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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.

Aug 21, 2017

Director Joel Ferrer Gets Mainstream Break Helming Vhong Navarro & Lovi Poe In Regal's Comedy, 'Woke Up Like This'

DIRECTOR JOEL (a contraction of John Elbert) Ferrer is an indie film director whose comedy about indecisions, “Baka Siguro Yata” starring Cherie Gil and Ricky Davao, won the audience award in Cinema One Filmfest two years ago and the best actor award for newcomer Dino Pastrano.

He also co-wrote the script of another Cinema One entry, “Blue Bustamante”, and directed the QCinema film about the coming of age of two high school students, “Hello World”. He has directed episodes of “Wattpad Presents” for TV5 and Jasmine Curtis Smith’s digital show about a vampire, “Forever Sucks”.

He’s now given the chance to direct his first mainstream rom-com, Regal’s “Woke Up Like This”, starring Vhong Navarro and Lovi Poe to open in theaters this Wednesday. So how is it directing big stars like Vhong and Lovi?  “At first, nakaka-intimidate,” he says. “But they prove to be very cooperative. Nakakapanibago rin kasi, sa indie, konti lang kami sa set, pero dito, about 200 people kami sa shooting. Medyo nakakagulat pero after a while, nasanay rin ako. I tried to involve everyone to be part of the process. Kami nina Vhong and Lovi, before we shoot a scene, I consult on their own ideas about how best to do the scene. Mas napapadali ang work ko kasi it becomes collaborative, lalo na kay Lovi kasi first time niya to do comedy, but it’s exciting to work with her kasi she’s willing to take risks. Marami siyang gugulatin dito as she’ll show na, kung gaano siya kagaling sa comedy, ganun din siya kahusay sa drama. Pareho sila rito ni Vhong na very successful. Si Vhong as a basketball player, si Lovi as a model, but both of them have become arrogant, selfish, kaya an old man, si Lou Veloso, pinagpalit sila ng katawan. Riot ang mga eksena nila na babae si Vhong at lalaki si Lovi. Sasakit ang tiyan nyo sa katatawa.”