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 (Conclusion) 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.