New Sights, New Bites is a documentary series pilot episode hosted by Bianca Nicdao and Alfonso Mateo. This documentary is about finding one’s identity, celebrating the beauty of the Philippines, and showcasing it to others. For their first destination, they will be traveling to their home country the Philippines! Bianca and Alfonso will travel to the most notable cities, provinces, and islands of the Philippines; from the bustling inner city streets of Manila, to the breathtaking tourist white sanded beach spots of Bohol and Palawan, trying the country’s most popular dishes. They will explore the stories behind each dish through those who were a part of the creation of the foods such as taho, balut, sisig, sinigang, and adobo. With Bianca growing up in the United States questioning her identity, and Alfonso growing up in the Philippines never really questioning his identity, their journey home opens discussion to differences of their upbringings, and how they consider the islands to be “home”.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Long Beach, CA, Bianca migrated to the United States at 2 years old. Ever since she was a kid, she had always been passionate about storytelling and exploring different mediums from film, to photography, and music. Her passions of the arts and travel have taken her to Valencia, Spain in which she studied with Berklee College of Music and Hollywood, CA where she has worked under the video production department at Capitol Records. Working as a Diversity Outreach Intern for Emerson College admissions, she aims to continue to create more opportunities for diversity and untold stories through the arts. Bianca is a junior at Emerson College getting a BFA in Visual Media Arts Production with a concentration in Producing.
Alfonso was born and raised in the Philippines, until he migrated to Boston when he was 11 years old. From as far as he can remember, he already had the passion for anything storytelling related. He started with drawing, then comic strips, then doing novelas, and now making short films. From his time at Emerson, he found his purpose and his voice in filmmaking: creating representation and giving a voice for the marginalized. He centers his stories around people of color and the LGBTQ community. Alfonso is now a senior, graduating in May 2019 with a BFA in Media Arts Production and a concentration in Screenwriting.
Francis was born in Old Bridge, New Jersey and and moved to Orange County, California at the age of 7. In high school, he saw the power stories had on people through short films, shows, dances, and interactions he had with his peers. He was heavily involved with his high school’s Filipino Club which gave him a deeper appreciation of his culture. These experiences led him to pursue creating stories through film that could leave an impact on the viewers and at the same time represent people of color. This past summer, he was able to further his career as an intern for FremantleMedia in Burbank, CA and an Academy Gold Intern for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood. Francis is currently a sophomore at Emerson College pursuing a degree in Visual Media Arts Production with a concentration in directing.
Albert Rano moved to Boston, MA from the Philippines at age 18. Being biracial and growing up in two different countries has exposed him to several cultures, giving him a unique perspective on the world. He studied Visual Media Arts at Emerson College (B.A.) with a focus in cinematography and documentary filmmaking. He proceeded to work part-time, as a Director of Photography and Editor at Votary Media along with freelance work with MIT, Sparkling ICE, iHeart Radio and BELLA + CANVAS. In his free time, Albert loves to spend time with friends and to go on adventures.
At a young age, Bailey’s parents unknowingly bought each other identical camcorders and one was given to him to make films. Bailey has now honed in on what he loves in film: telling world stories though aerial cinematography and moving cameras. From April to August, Bailey worked with the Aquarium of the Pacific on a series exploring sustainable seafood options across America. From helicopters above Maine to SCUBA environments off the coast of Hawaii, Bailey worked to document alternative ways to harvest seafood and the watermen that are behind the innovation. Bailey graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Media Arts Production and hopes to continue to tell true stories of people and the environment.
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Ranton moved to Boston to pursue his college degree. His love for marketing all started when he and his uncle would make funny taglines for the most random products one can imagine. Now as a student in Emerson College, he aims to use what he learned to create memorable experiences for others and to build communities with like-minded interests. Ranton is a senior who is graduating in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Communications.
Growing up in Los Angeles, California, Sharon developed a love of storytelling at a young age. The vibrance and excitement of her home city, coupled with her family’s strong Jewish ties, taught her that the most impactful stories often stem from one’s own cultural experiences and upbringing. As a student at Emerson, she wants to contribute to projects that celebrate and uplift different backgrounds and identities; she believes that hearing varied perspectives in the media can foster a sense of greater understanding and acceptance toward marginalized groups. Sharon will be graduating in December 2019 with a BA in Visual and Media Arts Production, with a focus on screenwriting.
Through personal contributions, Emerson’s BFA filmmaking grant, as well as two fundraisers hosted by the New Sights New Bites team, we have already raised $5,000 for our documentary! However, filmmaking can be an expensive art form. In order to bring our vision to life, we need your support to fund New Sights New Bites.
Transportation & Accommodations: One of our heaviest expenditures at $10,000, transportation accounts for the plane tickets we will have to purchase to get our crew from Los Angeles to Manila in December. We’ll be transporting a crew of 5, along with all of our equipment, across the Pacific Ocean and throughout various islands of the Philippines. Though most sleeping accommodations for the cast and crew will be covered by family and friends, a shoot in the island of Siargao will need to be funded, together with additional modes of transit (buses, boats, etc.).
Equipment: We are very fortunate to have most of our equipment provided to us by crew members and Emerson College. However, there are some pieces such as SD cards, batteries, and lens adapters that we need to purchase in order for us to properly utilize the equipment that we have .
Local Expenses/Craft Services: Every film crew needs the energy to stay motivated and keep their focus sharp! This money will go towards feeding our crew to make sure everyone stays nourished on set as well as help in purchasing foods to explore in front of the camera!
Post Production: Many believe post- production is where a film is really made. An important part of this process is making sure all footage and audio files remain protected. We will be purchasing multiple hard drives so we can make backups of our work.
Publicity & Promotion: Kickstarter is an amazing platform that helps us share our project with others! However, there is a fee to use it. Thus, this will cover projected kickstarter costs.
Breakdown represents expenditures by percentage out of $15,000:
“This project is extremely ambitious and in order for this documentary to be made we really need your help! As this is my thesis film, I’m utilizing this opportunity to create a work that can inspire others to tell their own stories. My team and I all share the same passion in creating more opportunities for cultural representation in media. We have already hosted events that go hand in hand with our mission in Boston including the #ProudToBe concert where we had artists of color from four different colleges and universities perform on one stage. We aim to continue this push for sharing art and culture with underrepresented communities with New Sights New Bites. Kickstarter is an all- or-nothing crowdfunding platform so if we don’t reach our goal, we will get ZERO funds. Even if you’re unable to donate, it would be amazing if you could share this Kickstarter with friends, family, neighbors, and on social media. My team and I appreciate every and any type of support!”
- Bianca Nicdao, Director
Risks and challenges
New Sights, New Bites is a project that aims to depict Filipino culture as authentically as possible. Making the long journey from Los Angeles to Manila and back while keeping track of equipment poses a challenge, but it is one that our team is excited to tackle. We are confident that our past filmmaking and internship experiences, together with our preparedness and enthusiasm, will help to ensure a smooth trip.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, our crew will have to work around a tight shooting schedule in order to collect the best footage possible. Fortunately, we have carefully mapped out a timetable in accordance with our different locations so that the production will run efficiently. We acknowledge that film can sometimes be an unpredictable medium, and have taken the time to arrange backup shooting schedules in case we encounter bumps along the way.
Post-production is a crucial part of the filmmaking process, and is oftentimes where the “soul” of a film is really found. Our editing team will sort through hours of footage drawn from locations that are unfamiliar to them, cutting together the most culturally significant and engaging portions of the journey. We trust that their time and energy will lead to a truly compelling final product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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