The Exploited Scriptwriters of the Film Industry

The Exploited Scriptwriters

of the Film Industry

by Apolinario Villalobos


Every time award-winning films catch the limelight, quotes are heard from those who have seen the movies, to show that they were first-hand witnesses of such eventful showing. It is true that actors play a vital role in the garnering of awards, but without the appropriate and catchy dialogues and dramatic cinematography, the whole movie would be nothing. There is no question with the director who is considered as the life-giver of the film. Unfortunately, while the actors who mumble the phrases are praised no end, the scriptwriter who squeezed his or her brains to be able to come up with juicy lines, is neglected, just like the rest of the essential members of the “working group”.


Remove the scripts and a movie will be back to the former “glorious” silence and subtitled past of the industry. What is sad is that, the scriptwriters are among the lowest paid workers in the filmmaking industry. As if the abuse is not enough, some directors have the habit of practically “shredding” the lines according to his or the actors’ whim. One scriptwriter friend told me that his script was 70% redone, but thankful that the title was not changed.


Sleepless nights are spent to complete a script to suit a story line. Continuity is a very important factor to maintain the flow of the story. A single inappropriate word can spoil a whole script. And, some scriptwriters still had to consult references, especially, if the material is historical just like the “General Luna”. As much as possible, the scriptwriter has to be around while filming is going on, for whatever necessary changes that have to be made on the spot and pronto!


If a script is being sold, during the transaction, there is so much haggling that as much as 30% is lost from the original price, and the worst thing that could happen is when the whole script is redone including the title and a new name appears in the byline.


Those are the sacrifices of the scriptwriter…neglected and underpaid. Just like the rest of artists, a scriptwriter who does not know how to handle his earnings can die a pauper.


Artist ang espesyal kong pare…si Abbey Boy (para kay Abbey Boy Antiqueno)

Artist ang espesyal kong pare…si Abbey Boy
(para kay Abbey Antiqueῆo)
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Una ko siyang nakitang nakatayo sa bukas nilang gate, nakangiti at kumaway sa akin, kaya kinawayan ko rin siya. Dahil kilala ko ang mga magulang niya, napasyal ako sa kanila minsan, at habang nag-uusap kami ng papa niya, napansin kong nahati ang kanyang atensiyon sa pagitan ng panonood ng tv at pakikinig sa amin.

Makalipas ang ilang buwan, nang dumaan uli ako sa tapat ng bahay nila, nakita ko siyang nakatayo sa bukas na gate nila, pero laking gulat ko nang tawagin niya akong “pare”, sabay kaway. Napangiti na lang ako at tinawag ko rin siyang “pare”, at kinawayan din. Naalala ko na nang huli akong pumasyal sa kanila, nagtawagan kami ng papa niya ng “pare” habang nag-uusap. Natandaan niya ang salita, na kinabiliban ko dahil siya ay isang “special person”.

Ang naging tawagan namin ni Abbey Boy mula noon ay hindi lang basta tawagang “pare”, kundi may kasama pang yakapan kung nasa kanila ako. Nagha-high five din kami, na animo ay magkabarkada.

Nananalantay sa dugo ng pamilya ni Abbey Boy ang pagkamakasining, mathematician at pagkabihasa sa computer. Ang kanyang papa ay nakakapag-sketch ng plano ng bahay at nagli-layout din. Ang kanya namang mama ay debuhista o sketch artist noong kabataan niya, at manunulat pa na nagamit nang mapasok siya sa La Salle na may administrative responsibilities. Lahat naman ng mga kapatid niyang sina PJ, Alvin, at Andrei ay may kanya-kanyang pinagdalubhasaan sa linya ng sining at computer. Subalit ang nakatawag din ng pansin sa kanilang magkakapatid ay si Alvin na malimit kuhaning judge sa mga painting contests, na ang pinakahuli ay sa PLDT, at pati TESDA ay kumilala na rin sa kanyang galing.

