Ever since his childhood days, Lance Lozano had been immersed in the world of films. Growing up, together with his father, he would watch CDs of different movies all the time. This would be the biggest influence as to how Lance's love for films turned into his very dream.
Now at 22 years old, this AB Communications student from Cavite has worked on several films and series, and even established his own production house called "Red Flags."
Conceptualized last November 2020 during the global pandemic, Lance shared his observations on how during those times, people are switching to the digital world. He reached out to his batchmates from Colegio San Agustin - Biñan about starting the production group, proposing the how's and needs to do so. "Ang daming naging process na naasikaso naman, pero at a certain point nag stop ng saglit kasi nga ang dami naming ginagawa sa buhay," Lance explained.
Despite the challenging situation brought by the pandemic, Lance, together with Kate Jermina (22, BS Information Technology graduate), and Christine Andes (22, BA Communication graduate) had officially formed Red Flags by 2021. In February, they were able to produce a short film titled "360" which revolved around two sisters who no longer had their parents, and how the older one provides for them while only earning "360” pesos a day.
BTS Photos in their Film Production
A mix of fiction and documentary, the film called for them to do further research and they were surprised to learn about the unjust minimum wages and provincial rates. Lance then aimed to express this further in the film, wanting to show everyone the reality Filipinos are faced with today.
Originally a passion project to start up the new production house, 360 was also entered at the Ortigas Vertical Contest, as the whole movie was shot in a vertical aspect ratio. Lance was also quick to observe about how vertical filmmaking was also beginning an era, "Ang dami na ding nagsisilabasan na ganyang film competition, kahit international like Nespresso. Pinapalawak na ang pag gamit ng phones for vertical film making kasi andyan na yan eh, nasa bulsa natin."
This month, Red Flags are placing attention on their social media page on Facebook. "Isang goal is to educate people. 'Yung gagawin namin this September sa mga upcoming posts namin, magpopost kami ng something like tutorials on film making, post things about film na kailangan malaman ng tao, na sobrang essential [with filmmaking]." Lance shared.
Another goal that their team has been aiming for is to make their films available to everyone. "Hindi ako papayag na hindi mapapanood ng mga tao yung films," Lance added, mentioning his adoration for Third Cinema, a movement denouncing the use of cinema solely for making money. He envisions creating films with stories about the people, open for everyone to view, listen to, be aware of. "Para hindi nage-gatekeep yung mga tao sa information na ang nakakakuha lang madalas ay middle class people like us."
He also aims to influence other filmmakers into the similar cause, firmly believing this will be a great contribution to the industry. "Kaya niyo 'to, kasi the more na gagawin natin to, na gagawin nating mas available sa mga tao yung mga pelikula natin, the more na magfoflourish ang Philippine Cinema."
As for the group themselves, Lance explained that the production house, having 9 members currently, is a mix of both graduates and students - each with their own special skills. "Ako as the director, EP, and also editor. Kate naga-assistant director and EP din, Cristine is our writer. Mayroon kaming 3rd year communications student na sumasama din sa prod, more on camerawork. May isa, she is an IT student na graduating na, most ng ginagawa niya is sort of like, all-around, production assistant."
Despite having different courses and lines of work, Lance was confident while forming the group. "Hinandpick ko talaga sila based sa mga specialties nila. Sa film production hindi lang naman yan all about sa shooting and editing, andyan din 'yung money, yung pagpo-produce, kung paano magdistribute, yung sa accounting din kailangan din yun ng group." He explained. "And sobrang passionate din nila sa ginagawa namin. Ang sarap lang sa feeling na sobrang go sila."
When asked why the production house is named so, Lance told The Film Dream about how it was first inspired by a stereotype trait of a zodiac sign - Sagittarius. "Ang sinasabi nila doon sa fb group [Zodiac Sign Trashtalkan] na yun, ay yung mga Sagitarius daw ay red flag, sila daw yung palaging may problema, palaging nang iiwan." While it doesn't sound appealing, Lance viewed it from a different perspective, and quite a fitting opportunity. "Kaming tatlong heads, puro Sagittarius."
Viewing the term as already familiar to most, Lance explains how "red flags'' will actually ignite attention. "Di'ba 'yung red flags, it should be noticed agad agad? Para magawan mo ng solusyon, para hindi na sumakit ‘yung ulo mo." As a team of filmmakers, Lance is indeed correct - their passion and drive in filmmaking should be noticed, should be recognized.
