Archive for the ‘updates’ Category

Benham Bank Expedition 2016

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

The expedition team composed of marine scientists from the University of the Philippines, Marine Science Institue, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources,  and Oceana Philippines explored the Philippines newest territory: Benham Rise. The joint expedition on board the BFAR research vessel M/V DA-BFAR is giving us our first in depth look at the ecosystem of the shallowest part of the Philippines’ extended continental shelf – The Benham Bank.

This short video is a teaser for the longer documentary we are producing for Oceana Philippines:

Karl Harwood and Miko Zuleta were task to capture Benham Bank’s ecosystem underwater. Karl mostly in still images and Miko using a GH4 for underwater video. A single dive would take them down for about 180-200 minutes, with as little as 20 minutes bottom time to film. Karl and Miko have spent more time diving Benham Bank than any other human to this date as they had to maximise their dives to capture this extraordinary ecosystem with their cameras. The technical dive team of the Philippine NAVY and Coastguard collected the samples for the scientists.

Technical Divers get ready to film. Karl Hurwood left in black and Miko-Zuleta right in red. Photo: Oceana by Marco D. Biemann

Technical Divers get ready to film. Karl Hurwood left in black and Miko-Zuleta right in red. Photo: Oceana by Marco D. Biemann


For the first time a Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) has been used extensively to observe and sample the ecosystem of the Benham Bank. Chief ROV pilot was no other than ROV pioneer Lance Horn, who has helmed over 1,700 ROV dives in his 31 year long career at the Undersea Vehicle Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).

Operations Director and Chief ROV Pilot Lance Horn is guiding the deployment of the ROV. Photo: Oceana by Marco D. Biemann

Operations Director and Chief ROV Pilot Lance Horn is guiding the deployment of the ROV. Photo: Oceana by Marco D. Biemann


Space on the ship was limited so we had to reduce the two RED camera systems to it’s bare essentials. Still we brought 2 RED bodies, set of f1.4 primes and full range of f2.8 zooms covering these focal lengths: 11-16mm, 17-55mm, 70-200mm, Sachtler Tripod SB18 on low 3-stage CF-legs and Sachtler SB8 on low 3-stage Manfrotto aluminium legs as backup. Sennheier Audio gear, Tiffin 4×4 glass filters, matte box, all had place – dry and safe – in 4 Pelican cases, 2 Stromcases and 2 tripod flight container. To operate the RED Dragon for an entire day, 496GB of REDMag’s was used and backed up every night using a USB-Bus powered HDD-array of 12 TerraByte.

Miko Zuleta organising the film gear on board.

Miko Zuleta organising the film gear on board.

To be continued…

When a fire hits close to home…

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

July 27, 2016 – A fire rampaged through Sitio Wella, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Fire fighters battled the flames for hours. Lives were lost – Houses reduced to piles of ash.

When a Fire LITERALLY hits so close to home the ground can get quite hot.

We honour the courageous fire fighters and volunteers who fought tirelessly last night with this short video.

Please do not be offended should we have not included your team, we did not get all of the trucks noted down….

None the less… THANK YOU!!!



Your Copyright…

Monday, February 15th, 2016

BPHI WEB FB Copyright picture by Bianka BernabePhoto by Bianka Bernabe
Every script writer should make sure they are prepared to face copy right violations. Here are some facts around copyright to ensure your next idea does not get plagiarised without you having any legal grounds to defend yourself.

Fact is that you own the copyright to your story the moment to write it down. Important is that you cannot own the copyright to an idea and in most instances not even to a concept. Word of advise is to not shop around with an unfinished idea or concept prior to the screenplay (or any other written work).

In any copyright dispute the problem is for you to prove you came up with the story prior to the person who plagiarised your work. There are some easy and affordable options to insure you keep the upper hand in disputes over your copyright.

In the Philippines you can register your script with the Intellectual Property Center. But in many countries legal contracts are often not worth the paper they are printed on this is often not much more than a band aid.

