Brillante Mendoza reacts to criticisms, explains camera shots for Duterte’s SONA

• Brillante Mendoza reacted to criticisms on the camera techniques he used in President Duterte’s SONA
• The movie director said he understands if some did not appreciate his choice of camera angles
• Still, Mendoza said he is happy because he achieved his goal of drawing people’s attention to the president

Movie director Brillante Mendoza explained the camera shots and angles he employed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The independent film director got mixed reviews on social media because of the camera techniques he used during the political event. Some praised him for it while others threw criticisms; saying the shots were confusing.

In an interview with ABS-CBN, Mendoza said he understands if there are people who did not appreciate his choice of camera angles, but is still happy because he achieved his goal of drawing people’s attention to the speaker, President Duterte. He said it was really his intention to make Duterte’s SONA different from the previous ones.

“Hindi naman lahat ng nanood admittedly ay film literate, pero ‘pag babasahin mo ‘yung mga sinabi ng mga film literate ay matutuwa ka [Admittedly, not everyone who watched are film literate, but you’ll be glad if you read what the film literates said]. For those who don’t understand those kinds of shots, it was really the intention to make it different from the past SONA,” he explained.

One of the most criticized camera angles in the SONA was what netizens called as “shooting up” angle of the President.

Referring to Mendoza’s earlier statement that he wants to capture the “real Duterte”, a social media user’s comment on the particular shot read: “If what Brillante Mendoza meant by “we will see the real Duterte” is seeing the President’s brain through his nostrils, well…”

The “shooting up” angle or the worm’s eye view shot, Mendoza explained, is what he calls a “power shot.”

“I call that a power shot. When you articulate something and you shoot that person in that angle, psychologically it gives you that meaning that he has power and authority. It might not look good when you watch it, but psychologically, it gives you that impression [of power],” the “Ma Rosa” director explained.

Mendoza said his approach to the SONA broadcast was approved by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.