poster was designed by the Benilde Filmworks organization and I already reprimanded them for their choice of photo for me — of all the photos they found of me online, they chose that one?!

Last Saturday, Ida del Mundo and I held the first day of a 5-day workshop on screenwriting that we are giving 15 freshmen of the Digital Film Department in Benilde. They all applied and they are the ones that we had chosen after our screening of their works.

I was super excited to be meeting the freshmen. It’s just fifteen of them but it would already give me an idea of the kind of benchmark as to how we will be dealing with them.

These are the first set of freshmen that the department will be handling that came from the K to 12 program. We still had new enrollment the past two years but they were mostly transferees from other schools and some students who slipped past the K-12 program.

Now, our freshmen are 17 to 18 (usually we used to get them at 16-17) and the one year difference is huge. At the same time, they have had film classes and creative writing classes so these 15 kids have proven a complete understanding of the basics.

It’s a totally new world now and we have to adjust if we are going to be teaching these bright young things.

Ida and I had to adjust our module during the early break that I gave them because these guys are done with the basics. They are ready to write and I’m excited to teach them.

Since I started teaching in the department, the subjects I taught were geared towards juniors, the final year of the students. Being new at the time, it meant that every other teacher at the department had met and worked with these kids already and I was just playing catch up.

Now, the tables have turned. With our new curriculum and this workshop, the students are going to pass through me first before they reach the others. The first major subjects they all have to take is Creative Conceptualization, the syllabus of which I was asked to design. It does not necessarily have to be followed but I laid the groundwork for it.

And Joey Reyes, our program chair, had asked me to teach two classes as he will teach the other two classes. And all the freshmen have to take this class before they get into their majors. I meet them first.

That excites me. I’m not a strict teacher and my goal is always to inspire and encourage and I think that might be a good starting point before they get bogged down by the high standards of the other teachers, who will be teaching more technical aspects of filmmaking. Hopefully, I can push them to come up to the standards and to demand more.

The tables have turned.

It’s time to be inspiring as fuck.


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