I find it easier to deal with the Writers guild of America in order to register your script online within a few minutes and from the convenience of your home. You do not have to be an american citizen or resident to register your script. For none WGA members the registration fee for any written work is about 25USD and the registration will last for 10 years or more. Just upload a pdf version of your script and you receive a certificate with date and timestamp. You can register either using the East coast  or the West coast office. Just follow the links.

For more information about  copyright and other legal matters check out “The Filmmakers’ Legal Guide” available on the topics.


Monday, October 19th, 2015

Overtime is the second feature film of Wincy Ong and produced by GMA Films. Collaboration for Overtime  was spontaneous and quick as, apart from having attended the same workshops Wincy and Marco also share the same birthday.

Check out the official trailer here:

As One

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

“As One” is the directorial debut of Chuck Gutierrez who describes his film like this:

“A thriller about a never ending war, a town ravaged by a devastating storm and the woman caught in between.”

We gladly supplied him with the aerial shot he needed. The Film will premiere during the QCinema International Film Festival Oct. 22-31, 2015.

Watch the trailer here: “As One” Teaser by Chuck Gutierrez Oct 2015


Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

We are happy to be on board as co-producer to realise this vision of director Atom Magadia.

His film Dagsin (Gravity) has been chosen as one of the 10 finalist for the 2016 Cinemalaya Film Festival. We are excited to see how this amazing script will come to life; showing the importance but at the same time also the price for integrity during one of the Philippines darkest times.

Atom choose to use the RED Dragon due to it’s outstanding picture quality and it’s amazingly small form factor. “…shooting and mastering in 4K is nowadays  standard. The dynamic range of the Dragon sensor was crucial for us as well. Dagsin being a Cinemalaya 2016 finalist our crew has to be lean and mean(ingful). Stripped to its bare essentials the Dragon fits on the palm of your hand while still delivering outstanding images.”

Photo shows fellow director and producer Marco D. Biemann explaining the RED Dragon to director Atom Magadia (picture taken by Anne Magadia).


After The Storm – A Shark’s Tail

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

On November 8th 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the worlds most powerful storm, swept through a narrow corridor of the central part of the Philippines destroying everything in it’s path and killing thousands of people.

One place devastated by Haiyan was Malapascua, a small, beautiful tropical island just off the north coast of Cebu. Almost every timber framed house and tree were completely destroyed in the space of just a few hours, leaving the islands community stranded from aid and any form of communication for days to come.

Malapascua is world renowned in the scuba diving community for being the only place in the world where the Pelagic Thresher Shark can be seen virtually every day on a sunken Island, known as Monad Shoal, they rise from deep water in the early morning to be cleaned by small cleaner fish.

It is because of this phenomenon that Malapascua has been transformed over the last decade to become one of the top dive destinations of the Philippines. Thousands of divers come to Malapascua every year to see the Thresher Sharks and to experience the laid back feel of this picture perfect tropical paradise.

Traditionally Islanders would rely on fishing and agriculture for survival, but since tourism has become so popular, hundreds are now employed in Dive Centres, Resorts and transportation, giving a huge boost to the local economy and the opportunity to prosper.

Typhoon Haiyan threatened the islands very survival.

After the Storm – A Shark’s Tail is a story of a Dive Guide, Ronel, who works for Malapascua Exotic Beach and Dive Resort. Like so many other people on the Island, tourism supports him and his family, without his job as a dive guide he would have to leave the island to gain work elsewhere.

Typhoon Haiyan was so powerful it devastated the island, but what damage had been done to the reefs and would the sharks still come to Monad Shoal? The story follows Ronel and how the uncertainty to the islanders livelihood unravels as the reefs are explored after the storm.

Fortunately this is a story with a mostly happy ending as the storm did not damage all the reefs and the thresher sharks continue to come to Monad Shoal every day. What Malapascua needs now are the dive tourists to return.

After the storm – A Shark’s Tail has already won the following awards:

‘Special Jury Award’ during the 2014 Yosemite International Film Festival

“Best Short Documentary” in Cannes, France during the 2014 Cannes Short Film Festival

“Rising Star Award” in Toronto, Canada during the 2015 Canada International Film Festival


Watch the film in full here: AFTER THE STORM – A Shark’s Tail on Vimeo.