The upcoming episode of the ABS-CBN and Electric Entertainment production “Almost Paradise” will not only feature the beauty of the Philippines and the amazing talent of Filipino actors. It will also showcase the vision of one of the most respected and in-demand local filmmakers today, Dan Villegas.
The award-winning director of films like “Changing Partners” and “English Only, Please” and well-loved teleseryes “On The Wings of Love” and “Sino Ang May Sala? Mea Culpa” shared his experience working on this Hollywood-caliber show, the first American TV series to be shot entirely in the Philippines.
“I accepted this project because I’m a fan of producers—Electric Entertainment. Plus, to get the opportunity to show off one’s ability to an international stage is always a welcome opportunity. The workflow is different from what I’m used to, but it was a learning experience for me,” he said.
Dan is the director of “Pistol Whip,” the fourth episode of the crime drama series that is now bringing light and joy to Filipino families every weekend via Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live, and iWantTFC.
Before debuting on Philippine TV last March 21, “Almost Paradise” was aired on WGN America in the United States in 2020. Top billed by Hollywood actor Christian Kane, the show features a Filipino cast led by Nonie Buencamino, Art Acuna, Samantha Richelle, Angeli Bayani, and Ces Quesada with guest appearances by other well-known actors like Zsa Zsa Padilla, Raymond Bagatsing, and Zaijian Jaranilla.
In “Pistol Whip,” Dan directed a mix of Filipino and foreign actors in another action-packed episode of the series. Here, former secret agent Alex Walker (Christian) meets an actor during a bar brawl. Desperate to earn rent money, Alex accepts his offer to become a stunt man in a reality TV show about sunken World War II battlegrounds. As our hero dives into his “role” underwater, he also gets entangled in Kai’s (Samantha) investigation about a vlogger who went missing while scuba diving.
According to Dan, who has also made a name as producer and cinematographer, working with the foreign cast, and the Electric Entertainment team led by big-time Hollywood producer Dean Devlin, was both exciting and humbling.
“They were very professional and disciplined. I would love to collaborate with them again in the future,” he shared.
Asked about his Filipino crew and cast, which included guest stars Annicka Dolonius, Ketchup Eusebio, Maritina Romulo, Bettina Magsaysay, Mariella Laurel, and Boom Labrusca, he said, “The cast were great. Filipino talent is global.”