Filmmaker Erik Matti’s latest thriller, BuyBust, has endured a strenuous near-two year journey from inception to its approaching completion with lead actress Anne Curtis and MMA champion Brandon Vera starring. With an official release date pending and the heralded director of thrillers like On The Job and Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles, took to social media on Thursday to reflect on the production in a lengthy post.
It’s a worthy read as well considering what it takes these days to get an ambitious action production in the Philippines off the ground. The greivances are valid, too, often pertaining to financing and politics overall despite the local talent pool that exists and otherwise lives and breathes to partake in a genre that speaks to international audiences at the least. Indeed, further plot and story specifics are scant regarding the film, but Matti’s testimony certainly speak to my own observations on past projects next to this one.
The caption also brings us new featurette footage that abbreviates, albeit aptly documents the two years of testing, test shooting, meetings and stunt training, and the copious amounts of fight work, prop and set design, fake blood, artificial rain and more of which it took to make BuyBust a reality. Read on and enjoy the featurette below! (Click here in case the player does not load)
On our first scene-per-scene with the staff, after I explained everything we will be doing for the script, the main comment I got was that the film is “too ambitious”. I panicked when I heard that comment. Too ambitious.
Being a filmmaker in a Third World country, I know what it means to be ambitious and not pull it off. I’ve had countless experiences on that in my other films. But I was determined to execute what I imagined BuyBust should be.
And so began the arduous preparations we had for BuyBust born out of my paranoia that we had to execute this film properly. Tests, tests and tests. Hair tests, wound tests, blood tests, squib tests, rain tests, fight tests, stab tests, explosion tests. It still cost money but at least not as much as when you have an entire cast and crew waiting on the sidelines.
This film may have taken two years of my life. Of the cast and crews lives too. And for someone used to the Third World turn around time for filmmaking, it took a lot of patience, passion, boiled eggs and iced coffee to see this through. Making a film this long felt that there is, indeed, forever. And we’re still shy of three more days of shoot, mind you.
This is the toughest shoot I’ve ever done. And yes, this is ambitious. It was crazy, strange, hardworking and in most times, scary. But believe you me when I tell you, this is the most fun set I’ve ever had. If only I can show you a playback peek of the kind of dedication our cast and crew had on this film, you’d be amazed how we’ve done all these crazy dangerous shit and still laugh and smile about it at the end of the take.
Here’s the first look into our film, #BuyBust. A peek into the process that went for almost two years, all compressed into two and a half minutes of teaser.
To the cast who never let go, even with all the body aches and pains that were too hard to endure, to all the headaches our producers suffered with the rise of the peso count left and right, to the staff who continued on without an ounce of angst and intrigue (and even found a bit of love on the side too), on every rain-soaked night on the set, to the stunt people who gave it their all– getting thrown around, beaten up, falling from high places and doing it over and over again for countless takes and nights, here’s everything we’ve worked hard for all these months of endless nights that practically changed our sleeping habits.
Finally, I think we’re ready to share this with everyone.
Don’t be swayed by my lengthy backstory. Hope you like it.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.