Name: PEPE DIOKNO
Birth Date: Aug. 13, 1987
Education: UP Film
Place of Birth: Manila
Achievement: Being able to make films
Origin of Family: Taal, Batangas
Biggest Challenge so far? How did you overcome them?
“My first film, Engkwentro, was a very difficult film to make. The heads of Cinemalaya at one point told me it was impossible to do. The film I’m shooting now, Above the Clouds, is even more difficult — we have a crew of over 120 people, shooting in caves, forests, rivers, waterfalls, grasslands, mountains, rocky cliffs, and at the peak of Mount Pulag. I’m lucky I have an amazing crew. Filmmaking is a group effort, and it’s the collective talent of everyone from the cast to the production team that makes it all possible.”
What do you do in your spare time?
“I watch movies! I go to the cinema at least once a week.”
Why did you choose such career?
“In high school, we had film projects, and I fell in love with the process of making movies.”
When and how did you start?
“I started shooting short films in high school. My first feature film, Engkwentro, I shot in my 4th year at UP Film.
Why possess that passion?
“It’s love. I love what I do so much that the most challenging aspects of it, I find enjoyable.”
If you’re not a filmmaker, what would you be today?
“A writer. I’m an editor at the Philippine Star’s Saturday pop culture section, Supreme. It’s a job that I really enjoy. I love working with writers.”
What are your greatest frustrations?
“In film, I make decisions based on what’s good for the story because I believe that what’s good for the story is good for the box office. The problem is that some people who run film studios today, they aren’t story tellers, and so many times, they can stifle a good story. It can be frustrating and I hope to be free from that.”
Do you still have any aspirations in life? When can you say that you are already fulfilled as an individual?
“I don’t think I’ll ever be completely fulfilled, filmmaking-wise, because I try to challenge myself with each film I make. That’s the one requirement I have — every film has to be a challenge; it has to entail something I haven’t done before, something I fear doing, or something I think can do better. So I’ll always struggle to find more to do.”
What are the things we don’t know about you?
“Oh, there are lots.”
Views on sex?
“I support the RH Bill.”
Who is your next President?
“Kris Aquino. Just kidding.”
What legacy you want people to remember about you?
“I want to be remembered as a story-teller; someone who told stories that move people.”
Message to CLICKBOOK:
“Thanks for the interview!”
Shoutout to everybody:
“We’re uploading behind-the-scenes videos from “Above the Clouds,” so you can see how we’re shooting the film! Follow our journey, and watch the videos at http://youtube.com/PepeDiokno. The film comes out next year, 2014, and I can’t wait to show it to you all.”
“Pepe Smith stars in Above the Clouds, and shooting with him has been an awesome experience. Above the Clouds is his first lead role, and it’s a drama pa. I wrote the script with him in mind because I knew he’d be a great actor, but there are times when we’re shooting and he’s in character, and I have to pinch myself because he becomes a totally different person. People were wary when we casted him, especially the studios, because he doesn’t have a track record in film. But Pepe comes on set on time, completely prepared — he even has notes on his script — and grabeyung energy niya. He’s more than a rock legend to me now. Way more.”
Twitter Handle: @PepeDiokno