STUDIES AND FREELANCING
Even before Red Flags, Lance had been occupied with the audio-visual productions. In school, being in the AB Communication program, they would enter competitions such as AdSpeak - even landing 1st runner up last 2019.
However, due to financial matters, Lance put a hold on his studies to give way for his sister's education. "To help sa tuition fees ng kapatid ko, nag stop na lang muna ako and may natatanggap din naman ako na mga projects, to support our family."
The learning didn't stop though, as Lance ventured into freelance productions of all sorts, covering for events, making promotional videos for small businesses, being a photographer at birthday parties, baptisms, weddings, and even memorial services.
In one gig, he was hired as an editor on a boys love television series titled "My Extraordinary," which was aired on TV5, and other online platforms. It was this project as well that got him nominated as Best Editor from Pinoy Boys Love Awards. While it was an achievement, Lance was still humbled and almost in disbelief.
"Para akong nangliliit. Puro mga established editors mga 'to, na ako na 21 year old na kaka-edit lang ng first TV series niya, tapos nakapasok ako!"
Of course, even with having more experience than most fresh graduates, Lance yearns to finish his studies the next year. “I'm really planning to take a filmmaking course pa, maybe sa UP Diliman or Asia Pacific Film Institute, kasi sobrang hungry ako matuto.” Lance urged, remembering his father’s advice to him: “Kahit tumanda ka pa, natututo ka pa din, hindi mo masasabi sa sarili mo na alam mo na yung lahat.”
BISITA KO'Y PANGUNGULILA
When asked what is his proudest work, Lance shared the Red Flag’s second film - Bisita Ko’y Pangungulila. Lance explained that from start to finish, the project was given full efforts and time.
The script originated from a casual talk between Lance and Christine last May of 2020, with Red Flags yet to be created. Christine shared her personal struggles, and from here Lance had an idea. “Kasi writer siya, she’s writing poems. Gusto ko gumawa ng screenplay, yung poem niya, yun yung magiging source material ko.” Cristine composed the poem, and once Lance read it, the very burst of inspiration came to him.
Bisita Ko’y Pangungulila is about a frustrated writer struggling to win against a writer’s block. The question stands, would she be able to reunite with her passion again? As part of a fund-raising event, the film was streamed online and is still available to be viewed today.
INFLUENCE AND INSPIRATION
When asked whom Lance looks up to, his response is instant. “The one person I really look up to is my dad.” Louie Lozano was a man of theatre and film, playing as “Yoyo” from a 90s educational kid’s television show, “Boyoyong” where he also worked with Ariel “Jose” Manalo.
Lance took great pride in his father’s accomplishments. Sir Louie had his hand in the entertainment industry, being an acting coach for a young Carlo Aquino and worked with several actors including Sylvia Sanchez.
“Ang dami niya ring mga shows na napuntahan,” Lance shared. “Kasi nga the Boyoyongs are a set of clowns na nagpro-produce ng value-oriented show. Pumupunta sila ng schools dati, nakapagperform na din sila sa Folk Arts Theatre, CCP, PICC, Cebu Coliseum, Cuneta Astrodome, Araneta Coliseum.”
All these truly inspired and motivated Lance to become an established filmmaker, with a long-term goal in mind to honor his greatest mentor. “I’ll make sure na makikita ng mga bata si Whoops sa TV, or better on the big screen,” he declared. His father enthusiastically worked as a clown named, “Whoops,” and Lance wanted to continue his dad’s legacy in preserving that craft. With the magic of clowns diminishing among kids, Lance had this to promise: “Magkaroon ulit ng educational show ang clowns, na ang mag-spearhead ay si Whoops.”
To give a piece of inspiration as well, Lance directs this message to fellow aspiring filmmakers: “Never lose hope, and kahit mainip kayo sa process, kailangan ng mahabang pasensya.” He also advises to be surrounded by people who share the same passion, and drive to create something meaningful.
“Isa pang message ko is to help din, yung mga minorities natin,” he added. Keeping the values taught to him by his father, Lance strongly encourages filmmakers to use this medium to make people aware of stories that are mostly unheard of because they deserve to be given the attention, and needs to be made known.
Be sure to check out Red Flags on FACEBOOK, as they’ll also be actively celebrating Philippine Film Industry Month.