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Philippine Technology Stream
Philippine Technology Stream

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What Bourne Legacy Brings to Local Talent

The established film making industry in the Philippines, which Bourne Legacy co-producer Frank Marshall has noted early on, is getting a lot of boost from the filming of the spy thriller in the country.

Bourne Legacy have enlisted local talents like Madeleine Nicolas, Ermie Concepcion, Lilia Cuntapay, Ruby Ruiz, Anne Garcia, Lou Veloso, and John Arcilla to play bit parts in the movie.

Aside from these actors, about 400 local production crew members were hired and about 15,000 extras will be used for the entire duration of the film.

Although some of the Filipino bit players have worked with foreign productions before, they said they welcome the new opportunity to work in a film production with international standards. They also remarked how they were treated as equals on the set, even if they are bit players.

The Filipino actors also affirmed that the foreign crew were contented with the film making talents here and with the Philippines as a whole.

In a television interview, actor John Arcilla said that the Filipino crew is so fast and efficient that the foreign filmmakers are almost always taken by surprise with how speedily the Filipino crew finish their tasks.

Philippine Government Support for Bourne Legacy Filming

If most Filipinos are elated that Bourne Legacy has chosen Manila, the Philippine government is doubly proud that the country bagged the filming of the blockbuster franchise and has thrown its full support behind the film.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), headed by Briccio Santos, is the lead agency handling foreign film productions in the Philippines, including promotion. In an interview with the Philippine Inquirer, Santos expressed his belief that film productions like “Bourne Legacy” is one of the best ways not only to promote the country as a film haven, but also to advertise the country as a tourist destination. He also hopes that aside from immediate benefits like job creation and improvement of skills of local filmmaking talents, the long-term effect of the foreign film productions will spill over to trade.

Santos said that the FDCP expects more productions to follow after Bourne Legacy. The good news is that the FDCP has already received inquiries from small European productions recently.

Although the Philippines is offering minimal financial incentives to foreign film producers at the moment, Santos said that the FDCP is currently studying a system that will rebate 10 to 15 per cent of the production cost of a foreign film company.

Another agency that is most actively involved in supporting the Bourne Legacy filming is the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Like the FDCP, the MMDA had been coordinating with the Bourne Legacy film production for almost a year now.

The MMDA has created Task Force Bourne, which is comprised of 166 MMDA personnel whose main task of course, is implied in its name. Task Force Bourne members are easily identifiable for they have a different set of uniform with “MMDA TF BOURNE” printed on it.

The MMDA also regularly issues traffic bulletins on SkyCable’s Teleradyo which usually reads like the following- “MMDA Advisory: alternate routes for Bourne Legacy filming”, followed by a listing or streets that motorists can take to avoid being trapped in the traffic that may have been caused by the filming.

A detailed map of the alternative routes for motorists can be found on this site:

Bourne Legacy Shooting Locations and Schedule

A lot of film buffs and Bourne Legacy fans are scouring the news as to where the shooting locations will be. Aside from the MMDA advisory, which more or less gives an idea where the filming is taking place at a particular date, the following list can serve as a guide for the filming in Manila:

Jan. 25, Feb. 17 and 18
Riverside Road, Real
Sta. Lucia streets in Intramuros
Feb. 5, (17, 18 in some reports)
Jones Bridge
Feb. 8 to 15
Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard
Other specific areas in the country where the film will be shot include:

NAIA in Paranaque
Agham Road in Quezon City
Pasay-Taft Rotonda (Jan 30-31)
Ayala Avenue
Navotas Fish Port Complex (Jan 24 and 25, Feb 3 and 4)
Marikina public market
El Nido in Palawan
The producers have said that 20 to 25 per cent of the film will be shot in Manila and that the last climactic scenes of the movie will be shot entirely in the Philippines.

GMA 7's Jessica Soho revealed in her show “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” that the production outfit is thinking of filming the ending or climax of Bourne Legacy in El Nido, Palawan.

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The filming of Universal Pictures’ Bourne Legacy, the latest installment in the Bourne franchise, continues to amuse Filipinos and even fatten the wallets of some who happen to be in the area of their shooting location.

A week ago, Bourne Legacy production reportedly paid hundreds of extras for P500 each per day in the Malate area and also paid the goods and rented the karitons (wooden carts) of the street vendors in the area for a minimum of P500 to a maximum of P1000.

More recently, ANC reported that the film production, which has a budget of more than $100 million, paid almost two million pesos as rental to an old fishing boat.

What is Bourne Legacy?

Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the Bourne series which was originally written by Robert Ludlum. The first three of the series, namely The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum was written by Ludlum and starred in by Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, the CIA operative with amnesia.

The series earned a total gross of $945 million worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing film franchises.

Since the death of Ludlum in 2001, Eric Van Lustbader continued writing the series. The Bourne Legacy was the first Jason Bourne novel written by Lustbader, followed by five more Bourne novels.

The film adaptation of the Bourne Legacy is penned by Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote the first three Bourne films, and who will be directing Bourne Legacy as well. The action-packed spy film stars Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as Aaron Cross and also Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), Edward Norton (Fight Club), Joan Allen (Face/Off), and Albert Finney (Erin Brockovich).

Bourne Legacy is produced by Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley and the film will be released in US theaters on August 3.

Why Bourne Chose Manila

The Hollywood production outfit works with local producer Lope “Jun” Juban, Jr who runs Philippine Film Studios, Inc (PFSI), a local company which has co-produced Hollywood films which shot in the Philippines in the past 30 years like Year of Living Dangerously, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July, among others. But unlike these films which used Manila as a stand-in for Indonesia, Vietnam, or Mexico, Bourne Legacy will promote Manila as it is and for what it is, in all its splendor and with all its imperfections.

Crowley said that Manila was chosen among three candidates which included Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh. Marshall revealed that the established film industry in the Philippines tipped the scales in favor of Manila. The Philippines’ filmmaking talents, especially in film production, offered a great advantage compared to the other cities.

Juban said in numerous interviews that it was the history of filmmaking in the country and the resilient, hospitable, and friendly, attitude of Filipinos that gave Manila an edge.

Hollywood Stars Working in Manila

Bourne Legacy started filming in the Philippines last January 11 and it is scheduled to shoot for a total of 35 days (45 days in some reports) in the country.

Cast members Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner had been in the Philippines for two weeks now and had been filming in various locales since then. Edward Norton, meanwhile, just planed in last Sunday via a Thai Airways flight. Norton, who plays the protagonist in the film, will only shoot one scene in the Philippines.

As an added bonus, Daniel Craig, lead star of Bond film Casino Royale and who happens to be Rachel Weisz’ husband, is also in town, but only to visit his wife.

Weisz, not knowing how big a hit “The Mummy” was in the Philippines, was reportedly surprised that she has many fans in the country. Her graciousness and humble ways with local co-stars and some residents in the areas where the Bourne Legacy is being filmed has gained her more Filipino fans.

Renner made news for having a tantrum on the set, which local producer Juban denied.

It seems the actors have acclimatized to the Philippines and have even started attending parties like those of Cristalle Belo (daughter of Vicki Belo) and event organizer Tim Yap. They have also met local celebrities like Phoemela Baranda, Iza Calzado, and KC Concepcion.

Baranda revealed that Renner and Weisz reportedly enjoyed the local viands like adobo, pinaputok na tilapia and gising-gising that were served during dinner. Both also wanted to learn more about the Filipino culture and are visibly impressed by the scenery and the warm smiles of Filipinos, especially kids.

Baranda also said that Renner has been to Boracay and Weisz is eager to see the country’s world-famous resort, too.
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