Paul is a third-generation talent in the entertainment industry. His father, Jeric Soriano, was the creative force behind some of the defining ads of the '80s and early '90s, including the iconic “I Can Feel It” for Palmolive, and “Angat sa Iba” for Sarsi. Paul’s grandfather, the legendary Nestor de Villa, was known as both “The Fred Astaire of the Philippines” and as the onscreen partner of Nida Blanca.
But before he fully grasped the significance of his heritage, Paul spent hours of his youth playing around on his dad’s sets.
“After school, instead of going home, if my dad had a shoot, I'd want to go to his set and then just hang out,” he says. “Play with the props, mess it up. It was kind of my playground. The film set was my playground growing up.”
“It still is,” he adds.
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After Hotshots, Jeric went on to become one of the country’s most prolific commercial directors, which meant Paul had plenty of time to explore the hundreds of sets his father worked on. Running around the set, getting to know the prop masters and the rest of the crew, and watching Dad do his thing behind the camera was part of everyday life. And, as with all kids his age, he developed a keen interest in the world in which he was immersed. It was an interest that Jeric happily nurtured.
“I remember my dad giving me a Video 8 camera, and so I would be the kid recording the birthday parties and other family events. Of course, it was from the point of view of a kid, so I was shooting up a lot. It was kind of unflattering, the angles,” he says, laughing.
Eventually, Paul would segue into visual storytelling. The very first film he remembers shooting was of his brother: “I told a simple story of my brother going to school. It was just one of those days—I shot him getting up and then taking the bus to school. I think that was my little experiment with the camera.”
“But what fascinated me about that was the idea of continuity, wherein you match shots,” he continues. “You're shooting him getting up from bed, and then he moves to the bathroom, and it all looks the same. It really fascinated me how, even though I'm moving the camera and I'm not shooting in real-time, the final product looks like it's in real-time. You can tell a story with a camera at different angles, and you can stitch it together, edit it together, and it looks like one piece.”
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