Direk Perci keeps busy

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Has two films out in November

TELEVISION and film producer and director Percival M. Intalan is a busy man — he released two very different films back-to-back in November. Now streaming on Vivamax Plus is the horror film LiveScream while the romantic comedy Mahal Kita, Beksman premieres in theaters this weekend.

LiveScream wrapped up in February, Mahal Kita, Beksman was completed in June.

He is currently working on three projects in post-production which are scheduled for release in 2023.

Released on Nov. 9, LiveScream follows a prankster who finds himself trapped in a dark room. Things turn bloody when a masked figure gives him instructions to use a torture wall or else his loved ones will suffer. It stars Elijah Canlas, Phoebe Walker, and Kat Dovey.

LiveScream is Mr. Intalan’s first slasher horror movie, inspired by the Japanese thriller Audition (1999).

“Marami kaming gustong gawin pero nagsisimula pa lang kami sa slasher (We wanted to do many things but we were just starting with slasher films). So, I toned it down to leave more to the imagination [of the audience],” he said at a press lunch on Nov. 9 in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

“I’m so excited for this idea na slasher kasi tao iyung kalaban eh (the enemy is a person). Bihira gawin sa atin (It is rarely done in the Philippines),” he said, noting that in most Pinoy horror, the antagonist is supernatural.

The film was shot in the same location in Pililia, Rizal where Erik Matti’s Seklusyon was shot.

With directing his own horror films, Mr. Intalan is able to confront his fears, he said. “The horror films are based on my fears kasi takot ako sa horror (because I am scared of horror films).”

Aside from being the producer of the popular online series Gameboys (2020), Mr. Intalan directed full-length feature films Unforgettable, Distance, My Fairy Tail Love Story, and Dementia, and the TV series Born Beautiful, and produced the films Bwakaw, Barber’s Tales, I Love You With All My Hypothalamus, and box-office hits such as The Panti Sisters, Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes, and Die Beautiful. According to his IMDB bio, he has produced over 24 films with all the major Philippine studios.

Before co-founding the content creation company, The IdeaFirst Company, Mr. Intalan worked with GMA Network Inc., with the Walt Disney Co. as executive producer and production manager, and TV5 (Associated Broadcasting Company) where he was Vice-President for Creative Services before becoming the network’s Head of Entertainment.

The romantic comedy Mahal Kita, Beksman follows Dali (played by the brilliant Christian Bables), a fashion designer and makeup artist whom everyone assumes is gay — until he falls in love with a girl named Angel (Iana Bernardez). He then deals with everyone’s confusion, including that of his parents, at finding out that he is a straight man. The film also stars Keempee De Leon and Katya Santos.

Mr. Intalan said that the romantic comedy was inspired by his childhood.

“I was in high school [where] my friends were all openly gay. Pero nanligaw ako tapos naloka sila,” he said, explaining that his friends were surprised when he pursued a girl on whom he had a crush.

“Our hope is that Beksman finds an audience. My philosophy is you can only do your best in making the film good. What’s nice is there’s streaming already. If there are other avenues for streaming, viewers will discover that later,” he said.

As a director, Mr. Intalan relies on the skill of the actor, but goes not subscribe to using personal experience to trigger emotions.

“I explained the role, explain the story, answer their questions. But I have to rely on them to craft [the character],” he said. “I don’t give them specific instructions on how to do things. But when I motivate actors, I also don’t subscribe to using their personal experiences for them or against them to trigger a reaction.”

With his background as a producer, he says he is a director who is producer friendly. “I’m very systematic, and organized,” Mr. Intalan said, adding that he makes the most out of his shots when actors are present. Michelle Anne P. Soliman