By By Pablo A. Tariman
Film collaboration according to Direk Ruel Bayani
posted 7-Jun-2018  ·  
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Derek Ramsay, Bea Alonzo and Paulo Avelino in "Kasal." Collaboration with Direk Ruel went very well.

By his own reckoning, his journey into filmmaking was bound to happen when he started from scratch learning the ropes of the trade.

He took up communication arts from the Ateneo de Manila, worked earlier with Charo Santos Concio’s Vision Films, got into all productions jobs including drama content, script continuity and head of business unit. For 28 years now, his life revolved around all aspects of film and TV production.

His last film outing was One More Try (2012) and No Other Woman (2011) and since he has become busy as head of the network’s business unit for drama, Kasal is his first major comeback as a director.

“I suppose this project comes at the right time when I came across a perfect material and was given the right cast for a story close to my heart,” Direk Ruel said.

He knew that there were two other Filipino films titled Kasal, foremost of which was Laurice Guillen’s earlier film of the same title. “I worked with Direk Laurice as script continuity assistant and I told her about this film which I said was different from her earlier output. I told her I can’t seem to find another word to pin down the complex story I want to tell. Kasal (wedding) means a lot to Filipinos and thus it has different appeal. It could mean a milestone in one’s life, it could be a source of dilemma or conflict and from all these associations, I decided Kasal is still the perfect title for my film.”

The director said the story of Lia (Bea Alonzo) and her wedding to a member of a political family represented by Paulo Avelino is a big journey into herself and a future life. “When another man (Derek Ramsay) from her past life comes back, complications set in. Suddenly there are new decisions to make, new deadlines to face and the new faces of truth (painful and unknown) she must contend with. Working on these characters is to me was a big challenge for me as a director and as storyteller.”

For him, getting familiar with the tools of filmmaking started very early. From assistant director to script continuity, he has logged in years of experience that enabled him to work as director and knowing his priorities. “Through the years, you imbibe this passion for filmmaking and come to terms with the hard work involved. Because it doesn’t just involve learning the technical things. You learn how to deal with people and how to get the best out of their talents. When you achieve a degree of success, you realize it comes from not giving up when confronted with obstacles. When you direct a wonderful cast such as what I have in Kasal, you wake up every morning feeling lucky and inspired.”

Bea finds Direk Ruel a generous person and a good co-worker. “You can ask him all kinds of questions regarding your character and you can tell him your own ideas even if he has something else in mind. He is one director so at home with process of collaboration.”

Derek says he finds the director a perfectionist. “Apart from that, he trusts his actors and welcomes all ideas coming from them. He can even scrap what was earlier outlined in favor of something that will work better. He also knows when actors tell him that it would be best to work on a scene the following day. Like I drove from Alabang to Pampanga for a night scene and I just felt I could not give my best if I shoot my scene right way. He agreed to postpone it for the following day without being upset. We talk about our roles all the time and how best to approach them. I admire him for that.”

Paulo likes the director for the same reasons that Bea and Derek feel about him. “With Direk Ruel, there is always raging debate on the set. He will welcome new ideas like playing around the lines and using dialogues we are comfortable with.”

Direk Ruel says he is proud of his new film. “The characters for one are a complex lot. And the portrayal needed will ask for some amount of daring from the actors. How to capture this on the big screen was a big challenge. I am truly happy my actors delivered exactly what my story needed.”

Kasal -- Star Cinema’s 25th anniversary offering -- opened in cinemas May 16.

Direk Ruel Bayani with cast of "Kasal." A perfect cast for a daring story.
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