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No Sugarcoating: Lumetri Productions’ Talented Filmmaking Trio

Edrian Cabudbud, Director/Writer

1st Year Broadcasting Student at Polytechnic University of the Philippines

“Napaisip ako ngayon, ano nga ba ‘yung nagtutulak sakin para magpatuloy. My answer, I’d say nakaangkla siya sa pinag-ugatan ng buhay ko. Bata pa lang ako, mahilig na ako magbasa ng books at novels. Nung elementary and high school naging parte ako ng journalism club doon ako nahasa technically and creatively. Nung senior high school ako, may isa akong classmate na nag-introduce sakin ng filmmaking. Nung nag-grade 12 kami, nung nabuo ang Lumetri, doon mas nag-intensify na gumawa ng pelikula. Mahirap man, narealize ko lang na kailangan mo lang talaga mahanap yung mga tamang tao. Yung mga tao na sasabay sayo with the same speed, na sasabay sa vision mo at mga taong kayang sumabay sa gustong mong tahakin.”

Geirrel Pelagio, Cinematographer/Film Editor

1st Year Multimedia Arts Student from Far Eastern University

“When I heard about Lumetri Productions, which means “to colorize monochrome ideas.” Nung marinig ko yun, sumakto sa lahat ng gusto kong mangyari. Para sakin, kaya ko tinutuloy kasi gusto kong mag-film at gusto kong magkwento. Sobrang simple lang pero gustong-gusto ko lang magkwento, mahirap man o madali. At sila (Lumetri Productions) ang kasama ko para matuloy ang pangarap na ‘yun.”

Ian Abenir, Film Actor

1st Year Digital Filmmaking Student from Far Eastern University

“Nakikita ko yung generation namin na karamihan ay may lack of information, lack of knowledge sa mga tao sa paligid. Gusto namin sila i-enlighten sa ibang side na hindi nila nakikita. Gusto namin na marealize nila na i-appreciate ang little things na hindi pala kaya ng ibang tao.”

There is no sugarcoating for Lumetri Productions. In fact, an almost two hours of conversation with the creative masterminds of their media house would probably be one of the most honest interviews I have ever done.

It was around 8 in the evening of May 25 when I had the chance to meet Edrian Cabudbud, Geirrel Pelagio and Ian Abenir. These trio worked wonders for their film entitled, “Sugarcoat” which was their entry to the Anak ng Pinoy Youth Organization Film Festival.

As a starting media house, winning fifth best picture among all the entries participated by different universities and schools in the country is a huge feat already. But what I even admire about them is their burning passion and honesty.

From the film title itself, the film “Sugarcoat '' circles on the different faces of sugar coating especially in politics, faith and even in personal relationships. This is not the typical film you’d see because it is anchored on spoken poetry written by Edrian himself who also served as the Director of their film.

“Probably, our target audience is the youth and Gen-Z’s. Malapit na ang 2022 and we aim to encourage them to register to vote. We need to be enlightened on how we vote, on who to vote, at kung sino dapat ang mga nakaupo sa posisyon.”

“Nung ginawa namin yung film na ‘yun, it is really about the upcoming elections but it would be masyadong direct if pinakita namin agad. So we use metaphor, any figure of speech and naisip ko agad is candies. Nakaupo lang ako noon sa tindahan namin, and nakita ko na pwede yun. Then I saw old campaign posters from the previous elections so sinimulan ko magsulat about the elections and the social responsibility of the youth to partake kung sinong susunod na uupo sa pwesto.”

Truth be told, their film is indeed timely and relevant. But behind their powerful narrative is a heartfelt story of young filmmakers who withstood all the challenges of film production just to make their vision come into reality.

Joining a film festival is no walk in the park at all. Bluntly speaking, it really takes a lot of preparation. Not to mention, resources to execute their creative vision. But what will surprise you is the fact that Lumetri Production spent only 2 grueling days to finally submit their entry to the first ever Anak ng Pinoy Org Film Fest.

From all the twists and turns of their filmmaking journey, they finally decided to give it a go two days before the deadline so their team had to shoot for one day and then edit the next day.

To be honest, I was quite surprised how in the world they managed to pull it off but Edrian happily recalled the reason why they pushed through.

“Tinuloy po talaga namin dahil sa cash prize. Malaki po talaga yung cash prize. Sa production namin, since hindi kami ganun ka- privilege, isa sa pinaka-problem po namin ever since is financial. Kasi as a starting independent production team kailangan namin ng equipment like lights, cables, microphones, transmitter receivers in shooting. Kaya kung halimbawa may contest or film festival, hindi lang bragging rights ang makukuha namin, yung meron talagang cash prize, sinusubukan talaga namin.”

“Kung sakaling magkakaroon kami ng pera, magagamit namin ‘yun for next film para makabili ng gamit.”

Maybe, you’re also wondering now how these young filmmakers did all the magic just to finish their film. The film editor/cinematographer, Geirrel Pelagio, confessed that it was all about resourcefulness and taking risks.

“Yung camera na ginamit ay sakin, for background music and background noise phone ko lang din ginamit namin and earphones as our microphone. When it comes to the lighting, we used the lighting equipment we won as prize in our previous film competition. Yun lang po ginamit namin. ”

From that moment, I realized that nothing can really stop an ambitious production team who has all the necessary skills and talent. They might not have the right equipment now and the resources to elevate their production quality, but I am certain, a bright future awaits them. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they’ll make it big. After all, their dreams alone are more than enough to keep going and make things happen.

Deep inside, I really felt quite emotional hearing their stories but all I saw from Edrian, Geirrel and Ian are hopeful and optimistic faces. Nothing can stop them really in penning more stories and creating films that inspire, influence and tell the truth.

With their passion and talent, Lumetri Productions’ Edrian, Geirrel and Ian will surely go places. No sugarcoating.



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