“I failed a lot of times in college and it’s something I am not proud of. But every time I look back sa journey ko na inabot ako ng 9 years sa college tapos maaalala ko yung na-achieve ng munting film namin, it all feels worth it.”
The moment I found out that it was not an easy road for 29-year old Julius Renomeron Jr., I already knew he is equipped with the power of storytelling.
As they say, you’ll only grow because of your experiences. And that must have been so true for this Cainta, Rizal native.
He shifted three times before finally earning his Communication Arts degree at University of Sto. Tomas. Originally, he took Electronics Engineering then shifted to Information Technology because he is really fascinated with technology. But when he joined a digital media organization and publication named “TomasinoWeb,” he then realized what he really wants. Working as a Creative Director of that organization and at the same time creating a lot of graphic design and video materials opened his eyes to take another path.
Moreover, while studying in college, he worked as a freelance videographer. Not only was he able to improve his storytelling skills, he also gained additional money for his allownace.
“Eventually I learned at some point that I have to pursue what I really want and not think about what others say. When I was in college I used to edit SDE videos din para sa mga kasal, debut while I was in Engineering school, so I think naging factor din siya kung bakit mas nareinforce yung want ko to pursue media studies even more.”
After years of contemplating, he finally decided to pursue Communication Arts because that’s where he saw himself working after graduation.
But Julius recalled that before all of these twists and turns in his life, he must have really been destined for something greater.
“I remember when I was kid, I used to cut newspaper clippings of movie posters in the entertainment section tapos kino-collect ko sila sa isang folder. Lumaki din ako sa family of movie lovers. My mom, dad, and tito would take me to the movies every weekend or magre-rent sa Video City ng mga latest releases.”
“I also grew up with a lot of appreciation for art. Somewhere along the way nainvest din kasi ako sa computers, tech and gaming lalo nung high school so nung nag-college ako hindi unang pumasok sa isip ko na pumasok sa media studies. Pero ako lagi yung nilalapitan ng mga kaklase ko ‘pag may projects sa video editing,” Renomeron added.
Funny as it may seem, fate really has its own way of bringing us closer to where we are really destined to be.
It may have taken years for Julius to finally give it a go, but indeed, it was all worth it. As a matter of fact, he even managed to direct an award winning comedy film, “Heist School.”
It circles around two best friends who are struggling to pass high school and when they found out that their graduation dreams are in trouble they tried to devise a plan to pass the exam by infiltrating their teacher’s office and get the answer key for their exam. It is a film that a lot of people can surely relate to, but Julius revealed the greatest lesson they really wanted to convey-- friendship.
“For most of us na nag-aral and na-frustrate, marami talagang makaka-relate. It may be exaggerated, but I know a lot of students go through lengths not just to pass their subjects but also become desperate to achieve their dreams. But at the heart of it, the film is also about friendship,” Julius said.
From their university’s UST Sine Reel 2018 where they clinched the Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Trailer and People’s Choice to the local film festivals in the country where they secured Audience Choice Award at the Cinemalaya Short Film Category 2019, Official Selection at One La Salle Film Festival, Official Selection at Indie-Un Film 2018,Official Selection at Maginhawa Film Festival 2018, and Official Selection at Cinestudyante 2019 -- Julius and his wonderful team truly left an unforgettable mark.
Not to mention their international exposure. Heist School was also an Official Selection at Lift-Off Sessions: First time filmmakers - London Vimeo 2019 and Festival de Cinema Escolar de Alvorada, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil.
With the amount of dedication that Julius, together with his team, Alvin Jamora, Keanu Managuas, John Paolo Barameda, Johmar Damiles, Klaire Dulay, Aundrei Vallar, Ezren Caneda, Pauline Joy Carlos, Zhino Sohiro Koe, and the rest of their production crew, it is no surprise that their film journey was a huge success. Their production team tagged as Last Minute Films because the film idea actually happened an hour before they had to pitch their short film in class dedicates “Heist School” to all those students struggling in school and trying to find their place in the world.
“Hindi namin sinasabi na tama mangdaya (laughs). But just the idea that we will do everything just to get our dreams kahit gaano ka ridiculous. Minsan ‘yun yung nakakatuwang balikan,” Julius said.
Four or five years in college is no joke. What more if you had to spend nine years in the university. But for Julius Renomeron Jr., it really pays to wait.
And we are all so happy that he is now reaping the rewards of his patience and hardwork. He will continue to share more stories. In fact, when everything gets stable, he wants to explore other genres and hopefully, direct an adaptation from the local comic books stories.
“Yung pag hang on sa mga dreams mo, may pagbubunga din pala, but of course may sacrifices. Something that only life can teach you,” Julius junctured.
The dream continues.
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