Filipinos are big fans of Korean drama or KDrama. Throughout the years, they spent several hours glued to their screens just to stay updated on their favorite shows. As KDramas gain popularity among the public, some people start wondering what the show would be like if set locally.
When fans of the K-drama show Start-Up heard that it was getting a local adaptation, it became a highly-anticipated project top-billed by talented actors Alden Richards and Bea Alonzo.
At the helm of Start-Up’s local adaptation are renowned directors Jerry Sineneng and Dominic Zapata. However, directing a show of such magnitude isn’t an easy task. Then again, it’s good that both Sineneng and Zapata have ways of taking on the challenge.
“I try to make a conscious effort. Medyo hinihimay [ko] ‘yun na parang kumakain ka, ‘Paano ba niluto ‘to?’ Pero kapag nalaman namin na gagawa kami ng adaptation, panonoorin namin ulit. And then, ako, I try to find the essence,” Zapata said during an online media conference.
He tries to single out what he and the others who loved the original version of Start-Up like most aware that several aspects make a show iconic. With Start-Up, he plans on replicating the feeling that the show brings to its viewers instead of copying its original content.
Zapata has prior experience in making adaptations since he worked on the Filipino version of Descendants of the Sun, another well-loved KDrama.
On the other hand, Start-Up is Sineneng’s first encounter in adapting a foreign show for local television. He knows that as a director, he can’t put all the elements from the K-drama and expect it to come out as a Filipino show.
“Pinanuod ko siya, and when I was assigned [to] the project, pinanuod ko siya na iba na ‘yung pananaw. Hinanap ko ‘yung puso ng show,” Sineneng said.
Although he discovered the heart of Start-Up’s original version and was impressed by it, Sineneng knew he needed to consider the heart of Filipino viewers and how it ties in with the story.
Sineneng adds that he learns a lot from Zapata on how to make local adaptations of foreign shows and that he couldn’t imagine being partnered with someone else.
Besides studying the original show thoroughly and finding a different approach to how to convey it to Filipino audiences, both directors also get to know their actors personally and professionally so they know how to incorporate their sensibilities into the scenes.
The lead actors, Alden and Bea, also have an on-screen chemistry that lights up any scene where they’re acting alongside each other.
“Isa sa hardest jobs ng director is to build chemistry. [Pero] Hindi kami nahirapan building the chemistry nung dalawa dahil siguro mahuhusay silang artista at inaral nilang mabuti ‘yung character,” Sineneng said.
He added that both Bea and Alden find characteristics in each other they could use to align themselves to the role and portray it efficiently.
The Filipino adaptation of Start-Up is currently under production, and GMA has yet to announce a date for its premiere.