TV actor and member of the popular dance group Hashtags McCoy de Leon is getting his big-screen break in “Instalado,” one of the entries in the ongoing 2017 ToFarm Film Festival.
Award-winning filmmaker Jason Paul Laxamana included McCoy—a mainstream actor—in the cast of his movie, “Instalado,” to ensure its success at the box office.
“I also take into account the film’s marketability. I do this in all of my films,” Laxamana said. “I make sure that there is balance, but this doesn’t mean that I got McCoy just because he’s famous. It’s also because he is a competent actor.”
Laxamana added: “This is his (McCoy’s) first film, and he is used to TV acting. What’s good about him is that he is humble enough to know that he still has a lot to learn. Given more film projects, I’m quite sure he will become a good actor. McCoy isn’t just another matinee idol.”
McCoy, meanwhile, said he has learned a lot from this experience, especially about farm life. “I got to tend a farm with a carabao. I realized that there is a different language used to communicate with carabaos in order for them to move forward, to lie down, or to stop. I also got to bathe one of them. It was amazing!”
In the movie, McCoy plays Victor, who lives in a time when the dominant form of education is through “installation”—a process wherein knowledge can be installed directly into people’s brains using technology owned by big corporations.
“They never took me seriously,” Laxamana said of the times when he would pitch his idea to do a science-fiction film to industry bigwigs. “Hopefully, if this becomes successful, producers would realize that there’s indeed a market for local sci-fi.”
Meanwile, filmmaker Tara Illenberger said the filming of “High Tide,” another ToFarm entry, in mangrove swamps with three children had been too dangerous that she demanded to have lifeguards on standby for her young actors.
“This was why when we were casting, we made sure to ask the kids if they knew how to swim and how good they were as swimmers,” she said.
“It was difficult to shoot in the swamps. We had to take into consideration not only the weather, but also the times when the tide was high or low. There were times, too, when we suffered from rashes because we were bitten by insects.”
“High Tide” tells of the story of Unyok, who lost both his parents to supertyphoon “Ising.” He also lost his ability to speak because of the incident.
The six ToFarm finalists each received a cash grant of P1.5 million. The festival will be screened until July 18 in cinemas at SM Megamall, SM Manila, Greenbelt Mall, Gateway Mall, Robinsons Galleria and Robinsons Metro East.
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