MANILA -- Director GB Sampedro has been working at the helm of different film genres for over a decade now.
He started with the action drama, “Astig” (2009), starring Dennis Trillo, Sid Lucero, Edgar Allan Guzman and Arnold Reyes. He also directed drama with “Separados” (2014), comedy fantasy with “Mang Kepweng Returns” (2017), and comedy-romance with “Love is Love” (2019) and “D’Ninang” (2020).
With his latest directorial effort, “Kaka,” Sampedro tries his hand at sexy comedy for the first time, with the debut of sexy star, Sunshine Guimary.
“I discovered na kaya kong gumawa ng ganitong klaseng pelikula,” Sampedro told ABS-CBN News. “I’m thankful to Viva that they gave me a chance and I was able to explore what I still want to do as a director. Nagkaroon ng something new at something fresh na gagawin ko.”
Sampedro took it as a challenge when he was assigned to work at the helm of a sexy comedy flick. “For some reason, the concept of ‘Kaka’ was not done specifically for Sunshine,” Sampedro clarified. “But if you will ask me kung bagay si Sunshine for this project, my answer is yes.”
The timing that Viva wants to introduce Guimary in a sexy comedy turned out to be ideal. There were no auditions needed for the cast in “Kaka.” Sampedro is very thankful that Viva gave him a free hand in choosing his cast members.
“Wala akong hiningi na hindi binigay ng Viva,” he said. “For me, ganoong kalaki ang utang na loob ko sa Viva because they gave me their full trust in this project. They trusted my vision.”
When Guimary was assigned the project, Sampedro requested to work with the likes of Gina Pareño, Rosanna Roces, Giselle Sanchez and Maui Taylor.
“Destined na mabuo ang cast na ito,” Sampedro beamed. “This is not just a sexy comedy. This film tackles certain topics that are not openly discussed but are facts of life.”
The fact that they completed their two-week filming while locked-in with the entire cast and crew was another challenge for Sampedro. They even transferred to out-of-town locations in Batangas and Tagaytay.
“Na-challenge ko ‘yung sarili ko,” Sampdero said. “Good thing na naka-lock-in ang shooting. It was also challenging to transfer locations, because we had to meet protocols and guidelines. We had to submit permits pagdating sa probinsiya.
“Nanibago ako, considering this is my first sexy comedy. Sanay akong mag-comedy pero inaral ko ang sexy. I grabbed the opportunity to do the new genre. Na-challenge talaga ako. Kapag bago sa ‘yo ang isang bagay, ibubuhos mo ang effort mo.”
“Kaka” was filmed last March at the height of the COVID-19 surge. However, the cast and crew followed safety protocols. They had swab tests prior to the filming, then they had isolated quarantine.
Masks and face shields were only taken out during the actual shoot. After the two-week filming, everyone had exit swab tests before they were all sent home.
Sampedro is thankful the cast did not have any problem in the two-week filming, despite the change in locations.
“Wala kaming naging problema in the two-week shoot,” the director disclosed. “Mababait at professional ang mga artista ko. Lahat nasa plano at on time. Nasunod lahat ng schedules. Walang nagkagulatan.”
Filming for two weeks while locked-in formed a close bond for the cast. “I got to know more of them,” Sampedro said. “Bonded kami at naging close kami. Nasa isang location lang sa hotel. Even after the shoot, we still see each other. Naging mas comfortable kami sa isa’t isa.
“Nabuo ang samahan namin sa set. That was what’s good about it. Parang family kami. Kapag may gusto ako, open kami sa isa’t-isa. I can discuss anything with them openly. In the same way, kapag may suggestions sila, they can tell it to me right away. ‘Yun ang naging susi sa maayos na samahan namin sa trabaho.”
Assessing the performance of his first-time actors like Guimary and her leading man, Ion Perez, Sampedro rated it an 8, on a scale of one to 10.
“Considering na bago sila, ginawa naman nila ang lahat na pwede nilang gawin. Hindi siguro perfect, pero alam mo na may room for perfection pa. Sabi ko nga kay Sunshine, naka-break-in na siya, so ready na siya for her next movie.
“Hindi sila handing handa, pero alam mo na gusto pa nilang matuto at malaman kung ano ang tama o mali na gagawin nila.”
Perez, observed the director, was also willing to learn. “I know him even before because I play basketball with him. I saw his other side. Alam mo na meron siyang gustong matutunan at meron siyang gustong gawin.”
The theme song for “Kaka” titled “Sunshine,” was recorded by Juan at Kyle, who sang the phenomenal “Marikit.”
Joining the cast of “Kaka” are Jerald Napoles as the best friend of the lead character, with Jackie Gonzaga of “It’s Showtime” fame, Juliana Parizcova Segovia and Debbie Garcia.
Others in the cast are Andrea del Rosario, Sheree Bautista, Lander Vera-Perez, Josef Elizalde, Pio Balbuena, Billy Villeta, Yuki Sakamoto, Minnie Nato, with the special participation of Janine Teñoso, Marion Aunor and Ronnie Liang.