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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Concept Stealer/ Dis Is Taglish/ Hot Rafael


I usually don't get mad in my blog, but this time I'm on a verge of being furious.

You see, I became a victim of a vicious monster in the showbiz industry called The Concept Stealer.

First, let me share you an excerpt from "Trip To Quiapo," a scriptwriting manual by renowned Filipino screenwriter Ricky Lee:

"Nothing protects (the screenwriter) no matter how long you've been working in the industry or how expansive your network is. Everything that a novice writer experiences had happened and continues to happen on me. I was dropped from a project in exchange of another writer without my knowledge, a producer changed my script without my permission, The director suddenly shot a different project, leaving my script to the bin."

Concept Stealers do nothing but claim another writer's concept for their own credit. Before you know it, your story is being filmed without compensated, or even acknowledged.

That happened to me just now.

Let's call my storyline "Project Paris." It is a love story about a popular model and a shy photographer whose paths are crossed after an accident.

A fellow writer and I developed the storyline (complete with casting for lead actor and actress) the night before our what-would-become the final presentation with a film company. We had to spend the night at an apartelle because we were developing ten concepts that night.

We presented Project Paris to an immediate superior (a screenwriter, let's call her Aqua). She gave it a thumbs down, but considered some of our other concepts which she would pitch to the executive producer.

To make the long story short, we were not accepted in the film outfit because we did not have an approved concept after a month of trial. But yesterday, my co-writer in Project Paris informed me of a very bad news.

It was published in a newspaper that the film outfit where Aqua is working for is planning to shoot a movie entitled "I Love Paris," with the same actors we pitched as the lead pair.

I did not believe at first. I tried to reason out that it could probably one of Aqua's storyline that is supposed to be shot in Venice, but changed location at the very last minute.

I asked Aqua in a chatroom about this and claimed that she knew nothing about this. I told her that I would present my concepts to other producers, including Project Paris.

Aqua seemed to have forgotten that not all writers are meek in the event of having their precious concepts stolen so suddenly. What she did has opened the gates to her hell.

I'm still sticking my guns to the storyline of my beloved Project Paris. Hopefully other producers would like it.

And I hope Aqua starts to think deeply in creating her own storyline for "I Love Paris," because if she writes the script for it using our storyline, ...she'll see.

Now, repeat after me: Don't get mad, ...



We Filipinos are proud of our English proficiency, considering that Brownlandia was once upon a time an American colony. But that pride would soon be laughed at.

In a recent Social Weather Station survey, only 65 percent of Filipino adults said they understand spoken English as compared to 74 percent 12 years ago. What's worse is that, according to that same study, only three out of ten Filipinos could speak English today.

English proficiency is supposed to be the Philippines' key competitive advantages in the global market. However, English is not much practiced in school ever since this universal language was scrapped as a medium of education in favor of Tagalog-based Filipino language (no thanks to those misguided nationalists who believe that speaking the mother tongue is the only ticket to nationalism). Such stupid mandate, and since non-Tagalog speaking students had difficulty adapting to the national language, paved the way for schools to adapt what we call "Taglish."

Heto ang example ng Taglish. Ipinag-mix ang English at Tagalog kaya instead na naging proficient ang mga Pinoy sa Filipino, struggling tuloy sila sa parehong language. Hirap mag-English, and having difficulty rin sa Filipino.

Now, our neighboring countries are beginning to improve their English proficiency at a very fast rate, since it is the language of cyberspace and international business. And what of us? If the government does not act quickly, they would kiss those outsourcing call centers goodbye.

I'm not saying to eliminate the use of Filipino. That is not the case. What we need is to encourage bilingualism, standardize the Filipino language, and develop the local languages.

I used to tell my Dad that if the whole of China learns to speak English, our overseas labor force--and probably the whole Philippines--is done for.



Summer's gonna be hot hot hotter with Rafael Rosell. Ouch! My fingers got burnt!



1) Thank you so much for your the great e-mails I've been receiving, especially to a new-found blogging friend Scott of Crazy Jungle. Check out his site, which presents life in Costa Rica.

2) As you can see, Maruja Radio playlist has been updated again. Press play for the hottest summer tracks, perfect during long hours of driving or having a production number by the beach.

3) How I wish I could go out some more and mingle with new guys. If only my salary is paid regularly...


Blogger yuri said...

one of my fave entries. truly feel for u ha. while reading the first part, i wanna reenact the famous scene of dorina and lavina wherein ill splash not just a glass but a pail of boiling water to aqua's face. be careful nxt time k? and hope to soon watch ur movie. here's an idea im so longing to share even only in maalaa hati tayo sa prize. ill email it to u.(any scoops in abs's upcoming adaptation of this movie?)

re taglish, i agree with u 100% since i myself must admit faces the same challenge everyday. not to mentiopn some of my co workers who are a bit worse to it put nicely. south asians (india, sri lankans), malaysian and esp singaporeans are doing very good considering they're all still fluent in their native tongues.

