Creatives on Q: No holds barred for this multimedia artist from Zamboanga
Since the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 or ATL, a few, if not a handful, of artists and activists have incessantly taken a firm stand against the most constitutionally challenged law before the Supreme Court.
Some bravely took it out in the streets to express their dismay or anger towards the administration for implementing such “unconstitutional” law amid a health crisis. Others have clamored on social media mainly to inform and educate the masses of their constitutional rights should they be subjected for unlawful arrests or red-tagging. Because apparently, this law draws a line to the critics of this administration and the administration that follows. One criticism or any forms of such is tantamount to “terrorism”. Make it make sense?
However, some artists – this multimedia artist from Zamboanga included – have their own way of protesting and it is through music. Ino Makata’s “SINO”, directed by Kim Tayona, greatly encapsulates the sentiments of those who are questioning the law’s constitutionality particularly those who experienced firsthand abuses from people in power.
Kim Tayona is a filmmaker and multimedia artist from Zamboanga. He is currently the founder of Playground Films – a bespoke video company. He produces music on his spare time and manages the publication website called plygrnd.co. He is also the voice behind the “The Working Creative” podcast.
In an interview, Kim shared the creative and bold process of creating the SINO music video. According to Kim, the project started late Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) through a series of chats and video calls with some creative people who share the same stand.
“Personally, I’ve always wanted to create a rap music video that doesn’t have swag on its face, but horror visuals instead. The music video contains elements from different foundations—from Mexican Folk Catholicism to Pop culture,” Kim expressed.
The Middle Mag PH spoke with Kim Tayona and talked more about the SINO music video, the multimedia artist’s future plans, handling all things at once, and more.
Creatives on Q by The Middle Mag PH is a special feature story that documents and highlights the creative process and plight of the young emerging artists in Mindanao while in community quarantine. The creatives industry, among other sectors, has also been adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
What’s keeping you busy in these trying times? How do you cope?
When the lockdown started, I panicked — I had to cancel most of the plans and projects for 2020. As a project-based artist, that was not good. Eventually, after a week or two, I realized that I had so much time to do things and that maybe it was time to revisit some personal projects that I’ve shelved for so long. So, around May, I started the plygrnd.co website and the Working Creative podcast. These personal projects help me cope in a way. Also, I didn’t subscribe to Netflix from March until August, instead I consumed lots of podcasts and webinars—these inspired me.
Right now, I’m working as a remote video editor for a US company while at the same time producing advertisements for brands in Playground Films.
How has the pandemic changed the dynamics or flow of your creativity?
The internet plays a very important role in the flow of creativity in this pandemic for me. Ironically, while we’re stuck in our home, the internet gives us borderless access to the world. This means that skills and talents aren’t geographically bound anymore. We now consider collaborating with artists who live miles away! Yes, there may be limits, but it is exciting (at least on the collaboration part).
We’ve worked on an ad for a fast food giant months ago, and our director was directing through Zoom while we work on the cameras and the actors. Similar thing happened in SINO MV. Our music producer lives in the US. And everything on pre-production was through video calls. Everyone only met personally, on the day of the shoot.
Skills and talents are not geographically bound anymore. The borderless exchange of creativity helps me grow personally as a creative.
Great job on the music video of Sino. Can you tell us the process of the making of the video?
I believe that Hip-hop/Rap music is street music— a medium to voice out social issues and rights that people on the streets fight for. I first shared this vision to Ino Makata, and he was totally up for it. Eventually we became a collective of artists with the same stand on the issue. After presenting the treatment and the look to the group, everyone was excited about it.
We wanted to remind our fellow creatives that we can use our art to speak up for our community especially during these times when everyone consumes so much content online.
We’re a huge fan of PLYGRND as well! What pushed or inspired you to launch this online magazine?
This was an idea back when I was studying Information Technology (IT) in Ateneo de Zamboanga University and all of the publications were doing print. I had an idea of an alternate website publication org where the articles that didn’t make it to print can be published instead. But I became busy with my other things so I shelved that idea.
Cut to — while listening to Jeff Staples’ Business of Hype podcast during lockdown, I remember that idea and thought that maybe it’s time to work on that since now I can afford to host a website. Haha! But this time it’s more focused on the creatives of Western Mindanao, culture, lifestyle, and street community.
What are your future projects?
Hopefully when everyone is free to go out again, we the Playground, are planning a series of events that will highlight the street culture and creatives of Zamboanga City.
Also, I want to shoot another short film soon. This pandemic gave me time to write a script.
Who are your major influences or inspirations? How do these people influence your works?
I am inspired by the works of Patricia Evangelista and Paolo Villaluna. I wanted to be a journalist back when I was in high school. Their works inspired me to shoot my early videos. I also love Wes Anderson films.
When it comes to music, I am inspired by Flume and FKJ.
Recently, I am inspired by the creativity of Jeff Staples and Bobby Hundreds of The Hundreds.
As an artist, what do you think are your biggest accolades so far?
As a filmmaker, I am happy to have received awards from little festivals here and there.
As a director and cinematographer, I am happy to produce ads for big brands.
And SINO, so far, is the work that I’m very proud of because I was able to express myself and my opinion through art, boldly.
Any message to young artists like you out there?
Some of us needs time to figure out what we really want to do or what we are really good at, but that’s okay. It’s not a race and everything takes time. But don’t just sit there. Do something! So that when luck gives you an opportunity, you are prepared. Excellence is the result of hard work. Success is the result of excellence and luck.