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One of the usual questions that arise when discussing my work is, “Who are the celebrities you’ve seen?” or “Which celebrities are the best or worst to work with?”

In our celebrity-driven world, anything and everything has a star endorsement behind them. I’ve encountered a number of them especially in the past 2 years; and most people find my experiences fascinating. I admit each celebrity shoot has its own story; but they’re hardly interesting or scandalous. Being production people, we’re used to seeing showbiz personalities and are rarely starstruck. We usually just ignore them just as much as they ignore us. We concentrate on the job at hand and that is to finish shooting our board. They’re mostly just tired anyway from lack of sleep and nonstop work.

One of the biggest stars in the country today, dubbed by Rogue Magazine as “the face of our era,” is Anne Curtis. From her beginnings playing irritating, squeaky-voiced Am-girls who are, to put it bluntly, maarte (sorry, I really didn’t like her then), her fourteen-year career has proven that endurance in this industry should be backed up by personal growth and genuine star quality, not just beauty. I have to admit. I’m happy to have witnessed this actress develop and become better at her craft. She has come a long way. Now, her star is brighter than ever; and I respect her for that.

I had the chance to work on one of her earlier commercials. Dubbed Project “Fashion,” it was an ad for Biolink VCO shot last March 2008 (Tagal na!). This is way before her latest endorsements for Olay and Palmolive Naturals. It is directed by Robbie Dinglasan, with director of photography Leslie Garchitorena. She was styled by Sidney Yap, with make-up by Robbie Piñera and hair by Raymond Santiago. Production house: Straight Shooters Media, Inc. Post house: Optima Digital.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_O7fOUZH8Y]

This was shot for two days in a studio. We only had Anne for one night (yes, night); so we had to shoot all of her “rampa” shots between 7pm to early morning the next day. This was my first and only night shoot done in a studio. This isn’t that much of a surprise. We usually have to work within the busy schedule of celebrities; and this wasn’t any different. It may be the wee hours of the morning and everyone may be asleep; but we were wide awake working on the shoot.

Some interesting bits & pieces:
(1) When you watch the commercial, she’s peeling off clothes one by one. However, the way we shot it was in reverse. We started with her wearing the last dress, then proceeded to work backwards when it came to styling. It was easier to do this in terms of shooting sequence because the outfits in the earlier part of the commercial are more complicated. Also, the final, nude dress had most of the beauty shots so we got that out of way first.
(2) Anne was very professional; and her projection on cam is just effortless. She’s obviously been doing this for a long time. She may seem tired; but she still hams it up on camera to perk everyone up.
(3) A certain Sam Milby, who was her boyfriend then, stopped by the set and brought some Krispy Kremes for the staff and crew. Sweet ba?
(4) Due to time constraints, we had to use a double for the second day of shoot. These were for the close-up body shots and product application shots. This is usually what we do in commercials to make sure we put together the whole thing without taking up much of the celebrity’s time. After all, these shots take hours to shoot and many repetitions are done. It’s more practical for everyone involved.

Anyway, here are some behind the scene photos from our shoot: