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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fil-Am actor: 'Bourne Legacy' portrayed Pinoys as compassionate people


NEW YORK – In 2011, for three days, from October 10 through October 12, for 12 hours a day, memories, friendships, and experiences were forged that changed everyone’s lives. A casting call was placed for Filipinos in the New York area.
 
When 50 Filipino background actors responded to the call, they were not aware that filming for the next series in the Bourne franchise would be taking place.

We were told the title was “Marcher” and that it involved the Philippines. At first I thought na baka tungkol sa Filipino Marching Band. I am so glad I was wrong!
 
I received a call from Luis Pedron to see if I was interested to take part in a Hollywood movie being shot for three days in New York.

I was definitely interested to take part, as it would be my first time experiencing the big budget movie production process.

I found out later that it was a Universal Studios production. Of course I had an opportunity to visit Universal Studios in the 1980s but now, I was going to be involved as a background actor.

As a director of music videos, short films and involved with photo and video camera work, the Universal Studio process deeply intrigued me. Of course it was simply amazing!

Dozens of individuals formed the video and audio teams; they were perfectly synchronized
and coordinated by the directors on set. It was like an army tactically breaking down every detail and every scene according to the script.
 
Luis Pedron is a professional actor since 1990. He has taken part in many background acting opportunities. In the feature film that has grossed $41.3 million in its opening weekend, he served in various capacities with the production of Bourne Legacy.
 
First, Mr. Pedron was a background actor in the film. Second, he was called upon to help reach out to the Filipino community to find interested Filipinos to serve as background actors.

Finally, he also served as a translator to other Filipinos that needed help with the directors’ instructions. Luis appeared in two different scenes: The first was the boarding of the plane headed to the Philippines by Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) and Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel
Weisz).

The second was with the big Filipino contingent filmed at the New York Times printing press in College Point, New York.
 
Mr. Pedron was honored to be a part of the production because, “It was a rare opportunity to be a part of a historic movie featuring our country, the Philippines. We will not only see talents from the Philippines like John Arcilla and Lou Veloso  but also local ordinary people from the NYC area.”
 
Mary Joy Hans De Leon was happy to have “worked with dozens of ‘Pinoy professional actors here in the U.S.” and looks forward to working on a big budget project in the future.
 
Victor Palmos, having been a makeup artist to stars in the Philippines said he had an, “Amazing experiences working with the Hollywood stars and proud to be Filipino being part of the movie.”
 
The Filipinos watching the Bourne Legacy premiere in New York City definitely concurred that the coverage of Manila was positive.

Momar Visaya, editor in chief of the Asian Journal newspaper, said he was, “pleasantly surprised to see how the film treated the Philippines, Manila setting…especially with the noise of jeepneys [and] tricycles.”
 
Troi Santos remarked a very positive image of Manila was portrayed by saying it was, “colorful, the streets were clean…no garbage, infrastructure was solid, cops were well dressed, and very beautiful cop cars.”

He was surprised to learn that we have police motorcycles used in the Philippines.
 
Most importantly Mr. Santos saw that Filipinos were portrayed as a very
compassionate people.
 
The three days of filming translated to about a minute or so on the big screen.


Though none of our group made the final cut, we are confident to be part of the Director’s Cut or the DVD/BluRay disc version of Bourne Legacy.
 
Mr. Pedron summarized it best when saying, “With or without getting [featured in a] scene in the movie, we can proudly say that a few of us Pinoys were able to band together and collaborate with Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Tony Gilroy in creating the Hollywood Film called ‘The Bourne Legacy.’
 
After watching the premiere the Filipinos found the best part of the movie was when they heard, “Manila, Philippines” announced.

At the end of the day, it is more fun in the Philippines when the Bourne series was filmed there. Nothing can beat the beauty and serenity of the Philippines waters and islands in the
province of Palawan. Mr. Visaya agrees, and his favorite part of the film was the
finale filmed in Palawan. - VVP, GMA News

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