When I was in college, I was a total ho. Not that there’s any shame in that; I fully support getting your freak on while you’re young. And as long as you’re doing it safely, there’s no better time to explore your sexuality.
Now that I’m a bit older, priorities have changed and I’m not as promiscuous as I used to be (at least that’s what I like to think). But sometimes, you just gotta let loose and let that old freak flag fly, amirite? Go to a club, wink at some guy, and let the rest of the night be a blur. Or join an orgy, perhaps? (Again, no judgment allowed — this is a safe space).
All of this is the subject of Mamu (And a Mother Too) and Isang Tula Para Sa Nawawala director Rod Singh’s new web series OrG!. Created with the dating app Blued, it has eight five- to seven-minute episodes that stream directly from the app. The story revolves around medical graduate Ram, who is secretly dating filmmaker Nico. Ram just so happens to be in an orgy group, so that shakes things up for their budding relationship. I spoke with the director via email on exploring one’s sexuality, the process of creating a web series, and why HIV doesn’t have to be at the center of every gay story.
YOUNG STAR: Tell me about how this series began. What made you want to make a show about, well, orgies?
ROD SINGH: The original idea was to make a romcom about a femme character. But Blued told me that they did something like that for (their previous series) ‘UR_Tadhana’. I decided to pitch something controversial. Well, in general naman, gay sex is controversial. ‘Yung idea ko for controversy is not for clout, but to open discussion. (In the) gay community, you’ll be surprised na there are a lot of sex-negative individuals. Sobrang stigmatized na ang sex; paano pa ang orgy, hindi ba? So sabi ko, why not make a story about orgies? Baka lang ‘yung stigma sa orgy nanggagaling dun sa kawalan ng kwento.
What were the hurdles you had to overcome to produce the show?
Sobrang daming challenges sa totoo lang. Una na dito ‘yung running time. Eight episodes na five to seven minutes. Challenge na masabi ko lahat ng gusto kong sabihin, so ang ginawa kong atake…from the color grading, to editing, to design — lahat ‘yun ay may dahilan. Pangalawa, casting. My plan was to create a non-conventional orgy group na may buff, may twink, may maputi, maitim, mataba, matangkad, maliit, bata, matanda. Kaso, mahalaga din ‘yung chemistry. Sa audition, ‘di nagwowork ‘yung chemistry nila… (so) dun na ‘ko sa twink professionals para hindi na komplikado. Kasi mahirap din ‘pag ‘di ko na-pull-off. Shooting the sex scene was a challenge too; sobrang laking bagay na may tiwala ‘yung actors ko. Inaalagaan ko sila in a way na pag magsho-shoot na kami ng sex scenes, ako at camera guy lang ang nasa set. Or minsan three to four kami from production tapos sila. Malaking bagay na maalagaan ko sila kasi as a director, maalaga ako sa artista lalo na pag mabigat ang hinihingi ko from them.