Photo Review: LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 (#21108)

LEGO_Ecto_1_ - 1

Christmas 2014 greeted me with a coveted LEGO Ecto-1 from the LEGO Ideas catalog. For those unaware, ‘Ideas’ is a crowdsourcing campaign that LEGO set up many months ago. It essentially is a “built it and pitch it” program where anyone can show LEGO their creations, gain support and then have the marketing team over at Billund ‘productize’ it. The ECTO-1 from, a fanboy standpoint, is an instant win for such a campaign.


Underwater Prenup Photo Shoot

My friend and dive instructor, Jan Acosta, recently got married to his long time dive buddy + girlfriend Jules. And what better way to prepare for taking the plunge into marriage than actually taking a real plunge into an underwater prenup shoot for their wedding!

The bride and the groom are seasoned divers but we had to take double the precautions to make sure nothing went wrong. The shoot took weeks to prepare and a whole weekend to shoot:

Jan & Jules Take the Plunge from Jan Acosta on Vimeo.

  • Jan and Jules had two safety divers each from our regular dive group, who made sure that there was always a tank of air nearby. Underwater, the bride and the groom would take deep breaths from the regulator, remove the mask and hand these over to the safety divers and pose for the camera.
  • The shoot was done in the house reef of Dive and Trek Resort in Bauan, Batangas. For those unfamiliar, this dive site is known to most divers as “The Classroom” as it is usually the first point of entry of most divers into the world of SCUBA diving. We wanted to do the shoot in a place that was very familiar to all of us but had to be deep enough (around 30 feet) so that Wowie and Marie (the photographers) could play around more, especially with the props. I was one of the videographers.
  • As you’re more buoyant in salt water, (yes this was done in open water and not in a pool as you can see from the reef fish and corals) we had to weigh them both down with weights fastened into their clothes so that they sink.
  • I have no idea how Jules’ make up and hair were done but it took her hours to get everything fastened into place so that her hair behaved when she jumped into the water. I think there’s some sort of art to putting on make up for saltwater but I didn’t really try to understand how that’s done. EDIT: From Jules — My hair was actually done by Chie Clemente-Fernandez who braided some parts of my hair for the first and second shoots I think. The other shoots, I tried wearing a a headband, but there’s really no taming the waters–once you’re down there, you just have to position your face and body for the camera in such a way that the hair does not get in the way. Now, for make-up, Marie Lat was the expert! She brought her water proof sets, but I still got to retouch every dive. It was hardwork all around for every one, and the result was one heck of a great job, thanks guys!
  • The reef fish definitely played a part in the whole shoot as you can see from some of the shots. But it was funny how they would partake in the whole production as these fish are so used to being with people already.


If you’re interested in getting an important milestone done in this wet and wild fashion, check out STUDIO H20 on Facebook, a different kind of photography service for the water freaks.

And the National Artist Award for Blogging goes to …

Based on the recent unfolding of events, the saying “everyone’s a critic” can also apparently apply to being an artist. On one end, Bencab thought that adding new categories was silly while Lourd de Veyra proposed his set of nominees which included Bayani Fernando for visual arts, Kuya Germs for Fashion, Ma Mon Luk for culinary arts, GMA for dance, among others:

Now everybody can be a National Artist. They keep adding categories: Landscape Art, Fashion Design, what’s next, hairdressers? They should stick to the seven arts: Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts. [source]

So in the spirit of adding new categories, I’m proposing the National Artist Award for Blogging. To be eligible for this award, you need to have made significant contributions to the art and science (hindi science, because artists are not scientists) of blogs either through design, development, technique, industry or the very act of blogging itself.

I have the following nominees:

Gail de la Cruz-Villanueva – for being the first Filipina to have her WordPress design template become part of the default templates available with Dreamhost Hosting.

Kring Elenzano – for being the first Filipina to consistently produce, write, and act in her own online video shows.

Mike Abundo – for being the first Filipino to have a phenomenon (known as the “Mike Abundo Effect”) named after him c/o PR specialist Steve Rubel.

Markku Seguerra – for developing the famous iPAP plugin used by many photographers in their blogs globally.

Andrew de la Serna – for developing a blog ranking system.

Who are your choices?

Young Cannes Lions in online conversation

Joey once told me that the roots of nation building is all about conversation. The world’s like one big nation now so conversation usually takes place in smaller pockets, like this one, the 48 hour contest on how to change the world.

Two popular local entries are up there (aside from the “Spock Rocks” vid).

Mostly Everything

Flash Mob or TV Commercial Shoot?

Last week I dropped by Market! Market! after attending an IT Summit. Met up with a few friends to have lunch and witnessed the video you see above.

This next line is important —

What it is: a TV commercial shoot. What it looked like was a flash mob gone wrong.

Okay, okay I know what Mike Abundo would say — you can’t (always) manufacture the viral. In fact you can’t classify something as a “viral video” when it hasn’t even become viral.

There’s a fine line between manufacturing something that aims to be viral and letting something out that just becomes viral. For the more Internet savvy, a shoot like this would have been a flash mob fail — cordoned off area, directors shouting orders to the camera men “hidden” on the different floors, audio cues from all over the place, and actors that both play the flash mob “freeze” and the “victims” who check them out. I certainly felt that way – flash mob fail. But I figured that this wasn’t the objective. It was, for all intents and purposes a TV commercial shoot – and it had all the components necessary for that.

You COULD say that it was one of those more creative productions – as there was some sort of audience participation where the director would shout “OK palakpak!” (OK, clap your hands!) to the entire mall — and everyone obeyed, and did more, with cheers and cat calls. Filipinos are in love with the TV and I guess the hope of being seen, even for a split second in that commercial when it airs is golden. To say that “I was there, and here’s the vid I captured on my phone!” is golden. Having the honor of being part of an experience is definitely golden.

Of course, you can always argue the fact that the mob AND the shoot can be done all at once. Well, what I have to say is that maybe we’re not there, maybe not yet.

Maybe next time, we’ll have a real flash mob. Just maybe. 🙂 It’s all good.