Research and the Creative Process

Cover of the 1897 publication by Baretá that chronicles that year's June eruption of Mayong, the volcano of Albay.

The story of the Bicol people and their Mayon Volcano is a fascinating one. Starting in the early stages of this documentary project I decided to let the subjects speak for themselves as much as possible. It was obvious that the people who live around the volcano had many first-hand experiences to tell.

There was also many interesting facts about the volcano and the region that I wanted to include but was wary of burdening the project with too many technicalities. The challenge was finding the right balance between human drama, poetry of life, and technical information. I spent months reading about the volcano’s history, digesting geological characteristics and facts, and familiarized myself with some of the social and economical issues that exist in the Bicol region.

Pre-production for this project started in mid-2009, and our location trip took place in October of that year. All throughout the project we were a small team: we followed the independent production model and we had to constantly limit our scope to something manageable. During the research and development phase of this project I established the main creative challenges. Some of them include: language and emotion; tone, style and structure; the role of music; and the princess legend.

Language and Emotion | Tone, Style and Structure | The Role of Music | Production Notes | The Legend

© 2010 Isaac Kerlow. All rights reserved.