Thu Apr 20, 03:19:00 AM GMT+8

Blogger Neil said...


Empress, I'll share you my story, no I mean, my colleague's older brother's "story" involving a university having a branch in Dasmarinas and Manila which conducted a "scriptwriting confab" some time in 2000, and a telefantasya series.

I did not believe at first. You, or your readers, might be surprised. But I'll share it to you after I get some sleep. ^_^

Thu Apr 20, 04:47:00 AM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you can tach Aqua some bitchy lessons if she dares to copy your concept. Oh that is quite serious about the English proficiency in the Philippines now. And also Rafael Rosell is getting hot more and more!

Thu Apr 20, 04:32:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger pseudo-artist said...

i don't remembe being in that kind of situation. dibale, makakarma rin siya.

about the piece of advice you gave me, i'll ask my friend for job openings they know. thank you ha, i appreciate it :)

Thu Apr 20, 09:43:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Empress Maruja said...

YURI -- As far as I know, Sarah Geronimo will play the role of Dorina in "Bituing Walang Ningning". I don't know if THE Cherrie Gil will be in that drama, but that would be great.

ASIATIC NEIL -- Share mo naman. Kaw talaga...

CHAS -- In due time, Chas. In due time...

TENCHU -- Very much welcome. I got my jobs through referrals kasi. At least kapag nakapasok ka, may kilala ka na.

Sat Apr 22, 11:37:00 AM GMT+8

Blogger ribbiticus said...

oh boy! i am so enraged for you! i hope you still push your concept to the many other producers out there despite this debacle. dontchaworry, dear, karma will get her back someday soon.

i, too, share your sentiments about english proficiency in these here islands of ours. if we don't wake up soon, can you just imagine how many companies will just decide to take their businesses elsewhere?

Sun Apr 23, 02:31:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Neil said...

The whole concept of Encantadia was stolen from an amateur scriptwriter (and a Dasma Cavite resident, too)here from our school (opo, sa school naming pipitsugin CvSU ^_^) who competed in a scriptwriting conference in De La Salle Dasma 4 years ago. Second/third placer lang ata siya nun, and one of the judges is toot-toot, a writer of Encantadia. I was surprised when my colleague showed me his files of the script, the names of the characters , the map which he painted himself, and even that damned title of Encantadia itself. I was stunned for an hour of disbelief. No wonder he was speechless for a week after watching the full trailer of Encantadia when it piloted last year. Poor toot-toot.

He's working in ABS-CBN now, and coincidentally one of the writers of their telefantaserye "Toot-toot". Kushing-kushing! I didn't realize that you came up with the same incident, that's why I opened this up. ^_^

Tue Apr 25, 07:09:00 PM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the concept developer and headwriter of Encantadia. I have never been to CvSU o kahit sa LaSalle Dasma. Ni hindi rin ako naging judge sa alinmang pakontes nila. Ni wala rin akong nakakausap na student from both school. So is this a joke? Tsismis? Or tall tale lang? Because nakakasira ng reputasyon ito lalo na at pinag-uusapan na ito sa PEX (at sinagot ko na).

My take, fan ng enca ang sinasabi mong friend mo at para magpa-impressed sa iyo, sinabi niyang ninakaw sa kanya ang ideya. At taga abs na pala siya now?

I will not ask you his name, but pls tell him na alam ko na ang akusasyon niya and pls tell him to stop taking credit for something na di niya ginawa or kung ipipilit niya.. magdemanda siya.. and i am more than willing to face him in court.

Masakit manakawan. Pero masakit din na maakusahan. Parehong krimen iyon sa mata nating mga writers.

Also, nalulungkot ako at nakaranas na pala ang blogger ng site na ito na manakawan. I remember one BS ng GMA na galing din sa ABS at sinabing nanakawan din siya ng concept ng movie outfit ng ABs. Baka magkakilala kayo?
I wish hindi ka magsawang magsulat.

Mon Sep 11, 10:12:00 PM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@asiatic-neil and suzette doctolero, I am confused whom the 2 of you is telling the truth. Ma'am suzette, it's not I am doubting you but please elaborate your story. Email nio na lang sa akin. Trust me. Huwag na kayong magmaganda.


Wed Sep 20, 07:26:00 PM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@asiatic-neil and suzette doctolero, I am confused whom the 2 of you is telling the truth. Ma'am suzette, it's not I am doubting you but please elaborate your story. Email nio na lang sa akin. Trust me. Huwag na kayong magmaganda.


Wed Sep 20, 07:27:00 PM GMT+8


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