“Second Coming” film director and Far Eastern University alumnus Jet Leyco led his team as guest speakers in an alternative class organized by the FEU Film Society and Reality Entertainment. This was held in line with the celebration of the university’s 91st Foundation Week.
Apart from Leyco, who is also an alumnus of FEU FilmSoc, the campus tour was also graced by actress Queenie Rehman, assistant director Kenneth Mandrilla, director of photography Malay Javier and Rommel Ruiz, another member of the camera department and Leyco’s fellow FilmSoc alumnus. The event was hosted by FilmSoc member Kyle Macorol.
“Second Coming” revolves around a stepmother (Jodi Sta. Maria) who, after moving in with her partner (Marvin Agustin), starts dealing with the past of her new family as she is haunted by her possessed stepdaughter (Angelica Ulip). With the film focused on the dilemma of being a second wife, Leyco looks at this as his take on the recurring “mistress” cliché present in other genres. Bing Loyzaga, John Arcilla and Rehman, who plays Ulip’s mother Raquel, co-star in the film.
Leyco, who also helmed “Bukas Na Lang Sapagkat Gabi Na” for Cinema One Originals 2013 and “Matangtubig” for QCinema 2015, explained that it is not about revolutionizing the genre to make an effective horror film but, rather, about making small twists to the standards of the genre. “It is about less jump scares, more on setting the mood and evoking the scary feeling instead of showing it,” he said.
Rehman, former Miss World Philippines 2012, found the production of the film a complete turnaround from her pageant days. She said that she was always conscious on making herself beautiful back then but in the film, she is covered with lots of make-up to the point that she is already unrecognizable. She also talked about the difference between shooting a film and taping for a television show, which lies in the small intricacies and shots that must be achieved, unlike in TV where editing does most of the job.
Mandrilla, who is also an FEU alumnus and part of the FEU Theater Guild, emphasized the importance of knowing the director’s vision and overall plan for the film, something he did not really have a hard time doing since this was not his first time working with Leyco. However, despite this familiarity, he still considers his work as assistant director a learning experience.
Leyco and Mandrilla further discussed the production of the film. The director revealed that the creative process is constantly changing and collaborative. He also had a little difficulty in telling a linear story since his previous works leaned towards non-linear narratives.
On the other hand, Mandrilla talked about time management in production – from making sure planned timelines are met to maintaining scene continuities to making sure prosthetics are up to par. Working with the actors is a different story, especially in this specific production, since they were working with a child actor. He shared that when approaching Ulip, he would try a different and calmer approach to create a comfortable environment not just for the child, but for the entire cast as a whole.
The FEU Film Society is the university’s premiere student organization dedicated in promoting film literacy and filmmaking and imparting knowledge to others. It is behind Sinepiyu, an annual film festival where films from inside and outside the university compete and find a venue; FEUlikulahan, a film screening event organized with the FEU President’s Committee on Culture; Piyu I Love You, a competition among its members, and many more. Advocacy filmmaker and FEU Department of Communication special lecturer Seymour Sanchez currently serves as its adviser.
“Second Coming” is now showing in cinemas nationwide.