‘Hello, Stranger’: How Black Sheep produced hit BL series during a pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2020 02:09 AM

‘Hello, Stranger’ stars Tony Labrusca and JC Alcantara exchange messages in a special episode of the hit series. Black Sheep

MANILA — A week before its conclusion, “Hello, Stranger” streamed Wednesday a special episode chronicling its production journey, from casting the lead stars, directing remotely, to mounting “sets” during a pandemic.

The half-hour behind-the-scenes special, titled “Strangers No More,” showed the process of creating the boys’ love (BL) series, with Black Sheep head Kriz Gazmen, director Petersen Vargas, and writer Patrick Valencia each explaining different aspects of the project.

Lead actor Tony Labrusca was an instant choice as Xavier, they revealed, while his onscreen partner, JC Alcantara, was among the actors who auditioned as Mico.

Glimpses of their initial script-reading to establish chemistry, as well as their first meeting in person were shown in the episode.

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Cast members Miguel Almendras, Gillian Vicencio, Patrick Quiroz, and Vivoree Esclito likewise shared their experience filming during the pandemic. They shot scenes via video call, and had to record themselves with a second camera at home, due to prevailing lockdown restrictions.

The same was the case for Labrusca and Alcantara, but the leads also had help from a small crew for additional footage shot within their respective homes.

Aside from those involved in “Hello, Stranger,” its international community of fans was a highlight in the special episode, with regular YouTube reactors being interviewed about the series.

Before its August 19 conclusion, “Hello, Stranger” is holding a virtual fan conference on the 16th, which will include an advanced screening of the final episode.