Directors Lester Pimentel and Richard Arellano shared with the press last March 15 how they prepared for the fantaserye “Bagani."
“We are fortunate kasi naging part kami ng project na ‘to,” Direk Lester said. “[At] nabigyan kami ng oras para makapaghanda.”
“When the project was first conceptualized, we sat down and thought about it,” he continued. “Nakita ko na parang when it comes to action, parang wala tayong available talent here in the Philippines to execute this idea of ‘napakalaki,’ ‘napakahirap.’”
Despite that, Direk Lester said the Kapamilya network gave them enough time to find the people they need and train them enough to make the show happen.
“Ang maganda naman sa opportunity na ibinigay ng ABS-CBN, binigyan kami ng budget tsaka panahon para hanapin ang mga artista na gaganap, at mga supporting actors - for example, stuntmen, mga talents. So binigyan kami ng tamang panahon para isanay sila,” he said.
He furthered, “Naging enough ‘yung time to prepare them, to train them, which in most cases here in the Philippines, hindi nabibigyan ng tamang opportunity to do that. So ‘yun ‘yung isang malaking game changer because we were able to train them.”
When asked if they’ve had problems with budgeting or time to shoot the show now that it’s started to air, Direk Lester said, “Hindi, kasi we were able to start this whole series nang maaga. We started shooting this since last year, February, I think. So we have more than a year of preparation.”
“Shooting [started] one year ago, but [the] pre-production process started mid-2016,” he continued. “Sa budget, very, very supportive ang ABS-CBN. Kung ano ang kailangan, kung ano ang nararapat ay ibinibigay nila para sa quality at sa ikagaganda ng aming project.”
The press inquired about the sets as they are very big and detailed. Each region notably has its own distinct look and charm that can’t help but catch the viewer’s eye. Direk Richard revealed that they actually moved from Ilocos Norte to Bulacan in the course of their production, rebuilding the sets in their new location.
“The villages or the regions that we built was built in, initially, in Ilocos Norte. Different places in Ilocos Norte. ‘Yun ‘yung sinimulan naming mga regions, mga sets,” he said. “Sa ngayon, we moved the place here, somewhere near Metro Manila. Somewhere in Bulacan. We built another set.”
And as for the cast, Direk Richard clarified that none of the actors cast were chosen for their looks but rather how they would fit the role.
“Lahat naman sila magaganda pero wala naman pong pinipiling itsura ‘yung mga karakter,” he said. “Pero mas maganda lang po siguro kung attractive tingnan ‘yung mga characters po. Siguro ‘yung attraction po, hindi lang po sa physical. It’s ‘yung heart ng character mo, tinitingnan po namin dito.”
“Bagani” stars Liza Soberano, Matteo Guidicelli, Makisig Morales, Sofia Andres, and Enrique Gil. It airs weeknights on Primetime Bida after “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”