“Since I was young, I always wanted to be in the entertainment industry, in any capacity,” said Angelo of his lifelong passion, born out of a fascination for TV shows and movies while growing up. “You’re basically working on something out of your mind, and then being able to see it influence others in a hopefully positive way.”
Since he finished his digital filmmaking course at Bigfoot in 2008, Angelo hasn’t stopped doing production work. In Cebu, he did promotional videos and TV commercials for Metro Ayala, Parklane Hotel and Island Paints.
He partnered with Peter Mancao to submit short films for the Sinulog Film Festival, and the duo won Best Picture for The Portrait in 2009 and Best Screenplay for Biyahe in 2011. Angelo got his first feeling of accomplishment when a woman made it a point to approach him after a screening for Biyahe in SM City Cebu and told him the movie really captured how it feels to leave loved ones. Here, “I felt I was on the right track, being able to influence and inspire others,” said Angelo. “Getting recognized for it was just an added bonus.”
The 25-year-old filmmaker continues to pursue his dream of directing or producing TV shows and movies. Although being a producer is perhaps more work than writing or directing, Angelo enjoys it the most. “The producer is there from the beginning to the end [of a project], from casting and budgeting to coordination behind the scenes,” Angelo said. “If something goes wrong, the producer has to have a quick solution.”
Last month, Angelo earned his Film Directing certificate with distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In the year and a half that he has been in L.A., a short movie that he wrote, directed and produced, An Opening to Closure, received a special citation at the 2014 Los Angeles LiftOff international film festival. The 13-minute movie also got screened at the Asians on Film, Hollyshorts and Las Vegas LiftOff film festivals, all within this year.
Situating himself near Hollywood has given Angelo opportunities like meeting the lead actor Miles Teller and director Damien Chazelle of one of his favorite movies, Whiplash, during the screening. He also got the chance to meet other big names in show business, including Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal, Tom Felton and Gone Girl director David Fincher.
He’s currently doing post-production work on his UCLA thesis film and first L.A. project, The Listening Room, and writing a new film that he hopes to start shooting in August, while applying to internships.
“One thing I realized with filmmaking through the years: Never be discouraged by anyone who says your idea is either too simple or too ambitious. I say go with your gut feel,” Angelo said of pursuing filmmaking. “There’s not a lot of things in this world that’s more magical than seeing what was once just part of your imagination come to life on the screen.”
Passion for filmmaking
The Philippine Star | November 29, 2009 | by Jen Vega
Lifted from http://www.philstar.com/cebu-lifestyle/527529/passion-filmmaking
The heavy downpour the day before Typhoon Ondoy ravaged Metro Manila brought good vibes for the dynamic tandem of Peter Ian Mancao and Angelo Agojo, who won in the “Best about C2 Life: Video Making Contest.”
In this lifetime where options come in flashes of colors, choosing one’s passion is still utterly rewarding. Although Peter and Angelo took up computer programming courses in college, both returned to their passion, to what they love best – filmmaking. “We’re trying to establish that we’re starting our own company,” an ambitious statement from 21-year-old Computer Applications graduate from De Lasalle College of St. Benilde, Angelo. To anyone who works hard, there’s no other way to go than up; definitely this dynamic duo is already building steps to get there.
Peter, a graduate of Management Systems at the Ateneo de Manila University, is a native of Cebu. His uncle owns a production house (Pacific Video) that did various shows way back. His fetish for commercials and MTVs made him hangout more with his uncle. “I’ve been doing this (filmmaking) for more than 10 years. I’ve worked with production houses before, commercials in Manila and audio productions,” quipped Peter.
After college graduation, both held on to their first love and went to the prestigious International Academy of Film and Television (in Mactan) to study filmmaking. Their paths crossed in IAFT while they partnered in a handful of projects. During internship, they’ve participated in different TVC productions such as that of Mall of Asia, Nesvita, Nescafe (Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson), among others. And in August 2008, they finally earned their film degree. There was no stopping for them, hence they continued their workflow.
Angelo, whose interests are more on movies and graphic design, produces the materials and writes scripts while Peter’s call is on cinematography, directing, music scoring and editing; however, conceptualization is team effort. Their short film “The Portrait” bagged the Best Picture award at the 2009 Sinulog Short Film Festival, where they also took home Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Screenplay awards.
Their documentary “Colors in Motion” previously won Best Cinematography at the 2008 Sinulog Short Film and was at the same time hailed Best Documentary by the US magazine Videomaker at the 2008 Videomaker/Canon Best Short Video Contest.
Their film career was taken a notch higher when their short films earned international screenings. A comedy piece on the rivalry of identical twin brothers over the same love interest entitled “Duplicate, Complicate” was screened in Vancouver, Canada for the 2009 YoungCuts International Film Festival. Peter’s thesis film “Melody” that won Best Student Thesis during their graduation was screened in Korea, Czech Republic and USA independent film fests. It’s a short drama film about a girl’s wish of realizing her gift of music. Now, that’s a lot!
TVCs like Metro Gaisano’s 12 Wishes for Christmas, Island Paint’s “Prima,” Metro Gaisano’s Wish Upon A Car and Cebu Parklane International Hotel were products of their ingenuity. Aside from TVCs and short films, they also develop audio-visual presentations for corporate clients, product trainings and international conventions for Cebu and Manila clients – clients that they earned through word of mouth.
Out of the 66 entries for the C2 music video contest, their entry “Experience the C2 Life!” mirrors their youthful creativity in collectively putting together a montage of the best things in life – career, passion, love, friendship and self-fulfilment. The “rain scene” where a woman is shown enjoying the rain simply evokes sheer joy and is classic. The video was shot in Manila and Cebu particularly at Montebello Garden Hotel, Parklane International Hotel and in a prime spot of the metro. They got their friends to be the talents so there was no need for talent fees, which Angelo indentified as the biggest cost for production. They took home the P150,000 prize and P20,000 worth of C2 products. They gave out C2 products to their friends involved in the production as talent fees.
Peter takes inspiration from soundtracks and music videos while Angelo’s are anything and everything about life. “The best about it (filmmaking) is to be able to do what we enjoy and something we love to do. Everyone has creative potentials, whether we like it or not. We have ideas but only a select few have tools. We are privileged that we have access to tools and education, while at the same time, earning from it,” concluded Peter.
The duo was formally introduced to the media and members of Skal Cebu during the Skal Cebu Grand Membership Meeting last November 10 at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel in preparation for the 39th Asian Skal Congress on May 27 to 30, 2010 at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa. The congress will be attended by Skal International members from Asia, Europe and America.