Those who grew up in or even just fans of the '90s would know how "She's Dating The Gangster" did a great job in achieving a retro feel in the movie. From Kenji (Daniel Padilla) and Athena's (Kathryn Bernardo) fashion to the arcade setting, everything looked like how they did in the '90s.
If you're curious how the production team made all these possible, we finally got to know the nitty-gritty of it as the crew themselves shared each and every element they used to achieve the theme. Did you spot all of them?
One of the things the '90s is known for is the distinct yet fashionable clothing style. Luckily, Kathryn and Daniel themselves are self-confessed fans of the era's fashion, making it easy for them to visualize the looks of their characters.
Associate Producer Leo Garcia and Production Designer Shari Montiague said they all agreed to show the distinct style of the '90s by using the classic Doc Martens boots and logo shirts.
Referring to the basketball scene, Leo shared, "Actually pati 'yung fans na pinapunta namin ni-require namin ng color na damit. Pati mga pang-'90s na effect ng damit, 'yun 'yung ni-require namin sa kanila."
Since the film features two different eras — the '90s Kenji and Athena and the present Kelay and Kenneth — Direk Cathy made use of her "trademark" wigs to distinguish their characters.
Kathryn revealed that it was in this movie where she and Daniel used the most wigs.
"Sa movie na 'to ang pinakamaraming wig namin ni DJ kasi iba 'yung wig namin doon sa isa, iba rin sa pangalawa. Tapos 'yung totoong buhok ko sa present, ginupitan 'yung hair ko. 'Yun 'yung shortest ko because of the role din so grabe yung wig dito sa movie. Pati si DJ noon naka-wig kami lahat so extra init siya," Kathryn recalled.
"Sabi nila 'yun daw 'yung lucky charm ni Direk Cathy so sige kunin natin lahat ng wig!" she added.
Perhaps Gen Z doesn't know about beepers anymore, but before there were mobile phones and tablets, these wireless devices were the means of communication back then. This device is also the reason why Kenji and Athena met and became close, after Kenji mistakenly messaged the wrong Athena.
"'Yung beeper talaga kasi 'yun 'yung na-connect sa story nila kasi kung wala 'yun, parang hindi sila nag-connect eh, so crucial talaga 'yun," Shari said.
Since there weren't any stores that sold beepers anymore in 2014, Shari revealed having to look for it in various places for the sake of the movie.
"Parang kung saan-saan kaming tindahan ata pumunta para makahanap, kasi ang hirap eh. Wala ka talagang makukuha. So online, at saka market place, sa Raon, kung saan-saan," she revealed.
4. Skateboard and Gangsters
While skateboarding is still popular today, it gained prominence in the '90s, hence the inclusion in the film.
"Nag-aral silang lahat [mag-skateboard]. Pati kasi 'yung ibang support, ni-require ni Direk na marunong mag-skateboard. Though ang nagpahirap talaga d'yan sa'tin sa scene is pababa 'di ba, may instant ramp," Leo recalled.
Direk Cathy also believed the same when it came to gangsters, which were more of a '90s thing.
"May luma factor 'yung gangster kasi nowadays, 'di naman na siya uso. I think that’s a reason why nagkaroon ng ganoong idea that in the past, it happened before," she said.
To complete the overall '90s setting, the team made sure to include these four elements — the arcade, photobooth, a '90s car, and billiards.
It was also in the movie that Daniel first learned how to drive a manual car.
"At least ‘di ba sa pelikula may matututunan na bagong bagay. Kagaya niyan, diyan ako natututo magmaneho ng manual na auto. Wala naman kaming auto dati. Diyan lang ako naturuan. Nakaka-pressure siyempre bago ka lang na natuto tapos may naka-mount na camera sa kotse. Nakakatakot na magkamali. Mahal yung camera, mas mahal pa dun sa auto," Daniel recalled.
Direk Dan believes "She's Dating The Gangster" is his best work as a cinematographer, and we totally understand why! The overall vibe of the film wouldn't be achieved if not for the nostalgic lighting he used for the scenes.
With the '90s flick “Legends of the Fall” as his inspo, Direk said he just played with the warm tones of the lights.
"Super happy ako na pinabayaan ako ni Direk (Cathy) maglaro dito for the past. Parang paglaruan mo basta warm tones, tapos very nostalgic dapat 'yung feeling. Wala talaga akong super peg, parang we just tried to approximate the warmth," Direk Dan shared.
"For the flashback scenes, parang dapat every scene, perpetual sunset, Pinakita ko 'to ['yung 'Legends of the Fall'] kay Direk Cathy para if ever 'yung flashback parati siyang sunset. Ganon dapat 'yung feeling niya."
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