“Noong generation ko kasi, mas ngarag, mas ambitious. We wanted to prove ourselves. Ito, iba iyong generation na ito and that’s what I’m trying to capture.”
When award-winning director Jun Lana conceptualized and wrote Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi, he had only one actress in mind: Sue Ramirez.
“From the very beginning, I always wanted to work with her kasi napanood ko iyong isang clip niya, hindi pa eksena, for a film which we line produced, iyong Debutantes. Idinirek siya ni Prime Cruz. Doon pa lang gusto ko na siyang maidirek dahil galing na galing ako sa kanya. I think, everybody knows na napakagaling niyang artista. This movie reinforces kung gaano siya kagaling na artista. I’m surprised nga na hindi siya nabibigyan ng break dahil napakagaling niyang artista, maganda, marunong kumanta, I mean, complete package,” he said.
He admitted that he was obsessed by the idea of doing a movie about making personal connections beyond the internet.
“I was intrigued by the idea sa mga teenagers nowadays who are so dependent to technology. Whatever happens if you’re forced to disconnect and suddenly you become isolated. Anong mangyayari sa kanila kasi sobra silang naging dependent sa technology? Interesting sa akin iyong premise na iyon and that’s what I’m trying to explore,” he explained.
He even observed a generation more rooted in prudent and pragmatic notions about how work gets done and what’s needed to succeed than its predecessors. “Marami namang talents, directors and writers na millennials or Gen Zers ang Idea First. Nakikita ko iyong difference ng generation ko sa kanila. I think, mas relaxed sila for some reason. They just accept kung ano ang mangyayari sa araw-araw,” he noticed.
He, however, clarified that he has nothing against Gen Zers. “Bawat generation naman ay kanya-kanyang strengths and weaknesses. Some feel that the younger generation is entitled but at the same time, this generation is very savvy pagdating sa technology. Feeling ko, mas adventurous sila. They know how to live in the moment whereas my generation, we are always thinking about our future and the things that we have to do to save, so we have to be ambitious. We have to work so hard. Sila, they don’t wanna worry about the things that they cannot control. Tama naman sila because there are no guarantees in life and yet sobrang ngarag,” he elucidated.
He also explained why he went on a hiatus on social media. “I think, five years ago, I was very active. Kaso, nagbago ang priorities ko.I decided to stop. Ngayon lang ako bumalik sa Facebook. Ang toxic niya kasi. Everyday becomes a routine. Iyong wake up ko, 15-30 minutes mong binabasa every day. Napaka-stressful. Actually, I found it very stressful. The reason why some people post on social media sa Fb o kahit saan dahil gusto nilang mag-brag. Magyabang nang konti pero pa humble effect. Hindi ko siya kinaya. Napagod ako,so humiwalay ako roon. Ngayon, bumabalik na naman ako,” he pointed out.
“Basically ang social media, ginagamit ko lang siya para mag-promote ng projects ko pero to talk about my personal stuff, hindi ,eh. I’m very protective sa mga anak at ayokong i-post iyong mga pictures nila because napaka-personal noon sa akin,” he further said.
Lana also shed light on the issue of his misunderstanding with his “WiFi” star Jameson Blake regarding his ‘raket lang’ post on social media which became controversial.
“Klinarify ko iyon sa kanya, kasi noong nasa shoot ako, nabasa ko iyong interview niya yata sa presscon ng “So Connected”. Tapos sinabi niya na ako iyon, he was referring to me. Sabi ko,kinausap ko siya, yes it’s about you pero wala tayong isyu. Napaka-professional niya. He delivers. He comes to the set prepared. Hindi siya nagrereklamo. My issue was with the handlers and with the management kasi alam naman nila na may movie kaming ginagawa. So, ang pakiusap ko lang, bigyan ninyo naman ako ng time na makagawa nang maayos na pelikula dahil kapag masyado nating nilulunod sa mga raket ang mga alaga natin and we know dahil managers din kami, hindi rin sila makapag-concentrate. Hindi nila naibibigay iyong pokus na kailangan sa pelikula,” he clarified.
As an artist, Lana emphasized that he’s not apprehensive about people making hay and taking advantage of opportunities available to them.
“Naiintindihan ko naman iyon. Iba kasi ang movie. I think kapag nag-decide na tumanggap ng movie ang artista, napakalaking commitment noon. Iba kasi sa pelikula at sa TV. We have only 5-8 sequences a day so, gusto ko siyang tutukan and especially since, first time ko to work with them.I usually work with people I’m really comfortable with. People na alam kong meron kaming common language. Mabilis na ang communication namin. Dito, I’m still trying to establish rapport, chemistry with them. I’m still trying to discover their strengths and weaknesses as actors para magamit mo siya to their full potential. So, I need time, iyon lang talaga ang hinihingi ko, dahil iba talaga siya,” he concluded.
Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi revolves around the story of Norma (Sue Ramirez), a typical millennial who is dependent on WiFi in her daily interactions with friends and her boyfriend Leo (Markus Paterson). Unfortunately, she develops an allergy to WiFi and is compelled to live with her grandmother (Boots Anson Roa) in a faraway province where she will not be exposed to any radio waves that can worsen her condition. With no digital gadgets and no WiFi, how will she cope? How will her relationship with Leo be affected and how will his brother Aries (Jameson Blake) bridge the gap between their worlds?
Directed by Jun Robles Lana, Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi is produced by The IdeaFirst Company, Cignal Entertainment and October Train. Touted as one of the most anticipated entries in the second Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the movie opens in cinemas this August 15.