‘Pabuya’ director Phil Giordano on doing crime thriller stories, how Brillante Mendoza influenced his work

For a pleasant person to talk to, writer and director Phil Giordano seems to be fascinated with dark, crime thriller materials like his first two films Pusoy and Pabuya, both now streaming on Vivamax.

What is it about his films that presents characters that doesn’t have a redemption arc? What makes crime thrillers interesting to do? If you get to know more about Phil Giordano, you’ll understand his works better.

But let’s understand his latest crime thriller film, Pabuya. What’s the inspiration of the story?

“The theme was the biggest inspiration which is betrayal. And then, there’s kind of how I feel about the society right now. I was also interested in money lending and gangs, so when I did my research, that’s when it formed more,” shares Giordano.

Pabuya or reward was released during the time when some of the people in the government are eager to catch the killer of a local journalist. It might sounds bad but for Giordano, it was a big thing that in a way, he was lucky that the noise of that may also drive people to watch his film.

On writing Pabuya, Giordano shares that there are a lot of things he didn’t include in the film because he wanted it to be more focused, “I want to have the story at a certain economic level, so I had to disregard some of the research I had foud to tell this kind of story. It wasn’t like everyone’s in poverty, it’s like a gang that’s doing well,” Giordano continues.

What is it with crime thriller stories which is the genre of his first two films?

“I’m really fascinated with crime right now. Crime, action, a lot of the most exciting stories come from that. I really wanna do crime, at least for now.”

Even during his previous interviews, Giordano shares how Brillante Mendoza helped his film career. But how did the award-winning filmmaker influenced his filmmaking?

“I was with my girl friend and we watched Kinatay and I was shocked. Because I came from American filmmaking, some European stuff, and the guerilla (style), how he hides the camera? There’s like hundreds of people in the frame. The camera, it’s just there. I did some of that in Pabuya, some improv. And that came with how I worked with Brillante. Because he will just give you a scenario and they would go, I wouldn’t do that for the main scenes but I had few of the actors being given the scenario and they write them down. But it was like an hour before, or the morning of (the shoot), I would just let them come up with their own dialogues. Five or six moments in the film were not on the script.”

Director Phil Giordano with Pabuya stars Diego Loyzaga and Franki Russell

On his Instagram post, Giordano shares his excitement as he joins the Viva family signing a 9-picture deal. The things he’s most excited about are doing feature films for the big screen and maybe , potentially, movies which will be released in the streaming giant Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Giordano also shared that he’s waiting to film his next movie with Viva which will be released on Vivamax. It’ll be either another crime thriller or a horror film. But the one he’s passionate about is a biopic about Billiards legend Efren “Bata” Reyes.

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