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The Fury Road of George Miller…Why I Want To Take That Road Less Travelled

My experience of watching Mad Max: Fury Road (2D) in the cinema was both visceral and visually stunning, a true masterpiece from mastermind director and true auteur, Mr. George Miller who happened to be the writer and producer as well. It blew me away! For 2 hours, I was immersed in the world of Max and his Fury Road.

Despite the hard action, this is a film of deep characterization, texture and meaning, while imparting to us the value of not losing one’s humanity through doing good deeds and making personal sacrifices for the sake of others.

On a more intimate and personal note, the film had a profound effect on me. It gave me a positive “high” by fueling the much-needed “nitro” boost and “gas and octane-filled” inspiration to continue filmmaking. It triggered within me the long burning passion and commitment of making films that are not just socially responsible and relevant but inspiring and transformative as well.

Allow me to share that the last time I did a digital independent film (as co-producer and director with my wife and the   Communication Arts students as film production crew!) was a little over 2 years ago for Colegio San Agustin-Biñan shown last March 15, 2013 at the SM Muntinlupa Cinema 3.

That filmmaking process for “Angat ang Pagmamahal: A Short Film Anthology” was both a humbling and learning experience. I realized what I could have done better such as the preparations, lighting, sound design and recording, getting the best performance from the actors through proper staging and coaching, camera work like angles, shots, transitions and other technical stuff all the way to the exhibition of the film.

We could have given our filmgoers a better total experience both exciting and entertainingly inspiring. Nevertheless, it was a success of giving all the production team members an independent filmmaking experience while promoting the values of the school.

Since then, I’ve been “silently” developing various story ideas for production…absorbing and learning everything I can about filmmaking through studying and observation.

But now it’s time and I’m ready to take my own “fury road”. 

“My world is fire and blood. In this wasteland, I’m the one who runs from both the living and the dead.

A man reduced to a single instinct…survive.

As the world fell, each one of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy, me or everyone else.”

-Max

There’s a lot to appreciate and learn from this great film Mad Max: Fury Road, an exhilarating, pulse pounding, thrilling and suspenseful but fun-filled film set in a post-apocalyptic world where Max Rockatansy (Tom Hardy) will find himself hunted and haunted by both his past and present, surrounded by fire, blood and sand teaming up with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to find hope and redemption while escaping the clutches of the ruthless warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) with his four wives inside the monstrous War Rig.

With all it’s glorious visuals, stunts and production values, watching Mad Max: Fury Road especially the protagonists Max played by one of his generation’s great actors, Mr. Tom Hardy and Imperator Furiosa wonderfully portrayed by one of our favorite actresses, Ms. Charlize Theron, team-up and fulfill their “troubled” mission for hope and redemption, I remembered my own pains and struggles in filmmaking for the past 7 years.

I even remembered my childhood, loving films and being awestruck and inspired with E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Superman 1-4, Never Ending Story, D.A.R.Y.L., Eye of the Tiger, Firestarter, Star Wars IV, V VI, Mannequin, Panday, Cofradia, Blusang Itim, Bagets, Ninja Kids, and other Filipino classics shown in RPN 9 during lunchtime.

During that time, I dreamed that one day I would be making films with imaginative stories through creative worlds and characters, not realizing that it was called film producing, writing or directing.

“What a day! What a lovely day! – Nux

After learning about Mr. George Miller’s long, challenging but rewarding struggle to make this film, I was able to reflect on this great filmmaker’s positive impact on me and hopefully to other aspiring and budding filmmakers out there. Though for so long I  have other filmmakers for personal inspiration and emulation such as master storytellers Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Frank Capra, Raymond Red, Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Erik Matti, Paul Soriano and others, he’s now one of my filmmaking heroes!

What I learned from Mr. Miller:

Passion and Commitment of making it no matter what happens: At 70 years old, he had the confidence, energy and enthusiasm rivaling that of a 20+ filmmaker giving us this great film. Day in and day out, as his actors, actresses and film crew attested, he was always excited and ready to shoot the day’s scheduled scenes. (You can know more about this great director/storyteller in the Filmmaker Profile: Director section)

Perseverance and positive disposition in life: 20 years in the making…that’s how long this film was made from concept to production. Even if it took him that long, one can  see in production pictures and videos that he was always smiling while directing with his production crew. Whether explaining  a scene to an actor or lining up a shot, one can find him always having that positive aura. He was simply a man full of joy doing the thing he loves most. It showed in each of the scenes.

Teamwork and collaboration: The film started with him 20 years ago working on storyboards for ideas he had at that time for a 4th Mad Max film with Mr. Brenadan McCarthy, a British comic-book artist and long-time Mad Max fan. By year 2000, they had 3000+ drawings with the kind of treatment they wanted which reached 20th Century Fox with the assistance of Mel Gibson representing ICON, his production company and ultimately led to Warner Bros. The rest as they say is history. A masterpiece from a mastermind who couldn’t have done it without teaming up first with Mr. McCarthy, then Mr. John Seale, ASC,ACS, his cinematographer and other members of the production staff enjoying shooting days with him in Namibia and other locations.                                                                                                                          

As the film suggests, 2015 belongs to the mad. I believe in this now more than ever. For me, being “mad” is about making creative and innovative ideas, stories and sharing values with the youth.

Here is me hoping for more mastermind George Miller films for us to appreciate, be entertained and learn from.

Thank you Sir George for showing us the “fury road” full of passion, enthusiasm and energy…a road less travelled but one full of life-long lessons and rewards.

It’s that one road I’m very much willing to take.

So to all aspiring and budding youth filmmakers, let us harness the power and influence of film as a tool for communication and the common good, with passion, commitment, perseverance, and positive attitude.

Together, let’s be “mad“ making those film dreams happen! Let us all take the road less travelled.

Who we are…wanderers in the wasteland looking for our better selves

                                           – The first history man

(Photos courtesy of adweek.com, tamilgun.com, imdb.com)

The Film Dream

June 11, 2015

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

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