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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, 2022



                                   DIRECTOR PAUL BASINILLO of 'THE ESCORT WIFE'

                              'THE ESCORT WIFE' STARS AVA MENDEZ AND JANELLE TEE

DIRECTOR PAUL BASINILLO studied film in UP while working as a waiter and messenger. 

He later worked as an art director, becoming the youngest creative director in a top ad agency. 

He then branched out to directing TV commercials that even won awards abroad. 

He next directed concerts for Viva, like Sarah Geronimo’s 23/SG, Kilometro and Tala concerts. 

He continued to hone his directorial skills on TV with such shows as “Tabi Po” and “Kagat ng Dilim”, and with the movie “Indak”, a dance musical starring Nadine Lustre.

He calls himself a multi-media director since he directs for TV, stage and now he helms his second movie, “The Escort Wife”, to be shown on Vivamax starting September 22. How did he get the project?

“Yam Laranas wrote its script and is also the creative producer,” he says. “He was my teacher then in UP, so we’ve known each other for a long time. 

"He gave me the script, bagay raw sa akin. I read it and we started brainstorming right away. He gave me all the creative freedom to direct it. 

"He basically let me be, but we’re really guided by his beautiful script.”

The film is about a bored housewife (Janelle Tee) who learns her husband (Raymond Bagatsing) is cheating on her so, to get even, she becomes an escort girl. 

Didn’t he have a hard time doing a sexy film after he did a wholesome dance film before? 

“Surprisingly, hindi naman ako nanibago at all, kasi I’ve done some sexy scenes before, but they were censored kasi they’re to be shown on TV. 

"With the help of Direk Yam, nagawa naman namin nang maayos ang sexy scenes. He also helped me gain more skill in directing the actors.”

Since this is a drama, how did he guide his actors in the emotional scenes? 

“It’s a collaboration with my actors, specially sa scenes na mahirap i-execute. 

"I made it clear that they will have to be in touch with their inner selves, kasi the movie has characters that we don’t normally encounter, like the bored housewife who turns to prostitution.”

Did he research on real escort girls for the movie? 

“Actually, this is inspired by the true story of a doctor whose wife all of a sudden umaalis, and yun pala, escort girl na. This happened in the US and is actually based on the news. 

"We also talked to real life escorts and hindi natin sila dapat basta husgahan kasi it just so happened na yun ang trabaho nila. 

"Iba-iba ang levels ng pagiging escort, may high end, may middle income and applicable siya sa ating culture.”

So how is it working with his stars, notably Raymond, Janelle and Ava? 

“We have a happy set as everyone is very professional. Maraming heavy scenes, specially for Janelle, and after a very heavy scene, we ordered frozen yogourt to celebrate. 

"The movie required both drama and sexiness, but it’s really more the psychology behind the characers that we’d like to share with everyone so they can have a better understanding of escort girls.”