[Requested by MJH]
BRIGHTLIGHT GONE DIM? Albee Benitez’s new venture to TV ended up with a dim result.
THE REQUESTER behind this post decided to do this as the production company was reportedly ending its contract with TV5 in March due to financial losses.
At first, it was shocking because of those talents who are primarily relying on their exposure on the small screens to sustain their means of living amidst the pandemic after losing their home network’s license. Alas, we are disappointed but not shocked of the strong affinity of belongingness (in politically incorrect term: fantardism) between Mother Ignacia and Kamuning remains for more than three decades, even though the former choked and forced to close the case until next year’s election if the new President favors a fresh start.
For the readers who are ignorant of the production company that saved a handful of talents and their track record because of your sharp mindset. Let me reintroduce to you: Brightlight Productions (hereinafter BLP).
The background behind Brightlight
BLP was founded by former Negros Occidental congressman Albee Benitez when they produced “Game Changer” that aired in 2014 on the Cable News Channel that We Cannot Utter.
Six years later, the premeditated loss of the Six-Lettered Network’s license — and the Chief Perpetrator’s continuation of its unhealthy obsession to annihilate them from memory (an attempt of damnatio memoriae) — marked the last straw to the decades-old exclusivity culture within the media industry. With TV5 ready to reinstate their entertainment division from the invincible monopoly of GMA, Game Changer Benitez decided to save the talents from their irrelevance.
The talents under his media company came mostly from Sgt. Esguerra and a few from Kamuning; the directors involved in this new production firm include veterans like Johnny Manahan, Edgar Mortiz and Gina Alajar.
The First Programs
BLP’s first programs under the arrangement with the Reliance Network began to air on October 18, 2020, with Sunday Noontime Live, I Got You (starring Beauty Gonzales, RK Bagatsing and Jane Oineza) and Sunday ‘Kada (the successor to Banana). However, they all ended last January 17 when the talents of SNL like Piolo Pascual and Maja Salvador crawled back to their mother network.
The following day (October 19), Lunch Out Loud, spearheaded by first-time father Billy Crawford after defecting with permission from the “Sinful” Network, premiered and became the striving competitor to Eat Bulaga. On Saturday afternoons since October 24, Rated Korina and the sitcom, Oh My Dad! (starring Ian Veneracion) came on the air.
The blocktimers’ advertisements come mostly from ACS Manufacturing Corporation (yeah, that advertiser most popularly associated with Manila Broadcasting Company’s radio stations) — more specifically from Charm Fabric Conditioner (which you are probably under LSS in their jingle) and Pride Fabric Conditioner Sakura Blossom.
Announcements in the Works, Materialization in the Doubts
Love on The Move was supposed to start last February 7 but the agreement to cover the 26-year-old Sunday noontime musical variety show and FPJ Classics block took effect two weeks ago as BLP became a co-distributor to the fallen giant-turned-content distributor. The Spotlight and Mr. M Show are also on the roster of the upcoming shows on TV5 this 2021 but are facing the same fate of non-materialization.
Social media rumors have it that Sunday ‘Kada has just reportedly finished filming in Boracay for their second season but the airing is another question.
Another reason for striving
Other than the heavily-defined affinity between South Triangle and the reach, some blamed the financial woes of the production company over their first Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, Magikland.
Named after the theme park in Silay, Negros Occidental (where Albee used to serve) and a spiritual nod to the 1996 film Magic Temple, Magikland took three years to complete. The production process hindered due to the demise of its producer, Peque Gallaga, and the pandemic’s impact on cinema that forces all MMFF entries to be streamed online via Upstream. Despite reaping lower returns than expected, it garnered six awards (Best Musical Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Virtual Float, FPJ Memorial Award and Special Jury Prize for Gallaga).
There are four films to be reportedly produced and co-produced this year. The aforementioned criticism and this kakistocracy’s questionable handling of the pandemic by permitting movie houses to open up to half of the normal capacity while the virus’ new contagious variant emerges and the inoculation against COVID scarce with the enforced preference of a brand of such a jab with contentious efficacy rate, BLP might wind up faster.
This fledgling TV production and distribution company would’ve been prosperous or last longer had the pandemic not happen or be as severe as is today. But then it happened, they should’ve been really careful in making financial decisions and we can’t blame them due to the reach and recognition factor.
Don’t get it wrong, it’s better to seize the opportunity when TV5 made a radical programming strategy rather than wait for their original home network to come back (if ever) or that newly-crowned media giant who waits for the ex-rival to fall, plays them too safely and creates their new programs with mediocre quality.
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Photo courtesy of Brightlight Productions / PhilNews.PH