The Second Feature for the month of March is…
“See you in Tagaytay: A BMCC FILM by Jepster Togle”. This submission was put together with the help of the LanParte BlackMagic Cinema Camera Basic Kit (BMCC-02). A wondrous video that takes you into a popular town for tourists to visit on the holidays, known as Tagaytay. Jepster does an amazing job showing the beauty and tropical view of this Philippine treasure. By utilizing a combination of calming scenic views while still highlighting all the small moments that make any trip just right, Jepster takes you on a 2 minute vacation.
Like any tourist spot, overcrowding and a wave of stimuli is expected, however, Jepster does a skillful job of being able to create a depiction of Tagaytay that invokes an air like that of a small quaint town. Perfectly encapsulating the month of Exploration, Togle’s edits and choice of audio wrapped together a venture to the holiday town and led any viewer to a cross global vacation. We interviewed Jepster to learn more about his extensive experience and how he put together “See you in Tagaytay” together.
Jepster, can you tell us a little about yourself and your experience with film?
Hi, I’m Jepster Togle. I started out mainly in college as a video editor for my classmates. Then got interested in 3D animation which unfortunately wasn’t interested in me. The thing is I loved watching movies and the editing part was always a big part of me but I knew wanted to know more about the footage I was editing which got me interested in production and cameras.
It was very hard to penetrate the video production industry in my early years especially after coming from a post production background. I had less connections especially being in hiatus for four years (I got into a teaching job as a college instructor). So, I decided to try out the wedding and events coverage industry and that’s where most of my background in cinematography stems from right now. Recently, I got to lens and light some productions of some studios and it was an amazing experience. I used to just edit and put together these footage back then. Now, I’m making them and it’s an amazing feeling especially collaborating with directors and the rest of the crew.
Your Vimeo channel has over 240 videos. How do you stay so committed to creating so many videos?
Well, I’ve been in the events and coverage industry for the past 7 years. Aside from that I do a lot of tests with my gear, cameras and experimentation with color and so much more. My commitment stems from me doing my best to get the look that I want from my videos and films which demands a lot of constant practice. I’m a perfectionist by default and sometimes it’s a curse but it usually turns out better in the end. That resulted in so many videos and I haven’t actually been counting. I’m actually amazed I’ve made that much already. Hahaha!
You won an award in a contest sponsored by Canon. Can you tell us a little more about winning that award and what that meant to you?
I was really just early into the wedding events industry when I entered. I don’t usually join these kind of contests as a result of my extreme perfectionism in combination with my fear of rejection. But I had covered this wedding that just drove me to tears. I had a great team with me and after delivering their Same Day Edit/Onsite Video, I just new I had one of my best works.
I had great material and amazing shots and then this contest by WPPP (Wedding and Portrait Photographers of the Philippines) sponsored by Canon just came up. I told myself, “Hey, nothing to lose, besides it was a great wedding”. So I joined and boy was I in this feeling of bliss. I usually won school/student contests, but this was my first time winning a professional contest on a national level. So, I was just overwhelmed and really didn’t know what to make of it. It’s one of my greatest achievements so far and I’m hoping for more.
My commitment stems from me doing my best to get the look that I want from my videos and films which demands a lot of constant practice. I’m a perfectionist by default and sometimes it’s a curse but it usually turns out better in the end.
In “See you in Tagaytay” you are able to not only create a sense of isolation and wonder, but you make the viewers feel as if they’ve come across some secret location. Can you talk about how you were able to accomplish this?
I treated this video the same way I do most of my travel videos: as a tourist. It’s amazing to know that the video was giving out those thoughts of isolation and wonder and the whole “secret location” thing. Honestly, my one aim in that video was to test out my newly bought camera (BMCC) and take it for a ride with my girlfriend, Cristine (now my Fiance) and a friend of ours, Craig, from Australia. Funny thing is, those places we went to were new to me and it was the first time I’ve visited those sites.
I’ve been to Tagaytay so many times, but those places were so new to me and I guess that’s what made the video have that sense of wonder or isolation. That’s because it was exactly how I was seeing it. It was as if I was in this new place and new location and I was just in awe of seeing such beautiful views like that in Tagaytay. I shot it as I saw it which explains a lot of wide angles. I used a few close ups to show more textures and culture but it was just the view that blew me away. It was as if I found the holy grail of capturing landscape shots. Thank goodness the weather was great as well.
There are many individuals throughout the shots, however, the focus of the film never strays away from the main subject, which is Tagaytay. How?
As I mentioned earlier, it was my first time visiting those sites. I wanted those sites and those views implanted in my memory and so I had no other focus but to capture how it’s like to be in Tagaytay and the beautiful view. There were a lot more clips of people but I had to cut them off from the final product because I really wanted to remember that trip as if it was my first time visiting Tagaytay. My other cuts of the video had more people in it but it kind of distracted me from how I remembered my visit there. So, I had to re-edit the video and focus more on the place, the feel of it and the culture it represents. Tagaytay for me was about landscapes, those beautiful pine trees and long treks of walking and just admiring the views of the mountains. Tagaytay has such great people and very hospitable hosts, but I wanted the people to see Tagaytay as a place of beauty.