- The director denied that Julia Barreto and Joshua Garcia’s controversy caused the film’s delayed release
Mikhail Red explained why the release date of his film Block Z was delayed. The zombie film, which stars Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia in the lead roles, was expected to premiere last year.
It’s release date was eventually moved to January 29, 2020.
The talented director explained that making the film was really a long process. “Actually kahit na para sa inyo natagalan kayo, para sa akin, as a filmmaker laging kulang yung oras. Like gusto pa namin laging i-polish ng i-polish. Para siyang painting na hindi natatapos pero eventually kailangan mo ipalabas. Lalo na pag genre, kailangan maraming oras yung post-prod kasi imagine niyo yung sound design at color. At saka even though pareho lang yung running time namin from a normal movie lika a drama film like kunwari 90 minutes, feeling ko ten times more shots kami. Just because zombie movie every shot is like one second. So kung titingnan niyo yung shot density ng movie, mas madaming kinukulayan yung colorist, mas madaming footsteps linalagay ng sound designer, so para kaming gumagawa ng ganun karaming films pero packed into one kasi mas madaming shots ang zombie movie,” he shared.
The director famed for his films Birdshot and Eerie added, “Imagine pag mag-shu-shoot ng attack scene sa classroom, so may papasok na zombies, matutumba yung mga upuan, malalagyan ng dugo yung blackboard tapos biglang take two. Lilinisan mo lahat yun, reset ka and then one angle lang yun. Eh paano kung seven angles tapos each angle four takes? So na-imagine niyo kung gaano kahirap yung zombie movie compared sa scene where there’s two people talking lang. Parang halos ibang job siya. Buti ang solid ng team talaga. Actually na-cardio yung mga cameraman kasi ang bigat ng dala niya. Pinapasa pa nga minsan yung camera para may round two. Medyo tricky siya. Pero ang fun gawin lalo na pag exciting yung shoot.”
The director also narrated the problems he encountered in making the first-ever Filipino zombie film. “Challenging siya kasi iba resources ng films dito kasi economy rin, iba audience natin so hindi natin kaya i-sustain yung mga World War Z budget kasi sila English language yun eh, nabenta nila yun sa buong mundo. Siyempre tayo Filipino film so limited yung audience so may mga scale restrictions. Yun yung challenge lagi pag filmmaker ka or artist in general. Hindi mo maiiwasan yung parameters. Kaya minsan kahit hindi ka nag-iisip outside the box, lagi ko sinasabi sa mga film students na when you keep thinking inside the box minsan nagiging mas creative ka. Eh galing ako dun eh. Nag-start ako indie film na budget ng mga short film ko P20,000 pesos tapos friends lang. So pag alam mong may limitations ka, sinusulat mo yung film mo around those limitations. Ano kayang story magagawa natin na mashu-shoot natin sa garage tapos props lang natin itong truck na ito? So dun pa lang na-te-train ka how to work around limitations and still be creative,” he explained.
Amidst the challenges he faced, Mikhail said he was thankful for the post-production team for helping him out.
“Sobrang hirap. Sobrang challenging pero buti talented din yung post prod team. Actually yung editor nito yung younger brother ko na lagi ko rin ka-work. Siya yung nag-edit ng Eerie at ng Dead Kids so sanay na siya sa language so exciting kasi pag pareho taste niyo. Frustrated audience kami ng kapatid so parang ginagawa namin yung mga movie na pinapangarap namin mapanuod na genre pero walang gumagawa so kami na lang gumawa muna (laughs),” he said.
Julia was accused of being the cause of the Gerald Anderson-Bea Alonzo breakup. She was also involved in the feud between her mother Marjorie and aunts Gretchen and Claudine Barretto.