Noong una, akala ko ay hanggang panonood lamang ng tv ang ginagawa ni Abbey Boy upang palipasin ang maghapon. Subalit isang araw ay napansin ko ang mga nakasabit na mga naka-frame na sketches at paintings sa isang dingding ng bahay nila. Nagulat ako nang sabihin ng mama niya na karamihan sa mga naka-frame ay gawa ni Abbey Boy, at ang iba ay kay Alvin. Makikita sa mga ginawa niya ang kanyang sense of proportion at balance ng execution, pati na ang galing sa pagtimpla ng pangkulay. Nang lingunin ko siya, nakangiti ito at nag-thumbs up sa akin. Sinagot ko rin siya ng thumbs up, subalit may kahalong hindi ko maipaliwanag na nararamdaman…malamang ay sobrang kasiyahan.

Nang araw na yon, lalong umigting ang paniwala ko sa pagmamahal ng Diyos sa sangkatauhan. Hindi niya pinababayaan ang hindi nagkapalad na magkaroon ng normal na buhay. Para bang sinasabi ng Diyos na sa ibabaw ng mundo, walang sinumang inutil o walang silbi dahil may nakalaang kaalaman para sa bawa’t isa….isa na diyan si Abbey Boy, ang espesyal kong pare, na artist pala! Hindi man siya nakasabay sa pag-aaral ng mga kapatid, busog naman siya sa pamamahal nila at kanyang mga magulang na sina Elmer at Mila, at ng kanyang pinsang si Cristy na nagtitiyagang maging kasama niya kung siya ay naiiwang mag-isa sa bahay.
Ang mga tulad ni Abbey Boy ang nagsisilbing inspirasyon at nagpapatunay na sa ibabaw ng mundo, lahat ay may kabuluhan.

To be an Artist

To be an Artist
By Apolinario Villalobos

To be an artist is difficult…yes, in a way, that is, if one tries to acquire other skills. But all creatures on earth are with inborn skill or skills, even those that belong to the plant kingdom. Every creature has an inborn “something” to show for the amusement of the world. And, that for me is what I mean by art – anything done by a creature to delight any or all senses.

Plants with their adaptation become natural artists by developing beautiful appendages such as twigs, branches, leaves, flowers, and scents for the pleasure of man and animals. Cats for instance become excited at the smell of catnip. Animals are amused in the artistically natural movement of their kind, such that a dog may bark in wild abandon at the sight of a wriggling worm.

As for man, painters compose landscapes on canvass for the discriminating view of visual art enthusiasts, sculptures form woods and metals to come up with beautiful decorative objects, cooks concoct savory foods to delight the palate of foodies, literary people write poems and essays for the romantics and the serious, photographers skillfully capture images in their cameras for the “aahhs” and “oohhs” of their viewers, hair cutters snip at clumps of hair for the appreciation of their customers, the same as with facial artists who dab faces with colorful rouges – to name a few.

Mobile creatures can even escape death with artistic cunning. Monkeys in their own domain, for instance, gracefully swing from tree to tree, while lizards and worms camouflage themselves to meld with their surroundings to escape their predators; schools of small fishes form a giant and deceptive “ball” by swarming together to scare away big fishes; and in circus shows people gape at escape artists do their ware.

Unfortunately, artistry has gone out of bounds because the skill has spread to the halls of government edifices where found are lawmakers and office personnel who, with artistic skill manipulate budgets. With artistic expertise, they deviate the flow of budgets through conduits to finally end up in their bank accounts. Their conniving cohorts can even come up with artistically-worded words in coming up with make-believe projects to justify the release of budgets.

In front of microphones, the demagogical artists in the lawmaking Halls, weave stories of great accomplishments in the hope that constituents will still vote for them for the same position, or for a higher one, come election time. Not to be outdone is the guy on the highest pedestal of the land who artistically claims similar accomplishments, making him the pun of jokes as constituents know them to be just lies!…his effort eventually, transforming him into an artistic liar!

The above “learned artists” have joined the rank of the con artists – masters of deception who bleed others for their hard-earned money.

Living is an art. We need to artistically brush aside disheartening events in our lives if we want to live on. We need to artistically console ourselves with an inspiration that beyond the stormy clouds is a silver lining…an equally artistic line that can push the struggling man with a grumbling empty stomach to live on for another day and for many more days to come.

Man is an artist, bad or good. It is the only way that he can’t become harsh and hard on anything that comes his way…. because as an artist he is patient.