The Philippine Star’s Edgar O. Cruz wrote that ABS-CBN’s programming strategy to partially shoot its primetime shows in stunning locations abroad “sets a new high standard for the national TV industry.”
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Stunning locations energize ABS-CBN’s primetime block
MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in Philippine television history, majority of the content of ABS-CBN primetime block are partially shot in stunning locations abroad.
Launched by James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s On the Wings of Love partly shot in sumptuous San Francisco, USA, the ratings-friendly list includes Kim Chiu and Xian Lim’s The Story of Us in bustling New York and Liza Soberano and Matteo Guidicelli’s Dolce Amore in romantic Italy.
This will also include the forthcoming Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona’s debut series, Born For You, in Japan. Even Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga’s Be My Lady will shoot additional scenes in cosmopolitan Singapore before October. Coco Martin’s FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is exempt.
For the edge of realism, lead actors are global Filipinos: James is from Sydney, Australia; Xian from San Francisco, California; Liza from Santa Clara, California; Matteo is Filipino-Italian; and Daniel is Brazilian-Japanese.
What used to be reserved for full-length features is now the programming strategy of the Kapamilya network. This sets a new high standard for the national TV industry,
The technique is to shoot exterior and ambient scnes to dramatize the environment by which they exist. Interior scenes depicting foreign and local locations shot in Metro Manila using foreign-style locations and actors of correct nationalities connect interior with exterior shots. The Story of Us is located here and abroad.
And Filipino actors are not tourists but citizens and/or residents of those countries, dramatizing lifestyles of Filipinos abroad. It is also being used for programming advantage for the novelty and travel angles.
This is a frontal attack to appeal to the viewer-rich markets of Filipinos, mixed breeds even non-Filipino viewers. The growing demand from foreign TV networks for acquisition and broadcast of drama series from the Philippines upped the demand for such shows.
But this is not the first time ABS-CBN series were shot abroad: Vietnam Rose (2005) in Vietnam; Crazy for You (2006) in Barcelona, Spain; Kahit Isang Saglit (2008) in Malaysia; Only You (2009) in South Korea; Lovers in Paris (2009) in France; Green Rose (2012) in South Korea; My Binondo Girl (2011) in Hong Kong; and Princess and I (2012) in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
But they aired annually, at best twice a year. What we are talking here are five series airing simultaneously or overlapping consecutively in a span of one year.
As format and content, the use of previously untapped primetime block depicting the interaction of the lives of Filipinos who stayed behind and those who decided to leave synergizes a truthful depiction, whether as drama, comedy, romance or action, or the stir of all of the above, of who we are and what we can be.
Although cost of productions are naturally higher than those of far-flung local locations such as Palawan and the Cordillera mountains, Golden Gate Bridge or Eiffel Tower proves more expensive. But such initiatives push huge number of viewers to watch the series unfold in exotic and esoteric locations. Advertising balances income to exceed expenses, producing profits.
The template has been set towards world-class drama series that pictures the authentic experience we are invariably happier in our country.