Against All Odds:Arjhay Encarnacion's Journey in Overcoming the Challenges of Student Film Prod

Updated: Mar 7


For the 23-year old Richard John Encarnation, creativity is truly limitless. When he came up with the story of Promdi Queen, a film which was produced by Greenfield Production from the College of Education, Arts and Sciences of Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, he made sure that their story will not just impress their audience but at the same time, impact people’s lives.


With the central theme of metamorphosis, Promdi Queen tackles the humble beginnings of a dreamer, her triumphs and challenges that she had to face, and her undying determination to reach her dreams.


Encarnacion, fondly called by her friends as “Arjhay” is an avid beauty pageant fan himself, thus, from there, he crafted the character of “Amara”, a proud probinsyana hurdling her path towards becoming a beauty queen. From the 10 stories they brainstormed, his group consisted of Hencel Shaira Vizco, Bianca Marie Apacible, and John Vincent Enriquez finally decided to give it a go.


Arjhay started writing the script and because it was also their film requirement for the Film Production class, he made sure all the details are considered and well-thought of.


“Whenever I write, I give so much attention to details. Nothing should be left out because I don’t want to compromise the quality of our film. And that would also be my advice to my fellow young writers out there - to invest time and don’t rush finishing your scripts even if you have a deadline. Make sure you’re good at time management,” he exclaimed.


As their shooting days started to finally take-off, Arjhay was bothered with the gowns and costumes that they will need to use. Rental price was relatively high then, because it was Acquaintance Parties’ season. But God really works wonders. Two Batangueño designers saved them from spending a hefty amount of money because they have decided to sponsor their wardrobes.


“Sobrang thank you talaga sa JP Chua Creations and kay Tristan Irrol Hernandez. They are Batangas’ best designers and we couldn’t be more proud to showcase their designs on our film. We are lucky kasi pinahiram talaga nila kami ng damit, agad-agad,” Encarnacion happily shared.


I am impressed how Arjhay and his team pulled it off together despite the circumstances, but I was surprised that there is more to that anecdote.


“Filming Promdi Queen is a challenge like no other, the locations are a bit far from each other and we finish a shooting day for about 12 hours straight. And how could we forget the time when we lost the memory card of our boom mic, we were crying. We literally didn’t know what to do,” Arjhay shared. Good thing, their editor, Ralph Quijano was there to rescue and fix the quality of their audio materials. If it weren’t for him, their film would have been a total mess.


“That was a lesson learned for the whole team. You really have to make sure everything is organized before, during and after shoot,” he added.


Without a doubt, film production would probably be one of the most stressful parts of a Communication student’s life. I, myself, experienced all the same struggle back in college with tons of deadlines and sleepless nights, but it is also the most rewarding. Once you see your film on that big screen, playing at the Theater room in your University, being appreciated and watched by hundreds of your fellow students make all the challenges really worth it.


It was a good one-hour conversation with Arjhay via Zoom and if there is one thing I have realized, there are really a lot of wonderful storytellers in our country. All we need is to support and appreciate their beautiful masterpiece.