Chasing sunlight: MMFF entry ‘Firefly’ filmed using natural light

December 26, 2023 - 12:30 PM
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Still shot in Zig Dulay's "Firefly" (zigcarlo/Instagram(

Director Zig Dulay had to “chase” the sunlight in filming “Firefly,” his entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

This behind-the-scenes process was shared on Instagram, and later made its way to X, amusing film enthusiasts.

In the post, acclaimed cinematographer Neil Daza wrote that 95% of the movie was shot using natural lighting.

Daza further remember that they had to “chase the right sunlight” every shooting day from Baseco to Sorsogon.

“95% of ‘Firefly’ was shot using natural light. Managing to achieve consistent lighting continuity in films, especially in equatorial regions like the Philippines, is quite a daunting task,” Daza also said.

“Every shooting day, from Baseco to Sorsogon, became a challenge to chase the right sunlight and what’s left of it by 6 p.m.,” he added.

According to Daza, it was Dulay’s vision that “carried” them to finish the story.

“But Zig Dulay’s @zigcarlo vision carried us through to come up with a heart-warming film about a mother’s love and bravery,” he said.

The post was accompanied by stunning shots of scenery in the movie and its trailer for the MMFF.

This post was later posted by the X account the Philippine TV and Film Updates. It quickly caught the attention of movie fans on the platform.

Several Filipinos cheered Daza and Dulay for their hard work in creating such scenes in “Firefly.”

“Probably the best MMFF entry this year,” an X user said.

“This is the art of filming. Using natural light gives so much serene and melodramatic vibes sa scene eh,” an X user also reacted.

“Ganda nga ng cinematography ng ‘Firefly,’” another X user commented.

“Firefly” follows the journey of a ten-year-old boy named Tonton who wishes to search for a mythical island described by his mother Elay.

It stars acclaimed actress Alessandra De Rossi as Elay and Euwenn Mikael Aleta as Tonton.

Other cast members included Cherry Pie Picache, Dingdong Dantes, Ysabel Ortega, Miguel Tanfelix, Jeffrey Quizon and Yayo Aguila.

“Firefly” is also promoted as GMA-7’s biggest film production this year.

Dulay, meanwhile, is known for the hit drama fantasy series “Maria Clara at Ibarra,” and movies “Black Rainbow” (2022), “Liway” (2019) and “Bambanti” (2016).