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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 9, 2016

Acclaimed Erik Matti Film Of 2013, 'On The Job', Will Soon Be A Star-Studded TV Series Available On Video-On-Demand HOOQ

‘ON THE JOB’ about corruption among cops is one of the best films of 2013. It won international acclaim, including some best actor awards for Joel Torre in his role as a convict who secretly works as a hired killed. Director Erik Matti now gets to do its sequel as a six-episode mini-series for a new format on HOOQ, Asia’s first and biggest video-on-demand service who’ll release it not just locally but also in its other markets abroad like India, Thailand and Indonesia.

The story is quite complicated with many characters. The cast is big and its members were introduced in the HOOQ presscon for “On the Job, The Series” at B Hotel’s Tent last Tuesday. The show has three main settings: the town of La Paz, the big city of Manila, and the jail where convicted prisoners are used as hired killers.

The story starts with Christopher de Leon as the publisher of a local newspaper who rejects the story of a writer, theater actor Teroy Guzman as Sisoy, the paid hack of a powerful political family. This leads to the killing of 8 journalists who mysteriously disappear, but were actually killed and buried on Christmas Eve (shades of the Ampatuan massacre). Bela Padilla as Pam, an honest and hard hitting journalist, then goes to La Paz from Manila to investigate the case.

Also in the cast are Leo Martinez who reprises his role as Gen. Pacheco from the original film, Dominic Ochoa as the son of a powerful politician with a big secret, Jake Macapagal as Nato the middleman (similar to the role of Vivian Velez in the movie), Smokey Manaloto as a corrupt cop, Ria Atayde and Nafa Hilario Cruz as the daughters of Sisoy, Renz Fernandez as a convicted killer named Jek, Levi Ignacio as a prison boss and Arjo Atayde as a former journalist who becomes a congressman. Also in the cast but didn’t make it to the presscon are Neil Ryan Sese as a hired gun named Roman and danseur turned actor Nonoy Froilan.

It’s HOOQ’s plan to finish shooting all the six episodes and then release it for viewing in one blow, which is what Netflix is now doing for its series like the big hits “Stranger Things”, “House of Cards” and “Narcos”. “It will be shown for free to HOOQ subscribers,” says HOOQ Chief Content Office Krishnan Rajagopalan. “When HOOQ was launched in January 2015 in partnership with Globe Studios, our catalogue just showed programs from GMA, ABS-CBN, Viva and Regal. Now, we’re taking the next big step by producing our own original content with ‘On the Job, the Series’ in partnership with Reality Entertainment, It is the perfect choice given the huge success of the original movie.”

“We in Reality Entertainment are really excited with this project,” says Director-Producer Erik Matti. “Creating a mini-series for video-in-demand is a new challenge for us that will give us the chance to explore new, unique materials that will pull in viewers who are tired of watching the usual stuff on TV. We promise to come up with something new that will be truly worth watching.”

Erik has also just finished a new horror-thriller which they entered in the Metro-Manila Filmfest, “Seklusyon”, about four young priests who are brought to a secluded place to prevent them from being tempted by the devil. These are Dominic Roque, Ronnie Alonte, Johnvic Guzman and JR Versales. What they don’t know is they will encounter a young girl, Red Bustamante, who is brought to the same place and she can be the personification of evil. Kasama rin dito sina Neil Ryan Sese and Lou Veloso.”

Here’s hoping “On the Job, The Series” will be a hit and that “Seklusyon” will make it as a final entry in the MMFF.