Leah Salterio

A family affair for a film production outfit

June 24, 2024 Leah C. Salterio 143 views
Director CC Camarillo works with loveteam Barbie Forteza and David Licauco in “That Kind of Love.”
Director CC Camarillo with her family

BEING a business owner has its advantage and disadvantage. Director Catherine “CC” Camarillo’s job now that she does not only work at the helm of film productions, even became more fulfilling. She has to work in every important detail of filmmaking.

It took director CC more than two decades working as assistant director for the small screen. She also helped veteran directors in their films, where she worked as assistant director.

After being an assistant director for more than two decades, direk CC ventured into film production with her family.

“I decided to start up a film production company with my family because of the COVID pandemic and the loss of ABS-CBN’s franchise,” Direk CC disclosed. “I was looking for something to work on and supplement my craft and so my family thought of putting up a production company.”

Last May, Pocket Media Productions released its maiden offering, ‘Chances Are, You and I,’ which starred Kira Balinger and Kelvin Miranda.

Today, the production outfit is coming out with its sophomore outing right away, the second being ‘That Kind of Love,” Both projects were filmed in Korea. Naturally, there is always a certain project that will become attached to the filmmaker.

“I believe Pocket Media Productions is still relatively small and new compared to the established players in the film production industry,” asserted direk CC. “I feel more attached to ‘Chances Are, You and I’ because it was the first film that we made.

“After a long period of time with having minimal work because of the pandemic, that was the project that motivated me to pursue creating films and fueled my passion.”

Pocket Media Productions survived its maiden venture, ‘Chances Are, You and I,’ despite the many the challenges production, stars and crew had to hurdle.

“We survived with pure grit and resilience; always trying our hardest to work and continue doing so despite facing challenges,” said direk CC. “We wanted to do things our way and be true to our company’s vision.

“The hardest hurdle for me was encountering the learning curves of producing films. Since I am a director foremost before trying my hand in producing, there was a lot of first times for me when it comes to this side of filmmaking such us preparing the budget, creating and negotiating contracts, and the overall production and execution of our day to day filming.

“Facing those challenges was a learning process for us in the company, but it helped us improve our work little by little.”

Pocket Media Productions was able to establish its presence right away in the local entertainment scene and across the country.

“I still believe that the company is a greenhorn in this industry, but I am happy that an established presence was noticeable,” direk CC said. “In terms of strength, I could say that we have a resilient team who can handle our projects no matter how challenging it takes.”

Filmmaking will always be collaborative for direk CC. Through the years, she dedicated time to relationship building and prioritizing personalized customer engagement. She believes those are important in running the production business today to ensure that each interaction is meaningful and memorable.

“From the inception of it, to its production and finally to its showing in the silver-screen, there is always a form of collaboration happening between the creators and the audience,” direk CC explained.

“Allowing the production to feel invested in the film that they are creating leads to a more meaningful creation. The same is with the audience. Simply put, to allow the creators and the audience to feel profoundly that the film is for them is a great way to make every interaction memorable.

In the maiden venture of Pocket Media Productions, it partnered right away with Regal Entertainment.

“It felt new, particularly, because the company is also learning the processes and the cycles of creating and selling a film,” direk CC explained. “The partnership was professional enough for us to try and put our best foot forward and to continuously learn and adapt in the distribution stage of the film.”

After Regal Entertainment, Pocket Media Productions is eyeing to tie up with international production companies to increase the global reach of the projects that the company creates in the future.

Direk CC definitely sees the future expansion of Pocket Media Productions, especially since the company is the first business venture that her family has ever been into.

“There is more to Filipino films that we wish to share with others globally,” direk CC said. “Pocket Media Production is poised to become a prominent Filipino name/brand that will undoubtedly flourish.

“By being true to our vision and the culture we believe in when it comes to creating. As Pocket Media Productions, we do not want to imitate the way current industry players produce their films, but rather, to do so in our own special way.

“We always wanted to make films close to our hearts and with stories that we believe will resonate with our audience. Lahat ng kwento, ay may kwenta. And it is our company’s goal to showcase these stories that will surely resonate with the Filipinos.”

Direk CC’s 27-year-old daughter, Ellis Catrina, wrote the story of ‘Chances Are, You and I,’ which surprised the mom herself. The daughter again wrote the story of the sophomore outing, ‘That Kind of Love,’ the first big screen partnership of Barbie Forteza and David Licauco.

“My daughter is a writer by heart,” direk CC disclosed. “She really loves to write stories. When we put up our production outfit, Pocket Media Productions, I told the family, ‘Why not utilize our family members?’ I encouraged them.”

Direk CC’s family members eventually got involved working in the company’s production outfit. She functions as director and executive producer. Her husband, Eric, is the finance head, while administrative head is her sister.

Paralegal is her lawyer-son who drafted all the contracts. Third daughter, Ellis, was the screenwriter. Caterer was her eldest daughter, who is a chef. The youngest, although not involved in the production, is a performing arts major at De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde.