I came to Hong Kong primarily to act in and make art for the The Voyage (2012). Read more here.
For the first week and a half there, I spent practically every day on the art. I didn’t actually spend much time seeing Hong Kong, until after the filming in Amsterdam and Hanover. So it wasn’t until flying back to Hong Kong for the second time on this plane-hopping journey that I actually got to see Hong Kong. And here it is.
While in Hong Kong the first time around, this is all I did–art.
The second time around, I explore the hustle and bustle.
“Shopping Capital of Asia” or so I hear
“The capital of efficiency” This I see. Everywhere.
Scud invites us out on a boat trip. And, this is his boat.
I haven’t said this sooner only because I didn’t want to make a promise I couldn’t keep. I tend to keep the direction of my life random, much like the direction of my art and the direction I travel. So this was not a promise I’m making easily but I do promise it all the same.
Being of sound mind and body, I, Sebastian Castro, hereby promise to release some of my random on this here PilipinoKuno blog every single day. Tignan mo. It’s official. Nagpapromise kita:
PROMISE: A #PilipinoKuno Blog Update Every Day–Either Art-in-progress, behind-the-scenes shot from my film, or more. — Sebastian Castro (@Sebastianslife) May 27, 2012
I promise you at least something new, every single day. Whether I’m at home, Manila, Tokyo, South America or sleeping in the corner of some airport parang homeless guy ulit. I’ll give you something, even if that something is a snapshot of me snoozing in an airport.
NOTE: My promise has an expiration date. 30 Days. Which means on June 27th, I’ll be partying.
Camera Still from The Voyage
Drawing Leni. One of my favorite scenes. Of course, the art I’m drawing is my own.
Last night, I only really got to see Hong Kong’s nightlife for the second time during my stay—with a celebrity packed birthday party to boot.
Since I got to Hong Kong, I have either been preparing art for the The Voyage, preparing my acting for the Voyage, traveling somewhere else to film for the Voyage, or filming for, you guessed it, the Voyage.
Direk Scud kindly took me out to the B-day party of friend Francis Cheng— the man behind Occasion’s PR and Hong Kong’s biggest of parties/events/launches/runways. Those that know me, know I love a birthday party like no other—I was deprived the first 18 of mine. Cheer’s to making up for lost time! (Childhood sob stories can always wait..Life cannot.)
I met Francis for the first time after our group had come back from Lady Gaga’s second concert in HK. Naturally, HK was a-buzzing. They say Francis knows everyone. Mother Monster, not excluded.
Lady Gaga and Francis Cheng
A concert to remember!
Post-Gaga-concert-frenzy, I overheard Francis say that he had only felt this way about meeting someone two other times in his life. The first was Actress Lin Qing Xia and the second was Jude Law.
My Birthday Present Portrait
Knowing not much more about him. I decided to take this little tid-bit I did know, scratch my head, pump up the creative juices in my head, and pop out what you’re looking at. I give you–my latest piece, a Francis Cheng portrait.
In a nut shell: I have not just been making art forThe Voyage (2012), I am acting in it as well.
For months, I led just about everyone in my life to believe I was only producing art for the film. Nope. I was not flown around the world just to paint. For once in my life, my wild travels actually had a purpose. And, that purpose is my first movie role.
This was a hell of an experience! All-around memorable. Humbling. I am very proud to have contributed my small piece to this film.
The Voyage(2012) is really four stories in one. Of those four, the story of Leni Speidel and I centers on a love affair gone wrong, so wrong I eventually kill myself.
But, I’m going to cut myself short. I have to save some good stuff for later. After all, you have to wait several months before even getting to the trailer, di ba? Our first press release:
Our first appearance on SCREEN INTERNATIONAL..I know I am a lil late but..better late than never http://t.co/eBsb8UrO
I have always introduced myself as an artist, and I always will. Why?
I don’t think I would have gotten away with half the shizz I have in life, were I not calling myself an artist. You can just about get away with anything. Think of all the possibilities, all those questions you can now answer. Did Sebastian really just eat that? Is he on something? Is the guy skinny-dipping?! Why does he look like that? Oh my Gulay?!? Look at how much easier the conversation suddenly looks!
“Are you sure Sebastian isn’t completely baliw? “
“Hindi! He’s just an artist. Ganyan na lang sya.”
“Oh. (Pause) Sige- sige.”
So now that you know I’m trying to justify my lack of sanity, it’s extra important you remember your line. “Oh, he’s just an artist. Wag kang mag-alala.” Wink-wink.
Answer: I’m An Artist & Performing Artist Maybe
I did not wake up yesterday and decide to become an actor. That would be nice. I’ve spent most of my waking life training to become the most universal performer humanly possible. Training to sing, dance, and act wasn’t enough. I have that language learning obsession as well. You see, I have the crazy idea of taking on acting roles in different languages. I can’t think of anything more absolutely challenging than convincing audiences on the opposite side of the world I could pass for a local. I love the idea so much I’m willing to invest years of my life to make it happen. Dear Philippines, sa tingin nyo kaya ko kaya? Kung alam nyo lang, most aspiring actors can be found wading tables all over Hollywood. Totoo yun.
Instead I’ve been at one casting after another, one audition after another, all in more than half a dozen different cities, different film markets, completely different countries, all over the course of years. I don’t plan on stopping now. I’ll forever be a kid with a crayon chasing his dreams. You’re always welcome to watch, point, and laugh!
I asked what you thought I should call you. Because I love you, I decided you should decide. And your answer was: Sebsters !!
Thank you for having my back. You always have my love.
A Few Camera-Stills For Now
Tday was one of those days–I fall in love, fell heart-broken, died 10 times, with a couple resurrections to spare.— Sebastian Castro (@Sebastianslife) April 19, 2012
It’s not every day I get to swim in a fountain, fall in love, and kill myself–and in Hanover, Germany no less. Enjoy the snapshots! More to come, as always.
Resting in-between takes
I die. Eventually.
Green screen shots before their composite
I’m trying to follow directions. Looks funny doesn’t it?
This thing hurt like so many potty-mouth words my mom told me never to use.
The Artist. Me.
Laughter on set.
He’s fixing that tie I don’t have on.
Brr-rr-rr! It’s cold!
After shooting my very last shot of the day, I finally get out of the wires. Can you tell how happy I am?
Yes! It was my first time in Amsterdam. I was all wrapped up art-makin’, workin’ away for the upcoming film, The Voyage, that I rarely got a free minute to blog. But now that I’m chilling in Hong Kong with less workload, I’m typing away.
If only I had more free time, I’d do all the touristy things more, but no, there was work to be done. Truth be told, everyone in the film crew worked hard. If that were ever in doubt, a person only has to look below and laugh.
I didn’t exactly catch everyone’s “best angle”–let’s get real– I didn’t catch one person’s better angle. Not by a long shot. But, Direk Scud loved this shot and personally asked that I share. So, here. it. is.
“Art imitates life” a touch?
Amsterdam in Song-ography
So while I was playing with the pictures, I ended up humming a little melody.
I give you. Amsterdam in song, photography, and song-ography!
I swear. I spoil you sometimes.
It was about that time everyone was snoring..
I thought, Yo! This city's worth exploring!
And I was right. Nothing's boring.
There's boats..canals..a killer sky
not like I'd know, but they say this is what things look like when "high."
We peek into a coffee shop, where those 420 dudes always stop.
Before crossing the street, 'ya better look left and right
Soon enough we had our own bikes.
#IveNoticeThat in Amsterdam, there are only two kinds of ppl, those that run ppl over with their bikes and those getting run over.— Sebastian Castro (@Sebastianslife) April 23, 2012
Soon as we get to New Market Square, we take life a little slower
Dee-dee dah-dah Da! Dah!
Haha-haha- Haaaaa! ha!
We look up high.
We look down low.
.. at bike win-dows..
.. and everything between all of those.
From one large crowd..
Toro Dorado! Best steak house in town!!
I'm not gonna lie--I just had, one-hell-of-a-steak.
by the time we leave it's already 8..
the scantily clad will be up til late.
now back at New Market Square and that is where..
..an old couple dances, I can't help but stare..
..Amsterdam! You're something of a magical, love affair.
If you’ve been following my Twitter at all these last couple weeks, you know I am producing art for the upcoming film, The Voyage. You know I’m following ArtWalker’s film crew, one location after another. You know it’s been Hong Kong, Hanover, and Amsterdam this far. You know I’m loving every second of it! And, you even know that you don’t know what I will want you to know … soon.
Got it? Good!
I’ll eventually let you in, soon enough. For now, here’s the lovable Hong Kong-based Film Crew behind Artwalker Production!
Direk Scud is now on his fifth film, The Voyage. Just wrapping up filming, he’ll be switching gears soon for post-production.
Scud makes Voyage to Europe: Hong Kong filmmaker Scud has made his first foray into shooting in Europe with his … bit.ly/J1dQvc— Screen International (@Screendaily) April 20, 2012
Time To Meet the Crew
Irving Cheung (Art Director), Sebastian Castro (Artist), Scud (Director), Adrian (Actor)
Me Again, Charlie Lam (Director of Photography)
Andrew, Production Manager, When asked what's his job title, he'll rightfully respond, "Oh. I do everything."
Irving, Leni Speidel (Actress), Byron Pang (Actor), Ryo (Actor)
Of the art I have produced for the Voyage, I was asked to come up with one particularly special piece, one I now get to share.
The Assignment: Make a piece “using two human bodies to embody both the Tai Chi symbol and meaning.”
Here’s your Chinese Lesson of the Day: The Tai Chi symbol is a recurring theme/symbol in Chinese culture.
The Yin and Yang Symbol (Also called Tai Chi Symbol)
The symbol you’re looking at is used to describe how “polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other.”(1) In the Voyage, this all comes to play in love. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard “opposites attract.” Well, that may be just one layer to the meaning of the Tai Chi in this film.
For those that don’t know yet, I’ve been commissioned to produce art for an upcoming motion picture The Voyage, a project I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time! You can read more about it here.
5.36 AM 03.20.12 – Atlanta
Visual Updates for Your Own Amusement:
**Next time, I get to this post I’ll make a voting poll just for you to pick your favorites pieces. As I work more, I’ll post more. Sleep more than I do! Night!**
I’ve been commissioned to produce art for the upcoming motion picture The Voyage, a project I’ve been looking forward to for two years. Yes, just short of two years!
This will be the fifth of Hong Kong Director Scud’s films. Below is the trailer to his last film, Love Actually..Sucks. And, above is some of the art behind the promotion of Love Actually.. Sucks. I’ve admired the aesthetic of his films—their beautiful compositions and seamless editing. For years, Scud has made an undeniable impact in the Mandarin-speaking world. But this will be his first film primarily in English.
This would be his latest film Love Actually.. Sucks :
The Voyage film will include the story of an artist, an artist that paints the woman of his obsession to no end.
And, his art in the story will be my own in reality!
Tune In! I’ll be posting early sketches of pieces to come right here.
4 AM 2.25.12 -London
I’ve been sketching late into the morning here while still in London. I need to sleep before that little light bulb in my head breaks a fuse. I’m playing with the human figure and dramatic linear shadows. She’s laying in a bed the blinds filter light across her. The early concept:
**I will have to find a way for you to vote on your favorite art pieces. I love to hear random ideas. As I work more soon, I’ll post more soon. Sleep more than I do! Night!**
Blogging Since: Feb 20, 2012
As promised, I've popped out a blog a day every day for the last 30 Days. And, I'll continue to have more random "Pilipino Kuno" for you. I just need to focus on a single song for the next few weeks.
More TheSebatianCastro Youtube coming soon.
Want to Reach Me? Leave a comment! I read them all. :-) Peace!
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight.
And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”