The Veronica Mars Movie Project: Thoughts of A Proud Backer

With less than an hour to go, the Veronica Mars Movie Project has broke all the possible records on Kickstarter: (1) fastest past $1,000,000, (2) fastest past $2,000,000 and (3) most number of backers (now over 90,000 and still counting). As a true marshmallow, I of course backed this project, no questions asked.

I'm a backer!
I’m a backer!

Needless to say, the past month has been really exciting for a fan like me. (Heck, the first few hours when we already hit the $2,000,000 mark was absolutely insane!) Having loved this series from the very beginning and writing about the show a number of times on my old blog, the reality of having a Veronica Mars movie to look forward to is just plain exhilarating. Seeing the numbers continue to rise day by day has been both believable yet unbelievable at the same time. Now that it’s ending, I just want to say a few things.

As a backer, having a hand at making this happen is rewarding in itself. The shirt, DVD, etc are just icing on the cake. I’ve long believed that Veronica Mars fans are some of the most rabid, enthusiastic and awesome people ever. Now, we have solid proof of our numbers and our deep pockets… Pockets that reveal themselves when something like this is at stake… even if the show ended over five years ago. I love you guys!!!

In a few more minutes, the project is about to go off the ground. The screenplay has been written; and cast members are slowly getting on board. I just want to say that I understand the pressure Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and company must be feeling right now… the pressure to deliver the best possible movie that would make all this worth it (for us fans and for them). As far as I’m concerned, though, I have complete faith in their ability to come up with something amazing with the funds that they’ve raised… so no need to worry about little ‘ol me! Just go make that movie!

Anyway, I know this would just be a blip in the radar since I’m not some high profile VM fan… But I want to say THANK YOU:
– to Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring and the rest of the cast: for loving this show and this character so much that you never gave up on it. You continued to fight in bringing her back and thought up ways to make it happen even if very few believed how AWESOME and NUMEROUS the fans are.
to Kickstarter: for being such an awesome site that makes projects like these a reality.
– last but not the least, to all the fans worldwide: for the nonstop support and continued LoVe for all things Veronica Mars. I’m so proud to be one of you. You guys are the BEST EVER!

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Japan 2013: Kaiyukan & Shinsekai

DAY 3 IN JAPAN

I felt both excitement and dread for day three. I was about to go solo and check out Kaiyukan Aquarium. I’ll just meet up with everyone else for dinner afterwards. Despite all the horror stories of getting lost in Japan in my head, I just had to suck it in and do it. Thankfully, it wasn’t a traumatic experience.

KAIYUKAN AQUARIUM

I got off at Osakako Station and walked to Kaiyukan Aquarium. The weather was comfortably cool; so a couple of blocks walk wasn’t too much of a hassle. The streets were pretty much deserted… very few people with a number of stores that were closed. It was weird for me since it was a weekday.

looking towards Osakako Station. i took pictures in case i got lost on the way back.
looking towards Osakako Station. i took pictures in case i got lost on the way back. i know… paranoid.

Once I got there, I went straight to the aquarium and bought my ticket. Entrance costs 2000 Yen for adults (around Php800).

Kaiyukan Aquarium -- huge and unique structure
Kaiyukan Aquarium — a unique and beautiful structure

The place is HUGE, needless to say; and it housed thousands of species of marine life. They had dolphins, penguins, stingrays, sharks, turtles, giant crabs and so much more. What’s great is that these animals are encased in huge aquariums where they could swim freely, with coral reefs and rock formations that simulated the real ocean. Here are just some of the awesome things I saw:

TEMPOZAN MARKET

It took me around two hours to explore the aquarium. After shopping for some souvenirs, I headed to Tempozan Market to have lunch.

Tempozan Market entrance
Tempozan Market entrance

I had some karaage at the food court and it was delicious!

chicken karaage with rice and veggies
chicken karaage with rice, coleslaw and potato salad

Since I had a couple of hours to kill before meeting up with my companions, I looked around and found some more stores which sold great Japanese souvenirs. There were also a couple of unique shops that sold vintage items.

this store sold vintage Coca-Cola merchandise, among others
this store sold vintage Coca-Cola merchandise, among others

My last stop at Tempozan was the Giant Ferris Wheel. It offers an amazing view of Osaka at a maximum height of 112.5m. One ride costs 700 Yen (less than Php300), which is really worth it.

view from below the wheel
view from below the wheel
Kaiyukan Aquarium and Osaka Bay
view of Kaiyukan Aquarium and Osaka Bay
view of Tempozan Bridge
view of Tempozan Bridge

Before heading back, I made one quick stop at Milky for some ice cream. I know it’s cold; but I just had to try this one.

choco chip cookie soft ice cream
choco chip cookie soft ice cream. yum!

SHINSEKAI: Three restaurants. One big dinner.

I successfully met up with my other companions (yes!) and we headed to Shinsekai for dinner. It was sort of the Old Osaka and it is said to have some of the best local food. We walked around first and took in the sights.

Since we couldn’t decide on one thing to try for dinner, we settled on just eating all of them! I was in for the food trip of my life when we ate at three different restaurants, starting off with kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers), followed by sushi, topped off with some blowfish.

With full stomachs, we headed back to the hotel to rest. My solo trip was a success. I didn’t get lost in the craziness of the Osaka Railway system. As a bonus, I tried as much local food as I could in one night.

Next up, seeing Hello Kitty, Snoopy and Elmo at Universal Studios!

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Up Next – Osaka Castle & Universal Studios

“EMBRACE” & “SALLY”

It’s been a while since I shared  some behind the scenes scoop on a project I was part of. Let me remedy that by covering two projects in one entry. Both were shot last February; and both were directed (and lighted) by Yam Laranas.

“Embrace” is a Biogesic for Kids TVC featuring John Lloyd Cruz. The commercial is pretty straightforward and simple; so setting the whole thing up wasn’t hard. The only challenge was keeping the little boy talent focused and alert until 8pm (which was the time we packed up). We shot this in one day in a studio set-up. Production designer: Butch Garcia. Production House: Unitel/Straight Shooters. Post House: Riot Inc..

These aren’t much; but here are some photos from the shoot.

“Sally” is an introductory TVC for Jollibee Ultimate Burger Steak. Compared to “Embrace,” this was a bit more challenging to mount because of its Darna nature. Darna projects are coined as such because we have to make like superheroes and finish everything as soon as possible. This project took us a little over a week from briefing to final presentation of material. That covers meetings, shooting and editing. Needless to say, I was very stressed that particular week. Still, the material turned out great and quality wasn’t sacrificed. I love the food shots in particular. Those took a lot of work and a lot of time to capture!

We had exactly 3 days to prep, with another two days to shoot the material. The first day was shot in Jollibee Lakefront (Sucat). This covered all the in-store scenes and food shots. The second day was done in two different locations (one in The Fort and the other at the Regus offices in Zuelling Building), covering the different vignettes of people ogling at the picture of the meal.

Other credits… Production Designer: Edwin Garcia. Production House: Unitel/Straight Shooters. Post House: Underground Logic.

And here are some behind the scenes snapshots from the project.