Ely Buendia Directs ‘Pusakal’

Ely Buendia has dived deeper into filmmaking with the trilogy "Bang Bang Alley" under production company Curve Entertainment. The 42-year-old musician, famous as former leader of pop rock band Eraserheads, contributed to the project as director and producer of "Pusakal," which is part of the said trilogy.

According to Buendia, "Bang Bang Alley" tackles the "culture of violence" in the country; "Pusakal," meanwhile, was inspired by his band Pupil's music video for "20/20."

"Ang nangyari, lumaki na lang nang lumaki. [From that video] Nagkaroon kami ng script, nagkaroon kami ng story. From there, it snowballed na lang. After the initial scriptwriting stage in May, we shot the movie, and right now we're finishing it up," Buendia told abs-cbnnews.com in an interview.

Buendia's "Pusakal" features actresses Megan Young and Perla Bautista; he also makes a cameo appearance in it. Pupil guitarist Yan Yuzon also directed his own segment, "Aso't Pusa't Daga," in which he stars with Bela Padilla, Art Acuña and Joel Torre, while music video director King Palisoc helmed "Makina" starring Gabe Mercado and Mely Soriano.

The musician admits feeling "pressured" on how audiences will appraise his acting even if he had given his best to come up with a good performance.

"I made sure naman na 'yung character na tinackle ko, malapit-lapit naman sa 'kin."

He cleared that he didn't get into the process blindly. "You really have to be convincing. [Kasi] kaunting palya lang sa performance mo, medyo magsa-suffer na 'yung buong pelikula," he maintained.

Buendia majored in Film at the University of the Philippines. He admitted that he had long wanted to start a career in the medium.

"I really wanted to be a filmmaker since college, as a career. Music for me was just a hobby then; I didn't really think I'd make an actual career out of it. I was studying to be in film," he said.

He is thankful with the advent of digital filmmaking, maintaining that it has made his dream much more attainable.

"After 20 to 30 years and with the advent of digital technology, mas madali nang pumasok sa filmmaking," he said.

Buendia appeared in various minor roles in a number of films in the past including the comedies "Run Barbi Run" and "Masikip Sa Dibdib."

In recent years, Buendia dabbled in indie films, acting in "Spoonfed" and directing the 13-minute indie "Waiting Shed" produced by Cinemanila.

His last film appearance was in the Metro Manila Film Fest Best Picture "Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story."