True to their tagline, “visions manifested, opportunities tested,” Niche Studios, a media house led by Communication Arts students from the University of Sto. Tomas, has proven that even a pandemic can’t stop them from mounting “Roll The Tape Episode 2: Nostalgic Nineties.”
The show which lasted for almost 30 minutes and aired at the UST Tiger TV Facebook page brought back all the feels of the 90s whether it be in film, pop culture, fashion and trends.
Hosted by Martin Alcantara, the second episode delved into reminiscing the 90s era by kicking off a segment entitled “Fast Forward” wherein they invited guests who’ll answer questions about the 90s. Questions like what comes to mind when you hear 90s, if there’s anything in the 90s they wish to go back to, what would it be?, who is the celebrity they think best embodies the 90s, what’s their favorite 90’s song, and what fashion trend they wish would come back.”
The highlight of the event is the one-on-one interview with the award-winning director, Raymond Red who shared impeccable notes on how the 90’s influenced the filmmaking industry today.
The independent filmmaker and producer, Direk Raymond Red shared that it really had a huge impact but tracing back, the film language remained its essence despite the fast changing technology.
“Madalas nating iniisip ang influence ng previous generation. I started making my full length movies in the 90s but I’ll be honest, I started filming in the 80s. But in the 90s, diyan nagsimula ang Internet. With the different technology, I would say that’s the biggest difference. The Internet really affected the culture.”
“Technology always affects the dissemination of pop culture. Hindi mawawala yung previous decades inspiring and influencing the next generations. In fact in my experience noon, nararamdaman ko na sometimes hindi tayo aware na ang lakas pala ng influence ng previous generation.”
Raymond Red also added that if film students and filmmakers will look at it as a cinema, as storytelling, the essence of filmmaking remains even up to this day.
“If you look at it as cinema, as storytelling, yung essence niya yun pa rin. You find your language and tell it in a more interesting way. Syempre the technology allows different ways of shooting it, like drone shots. Noon, kelangan mo pa talaga magrent ng helicopter. It's the technology driving that. Pag pinanood mo siya, you might feel na dated ang feel niya. Just look at it in a context in a time it was made. Ano bang nangyari noong panahon na ‘yun and mas maa-appreciate mo siya. Film language pa rin ang mas importante, and in a way yun ang hindi nagbabago.”
Truth be told, Roll The Tape: Episode 2 truly captured everyone’s hearts. In a time where things are just uncertain, a breather and a throwback to the 90’s have been perfect to relax and dive back on the decades that had passed.
To end their show with a bang, these communication students flaunted their acting prowess as they reenacted famous lines from movies and series of the 90s wherein the host and Direk Raymond had the chance to guess its movie titles.
Some of the featured films were, Marvin Agustin and Jolina Magdangal’s "Labs Kita...Okey Ka Lang?”, Vilma Santos’ “Bata...Bata...Paano ka Ginawa?”, Camille Prats and Jean Garcia’s “Sarah… Ang Munting Prinsesa,” and the hit american sitcom, “Friends.”
But just like anybody’s journey, Niche Studios has their own fair share of ups and downs. Mounting a show in a time of pandemic is undoubtedly more challenging.
“As the segment director, I oversee the editing, setting up the shoot for the guest and interviewees. The struggle came up with the structure of the show and the logistics needed. Sa show kasi, there’s this segment wherein we will show reenactment of 90’s TV shows and films and sobrang matrabaho siya kasi we have to look for talents, we have to edit and shoot at the same time. Then hiwalay pa ‘yung mag-rereact si guest doon sa na-edit namin sa segment na yun,” Ninna Villoria, the Segment Director shared.
She also added that working with a well-known guest is an added pressure to them. Not to mention, that they have to set up at least three to four records just to ensure they will get all the footage needed.
When it comes to penning the script, the Headwriter Cai Marquez, vividly recalled how he managed to come up with an engaging storyline.
“It’s my first time to be a head writer, so I tried to ask myself some questions in mind to see what I’m most interested in. Most of the media I’ve been exposed to was stuff from the 90s and early 2000s, and after that it just went black so all I know is just 90’s culture.”
Basically the questions that I wanted to ask are just random questions that I have in my head. Like, what are the things here in the 90s or how do these directors write their movies now when they have made some stuff in the 90s as well.”
I’m just curious as to whether or not they took some stuff they did in the 90s and still implement it now.
Meanwhile, when it comes to production expenses, Pasty Sios-e, the Executive Producer shared they actually had a concrete plan in order to minimize the production costs.
“When we came up with it, sinabi namin na as much as possible, we didn't want to spend a lot. Since we have a lot of guests, that’s a lot of tokens so inisip namin na humanap ng guests na hindi kami mapapa-spend ng marami. And at the same time, as much as possible hindi namin sila pinapagawa ng mahihirap na bagay, hangga’t kaya naming tulungan, we will do it. We tried to work on what we have. It’s like an inventory, what we have, what we can do with it, then we will go for it.”
Patsy also mentioned that they were also turned down by some people they invited for their episode because they felt like they weren’t fit for the show.
On the other hand, when it comes to the post production process, since they had to shoot virtually, they also had to manage their time wisely.
“There are some people who haven’t uploaded yet all the materials and there few missing parts. When it comes to editing, I had to do outlines of what it looks like so I can do the frames and some clips in. As soon as I get everything, the footage and all, then we start again working on it,” Thomas Huckstep, the Editor shared with the film dream.
“We are always on call from 8pm to 4am in the morning. After I had dinner, we just jumped into a zoom call and then go at it for the whole night. Sometimes you lose your mind for a little bit, but we get back on track as well. It is a fun experience and I like it, because it is editing. It is something I can control and have creative freedom in a sense,” he added.
Despite the sleepless nights and deadlines coming their way, what you would even admire from these talented students are their burning desire and passion. Indeed, creativity will never be locked down even in a time of pandemic.