Wednesday, February 16, 2005


I really really dislike travelling by road, but I found myself doing just that this morning as I headed south for my ocular. My mall client, the largest in the Philippines, asked me to visit their renovated mall along the Alabang-Zapote road in Las Pinas.

Of their 19 malls, this is the 3rd largest and has just undergone rather extensive renovations (to the tune of around P250M) and now looks great. I didn't mind walking around, getting lost, and finding my way through the vastness of it, looking for sites and objects I want to take pictures of.

One of the hats I wear as Creative Director for my company is that of Art Director. That means that once I determine the photographic needs of a project (in this case, a year-long engagement with several of the mall client's various companies), I need to make sure that I get the shots I need. This means selecting a photographer (in this case, I'll work with 3, including Raymund Isaac for the portraiture), dealing with talent/model agencies and choosing the models, coming up with an extensive shot list, hiring stylists, make-up people, etc. Everything comes together during the shoot, when I direct the models and photographer - like I would a stage play.

One of my early tasks in the process is an ocular, which is when I go to the venue and construct the shots in my mind. This can be fast or tortuously slow, depending on the art director. I tend to work fast, because even before I set foot in the venue, I have a good idea of the shots I want.

The mall manager and I became instant friends as he walked me around the entire place, answering my (sometimes unrelated to work) questions. If it weren't so far off, I'd consider putting up a branch of my store there.

So the only thing I couldn't stand about today was the long and expensive cab ride from my office to Las Pinas and back. My mind tried to alleviate the crushing ennui by reminding me of all the stuff I had to do, but since I had already scheduled and prioritized my day, it did not hold my interest. Instead, I called up various clients and used the long drive to touch base and burn through my cell card (worth it when I discovered my company was awarded a new project by a bank).


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