“Seize It, Make It Great, and Be Better.”-Paul Soriano
Paul Soriano on staying true to the craft of filmmaking—even during the pandemic.
The film industry, like everything else, has changed drastically over the past year. But Paul Soriano, the visionary filmmaker behind such titles as Alter Me and First Love, has learned to adapt, and now continues to aspire to be better.
Today, Soriano has settled into home life with his wife, actress-host-entrepreneur Toni Gonzaga, and their four-year-old son Seve. We sat down with them for a quick online chat, and asked the director about how these strange times have affected his professional and personal life.
In response, Soriano offered a trove of optimistic yet grounded reflections, and emphasized that we can still live our aspirations, even at home. All it takes is a little adjustment.
Nurture creative minds at Home.
Because of the pandemic, the Sorianos had to give up their Sunday reunions with their parents and extended family. But Paul admitted that his biggest challenge was to protect his four-year-old son from the harsh realities outside.
“It has been a very challenging time for us. We’ve experienced many unfortunate events but we can’t let them stop us from finding opportunities for growth. And we can find them by boosting our creativity and imagination in this little world that we build inside our home.”
From crafting makeshift tents with furniture to turning their staircase into a slide, Paul has spent the past year challenging his creative energy during playtime with Seve. He also joins his son’s arts and crafts sessions at online school, and watches cartoons with him.
Paul also seized the chance to spend time with his wife. In fact, he even motivated her to create her own show, called Toni Talks. In the process, the two developed better teamwork and discovered that a producer-artist tandem works better for them when working together.
“I think marriage is one of those things where you just really need to live it, and then learn from it, and then just be better at it. And every day, find ways to make things better with each other. And, the pandemic has done that [for us],” he shared.
Be open to learning new things.
If a shoot doesn’t require lock-in tapings, Paul now directs from home. He and his team have learned to use technology to connect different departments and produce shows over the internet.
The director-producer even shared some insights he picked up about film production while at home.
“We’re all multi-taskers and this has been an advantage for us to thrive despite the challenges of the pandemic. The [safety] protocols state that we can only have forty to fifty people during production shoots. So we did what we could with our resources and we were able to produce films and commercials with limited manpower.”
To demonstrate his point, he talked about his wife and about Toni Talks.
“I mean, like Tin! She was told to work from home. Does she know how to light? No. But she learned how to, so she did. Does she know how to frame? No. In terms of Youtube shows, I never really did that. Do I know how to produce Youtube content? I said, no, but let me try. So, we did Toni Talks,” Paul shared.
“I guess the pandemic taught us that we can do more than we thought we could,” he added. “We’re very talented people. You just got to tap into it. And, you know, be better. Hustle harder. Eventually, work becomes faster and easier.”
Reliable and fast internet connection helps you do things better at home.
With work and daily interactions now conducted online, Paul makes sure to always have a fast internet connection at home.
“Most of my meetings are online, so having the fast and reliable connection of PLDT Home is super helpful. I don’t have to worry about my connection. It allows me to focus on communicating my vision to my team and making sure that we’re on top of our game.”
He also depends on this connection to connect with loved ones, especially with his son Seve, when shooting on location.
“During the pandemic, my company was able to produce five films. So, we created five bubbles,” he explained. “While I was away, and while Toni was also filming, we were able to Facetime and connect with Seve.”
Aside from powering his work, PLDT Home’s reliable connection also helped Paul’s personal pursuits. “Something I live by is that we need to be better every day with what we do. Find ways to be better. With the internet connection that we have at home, there's just really no excuse not to learn, to research, to read, to watch,” he said.
The director-producer currently has five films waiting to be released. He’s also developing another film to be shot this September.
Paul shows how we can live our best lives and go after our dreams despite these tough times. And with a fast and reliable connection like PLDT Home Fibr, we can find ways to do and be better at home.
To know more about PLDT Home, visit their official website, and follow its Facebook, and Instagram pages. You can also watch how Paul Soriano and his family #DoItBetter on PLDT Home's official Youtube page.