Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles

Oct 14, 2012 by

Get this: the story’s setting is in Pulupandan. The very town where I was born and raised. This is also the same town that Lea Salonga has been talking about since her mother was also born there. With this, I am absolutely excited and I can’t wait for this to open on October 17th. Everyone, mark your calendar and please, please come to the movies and watch Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles. 

Now, I can’t begin to actually drum up my anticipation for this breakthrough Filipino movie, so I have decided to quote verbatim the director himself, Erik Matti. Erik writes about this film in the comic book of the same title which you can buy at any National Bookstore outlet nationwide. Read on and be amazed at the promise of this film.

Tik Tik The Aswang Chronicles


By Erik Matti

What we lack in finesse, we make up for grit. What we lack in resources, we make up by calling it naturalistic. What we lack in production values, we make up by calling it art.

We always come up with all sorts of excuses whenever our movies come up short; lack of money, stupid audience, bad producers, not enough time. In the end, we dumb down our audience, happy when they tell us, “For a Filipino movie, it’s ok, ha?”

Six years ago, Dondon Monteverde and I sat down and talked about an aswang story; an unabashed popcorn movie about a couple at the brink of separation, stranded in a town full of aswang. We wanted it done the good ol’ fashion way; commercial, cinematic, with heart and very Filipino. There were no delusions of grandeur as to making it the best aswang movie there is (although we want to think it can be). No such arrogance. We just wanted to make a movie that we would like to watch ourselves.

After several years, that germ of a story went down several story roads. One developed story led to being too complicated and the other too simple to extend into a full-length. Since we couldn’t take it off the ground, we parked the story.

In  December 2010, during one of the usual dinners Dondon and I would always have, the aswang story was again brought up by Dondon. This time he demanded that we do the project with discipline and conviction to see it through all the way.

Local serious filmmakers tend to shy away from the genre, thinking that it’s the lowest kind of self-expression there is. Genre is not always formula. Genre, when well done, can make classics out of it.

“Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles” is an out and out genre movie. A real, honest-to-goodness genre movie that we all love to watch, well, at least, I love to watch. We didn’t go out and reinvent the aswang genre. We also didn’t resist making it. And we didn’t copy the formula. We worked around it using all the elements that make the aswang genre work but also pushed it further to play with the genre itself. For me, that’s what a good genre movie is; work within the givens of the genre but also push the genre elements to another level, reformulating it to make it progressive, fresh and contemporary.

All green screen movie. 

We write movies we love to tell but we also write movies we want to make. As if the story was not complicated enough, we decided that “Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles” was to be shot on green screen. Entirely, take note, not parts of it, in green screen. Shot 2000sq. meter warehouse that we converted into a studio, we wanted to push for what technology can do for a Filipino film now. We wanted to see how technology can help a movie look better, feel better and be told better. We wanted to see if we had the discipline for it; the discipline to plan ahead, to do proper prep work, to push our imagination. Doing everything in green screen does not just make our imagination fly but it also grounds us on how we can properly use the technology without going overboard. 20 months in the making. 5 months prep work for research, designs, auditions, tests and set building. 3 months shoot. 12 months CG work and post-production. We always say we need more time to make good movies. Now, we’re making time and investing time for it.

Erik Matti

Let’s go watch this, everyone! And I mean, everyONE!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>