Sunday, November 7, 2010




Another notable music video director toiling this tapered streets of the limelight and entertainment industry is direk Wincy Ong, or Wincy Gerardo Aquino Ong completely! By profession, finished AB Communication Arts course at Ateneo De Manila University.

His notable opus so far were few that draws laurels on his forehead: The Itchyworms “Akin Ka Na Lang” (2005), Sponge Cola “Una” (2005), Silent Sanctuary “Rebound” (2006), Nikki Gil “Forever Is Not As Long…” (2006), Pupil “Dulo Ng Dila” (2006), Cueshé “Borrowed Time” (2006), Hale “Hide and Seek” (2006), 6cyclemind “Prinsesa” (2007), Callalily “Magbalik” (2007), Sandwich “Sunburn” (2007), Chicosci “Chicosci Vampire Social Club” (2007), Callalily “Sanctuary” (2007), Pupil “Sala” (2007), Gerard Santos “Mahal Kita” (as director consultant for SOP Music Video Awards) (2007), Kyla “One Day In Your Life” (2008), Sandwich “Are We Good” (2008)

At a hunk age of 21 direk Wincy began his small steps in directing music video in one of his class in Ateneo De Manila. “The first music video I ever did was in 2003, so roughly, I was about 21 years old. It was for a DV Filmmaking class I was attending in Ateneo,” he commenced. Consequently, he has a band at that time which gave him an auspicious choice to start with one primal shot. He tells, “by chance, I was also in a band back then, a small indie called Narda, and since it was the most convenient option I had, I decided to direct a music video for a song I wrote for the band.” Further, at the outset, who could have tell that few of his comrade appreciated his effort, “to my surprise, my classmates and my professor actually liked it, and it even got aired on a UHF channel,” he exclaimed.

At the first light of his life, more in particular academic, he has no voluntary conscious purpose to be a music director, nevertheless and perhaps it's nature that brought him somewhere here. “I never pictured myself to be a music video director really,” he explained. It was rather a thought for something else, “my teenage dream was either to become a published writer, a musician or a comic book artist.”

At an early age in while still scampering his high school vicinity, he is in fact doing some. “In high school I was always the creative type in our class, and I even won an award for Best Director in our school’s short film competition. I made this short film about a lonely student who wakes up to an empty campus only to find out that the school has been evacuated because of a bomb threat,” he elaborates.

Formally, it's his music video project with Itchyworms that gave him a black and white contract. “My first project for a recording company was a video for the Itchyworms!’ “Akin Ka Na Lang”, and from there I had kept doing this for almost four years now” he adds.


What are the difficulties you encountered at the start?
The competition is really tough. And in my case, since my closest friends are also in the same boat as I am, it’s so much tougher. Everyone wants to be the best and there is so much envy and arrogance and backstabbing in this line of work, especially when you’re the one who gets lucky.

Looking back, how bumpy was the road when you were just starting to get your feet wet?
Oh, it was really tough. You could have no projects for months, and you have to direct corporate videos, teach Korean students or cover promotional events so you could feed yourself. There have been a lot of times when I was sleepless in bed, thinking that I’m no good and I have to find an office job to support myself.

Do you have early role models or mentors?
I consider Quark Henares to be the one who really inspired me to get into this line of work. If I didn’t know him, I would not have the courage to work in such a cutthroat and competitive industry, and I would just probably end up as an office drone working in Makati. Quark was my favorite professor in college, and now he’s one of my best friends…he’s like a brother to me nowadays.

I have also learned from my friend Bernard Dacanay, who taught me the technical side of things like cinematography and editing. And he has also given me sage advice on how to handle my career. I also look up to two of my best friends who I closely work with all the time: King Palisoc and Mihk Vergara, who are two of the best directors working in the industry right now. We, three, are like a really tight unit, and are really good friends even outside the set. They have given me the greatest ideas, and have helped me so much during trying times.

What are those things that test your patience in making your craft as music video director?
Directing music videos is the greatest job in the world really, but the sad thing is the money, which is, sad to say, non-existent. It usually takes about three weeks to complete a whole music video from pre-production to editing, and there are times, when you don’t even earn a single centavo! The budgets could be cruel at times! Some of my friends even have to lie to their parents about how much they’re earning just to keep their self-esteems intact.

What are the perks of being one?
Well, seeing your work being broadcasted for millions of eyeballs to see. That is priceless, and making people happy with the images you’ve dreamed up…no amount of money could buy that. Just the act of directing, of creating something…that is such a big perk already! I’m not in this for the glamour or for the fame or for the money. The act of creation is so much larger than all those.
What's the hardest part in being a music video director? The Styrofoam breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Makes you crave for steamed vegetables.

Growing up, did you envisioned yourself doing this?
I don’t have a clear memory of a single moment where I told myself: “I will be a music video director when I reach 25…” But there was this one point in college when I felt lonely and I just couldn’t relate to people. I usually spent hours at home repeatedly watching this DVD collection of Blur music videos, and I guess that was instrumental in my decision. Yup, that was a great collection of music videos from a great band. It’s funny how people approach and tell me how most of my music videos look like Blur videos.

What are the common misconceptions about music video directors?
That we’re rich, popular and powerful people in the music industry. In truth, we are all penniless, sleep-starved, anonymous individuals who just love to ape Michel Gondry.

Do you usually base your visual concept on the meaning of the song itself?
Not really. I think I’m pretty offbeat in my approach. Like even if I’m directing a more mainstream artist like Kyla, there’s this sense of offbeat-ness to my video. I want the music video to add more to the song, and so the audience could experience the song in ways they did not think of.

Does adding visuals to the song make the song more expressive? What do you think and in what way?
I think music has always been a visual medium. And transforming music into imagery is a natural process every one does. I think most people think of music video concepts for their favorite songs when they’re waiting in line or bored at Mass. I know I do.

How do you choose song or songs to be made into a music video?
I don’t. And it’s not the artist who chooses which. It’s the bigwigs from the recording company.

As a particular director with particular taste of music, what type of music or song do you usually directs or interested in making a video?
Of course, the music I like! Anything by Ciudad, Pupil, Sandwich and The Itchyworms!

Years after years of directing (producing) music video, what is the shortest time you've spent so far to come up with one?
Four days. My team conceptualized, shot and edited Callalily’s “Magbalik” video in four days. That was wow insane.

And the longest one?
Two months. For The Itcyworms’ “Princesa”, where I was a one-man Adobe After Effects guy, and the video was a Hanna-Barbera-inspired cartoon.

As head and director which gives imperatives every now and then, how do you get into terms with the artists themselves?
I’m a musician myself so I just talk to them about what’s it like to gig outside of Manila, what recording equipment they use, etc. Small talk. And I also ask them for creative input.

What segment or part in the music video making that makes you exited or expectant?
Everything! But I’m really at my most excited when I see the sets finished and lit and you’re about to shoot it. When the colors come alive, and the shapes and images come together. Then the band comes in dressed to the nines and asks you, “Ano? Game na ba, direk?”

So far, whose music video you wish you would have directed?
Blur’s “The Universal”, directed by Mark Romanek.

What would you tell an aspiring music video director?
Learn everything! Be an actor, a cinematographer, an editor, a production designer, a musical scorer, a special effects guy. That way you won’t run out of money, and you’ll never be bored.

Would you recommend it to other people who are thinking of going the same route?
I wouldn’t recommend it if you love your health and sanity so much.

The greatest lesson a music video director can ever share?
Let your passion save you from this otherwise boring life.


Special Thanks to:
Pinoy Mag 5th Anniversary Issue
Released Date: 06 November 2008
Pinoy Magazine (official)
And for all the proceeding and preceding articles in this blog.

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