Behind the Reels

FEU Advocate
October 01, 2021 09:59

It all started in a hidden local spot, the year 2021. The distinguishable aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans; the calming jazz music mixed with the whispering winds; the warm ambiance with a tranquil scene, a man in his 30’s beside the window giving a mouthful of frustrated ambitions with the fellow filmmaker on the tomorrow's dream. 

They started reminiscing about the once fleeting life in cinema mixed with the loud chewing noises, spoilers all-around your seats, and the chilling atmosphere of the theater. As bothersome as some of these sentimental things were, people would still want to experience them once again. The surreal feeling of goosebumps after the end of films was unexplainable, and being a part of it will only tell. 

Joaquin was born into an artistic household – an uplifting and committed film major. This fellow filmmaker asked the man staring outside the window how he was holding up, knowing that his film will be his career's breakthrough. The man replied with a nod and a wide grin on his face, a dim and blurred memory caught up to him reminiscing his past life. Ernesto was a passionate old soul mastering his craftsmanship in short films – an ambitious filmmaker at heart, dedicating his whole career to filmmaking that he once thought was beyond his reach. 

Back in the day, tickets were still as cheap as the transportation fees; a spoiler-free environment; and a quiet place to appreciate the film. Cinema is indeed a vibrant domain of imagination that refreshes the mind, taking the soul of the audience into another universe. There might be significant changes over time, but it would still be a nostalgic home for Ernesto and Joaquin. Ernesto would often bring a new short film for Joaquin to criticize because he wasn't much of an active person due to his medical condition.

As Ernesto sipped his hot coffee, he was left with a lingering sweet aftertaste of his rekindled memories, then resuming his conversation with Joaquin. He inquired as to why Joaquin was stroking his head and whether he was fatigued, but he simply shrugged his shoulders.

It's been through mud and dirt how filmmakers are going through nowadays due to the decreasing number of viewers from the streaming platforms. According to Ernesto, they should at least improve the advertisement of the film. He then remarked that they should rest for now because they still have work to do. 

The next day, before the online premiere of his film, Ernesto paid a visit to Joaquin. He stared at him smiling with tears streaming down his cheeks as he reached out the warmth of his friend's hand. Ernesto then bids his pal farewell, hoping that eventually, everything is going to be alright. Later that night, right before the release of his film, Ernesto received a message, enough for his world to stop and with one deep gasp, he just looked up without saying anything at all.

- Joshua David M. Diamante

(Illustration by Teresa Violeta Ocfemia)