” she shared.
Preparing her young cast members like Charlie Dizon, Alexa Ilacad, Gillian Vicencio, and Belle Mariano before shooting was also a challenge according to direk Mae.
“Siyempre it’s not as easy. But nevertheless, we were able to pull through and also, I also have to give it to the cast and the staff so even if it was difficult, there was never a dull moment. It was always fun. Every day on set was fun. Preparation-wise, I won’t go into details anymore but everything was down right to the most minute details had to be prepared. We had pre-blocking, script reading online, even the look test was done online. We couldn’t be together. Even the makeup test was done online. Every single costume was presented down to the shoes, everything was prepared so that when we get to the set when we shoot, everything is ready and everyone’s ready. We had one-on-ones also with actors to discuss in detail their character. So that when we get to the set they’re very clear about what’s going to happen and how to attack the scene as well,” she explained.
With her film’s storyline taking place a decade before the original, direk Mae said their film is just as relevant and touches on universal issues like family and love.
“Sa panahon ngayon, because of what happened during the pandemic, we are reminded of what is essential in life and what is essential is family. This is a story about a family and ang Pilipino pa naman maka-pamilya. Actually now that Christmas is approaching, we want to remind the audience that [despite] the losses, despite of all the pain that we have experienced this 2020, what is essential is love. It’s something that you cannot take away. It’s something that doesn’t have a price tag. It’s something that we should value because family is forever. Yun yung mahalaga eh. Mawala man lahat sa ‘yo, ang pamilya mo nandiyan. Or should be nandiyan. Essentially it’s love and that’s something that we can give to others and we can receive even if we have nothing materially,” she added.
Four Sisters Before The Wedding streams worldwide beginning December 11 via KTX.ph (ktx.ph), iWantTFC (iwanttfc.com), TFC IPTV, Cignal PPV (my.cignal.tv), and Sky Cable pay-per-view (mysky.com.ph). This is distributed by CineXpress.