Inquirer News Service
Thanks to Rhoda for this information!

How 'American Adobo'
was shot in the States
Posted: 5:12 PM (Manila Time) | November 28, 2001
By Nestor U. Torre
Inquirer News Service

HOW do American film crews differ from the ones we have here? 
Laurice Guillen, director of "American Adobo," 
observes, "They're much more time-conscious than we are. They 
shoot for fewer hours (a maximum of 12 hours each day), but it's 
work-work-work from start to finish!" 

The US shoot was Laurice's chance to get away from the "direk" 
tag that all directors here are saddled with. She instructed the 
Filipino members of her team not to call her that, and the 
American component certainly wasn't about to call her anything 
of the sort! 

What happened was, the Filipinos felt so skittish about calling 
her by her name instead that, "in the end, they didn't call me 
anything at all!" 

One thing that Laurice liked was the complete equality of the 
sexes that held sway on the shoot of "American Adobo." The crew 
was made up of men and women, and they did the same amount of 
work. If something had to be lifted, everyone gave it the old-
heave-ho, regardless of gender. 

She also appreciated the no-nonsense, no bullshit, no-sipsip 
atmosphere on the set. "Hindi na ako napapagod sa 
kakadiplomasya," she recalls with evident relief. 

Since everybody was expected to work hard, there was a lot of 
food—more than enough for both Filipino and American stomachs. 
At mealtimes, democracy was the rule, and Laurice liked that, 
too: "Hindi nauuna ang mga artista—in fact, una ang crew!" 

"American Adobo" is a co-production of Tony Gloria's Unitel 
Films, ABS-CBN and Magic Adobo Productions, the project's Fil-Am 
component in the States (Vincent Nebrida, Kevin Fox, etc.). It 
will open in the States (with simultaneous premieres in New 
York, San Francisco and Los Angeles) in January 2002. That's 
also its Philippine playdate. 

Advance word on the production is exceptionally encouraging, 
with the film getting very positive reviews after some preview 
screenings and its "baptism of fire" at the San Diego 
International Film Festival some weeks ago. 

Unitel Films has a lot riding on "American Adobo," but producer 
Tony Gloria is feeling upbeat about the movie and it chances. It 
has elements that can appeal to both Filipino and American 
audiences, and its story about expatriates is also relevant to 
other members of minority groups trying to make it in any 
foreign country. 

Unitel wants to position itself as a producer of alternative 
films that don't scrimp on technicals and production values. It 
is doing pre-production work on a couple of other projects that, 
like "American Adobo," seek to offer viewers something fresh and 
different in terms of film entertainment. 

The new production company is also very supportive of young film 
talents, and is tapping new screenwriters and directors for its 
subsequent TV-film projects next year. 

But Gloria isn't new to the movie business. In fact, years ago, 
he was one of the prime movers responsible for a number of hit 
movies produced by a major film company. 

With pluck—and luck—the collaboration of Unitel, ABS-CBN, 
Guillen and the other venturesome film people involved 
in "American Adobo" will be rewarded by the Philippine and US 
viewing public with its enthusiastic patronage. 

That way, more movies like it can be produced, to help get local 
films out of the rut they're in, and to enable them to be shown 
on international movie screens, where, along with films from 
Iran, Taiwan and China, they rightfully belong.