The Rights Stuff


‘Midnight In A Perfect World’ director Dodo Dayao: “Genre films give you aesthetic wiggle room to literalise impossible ideas”

NME — 5.2.2021

Jasmine Curtis Smith in Midnight In A Perfect World. Credit: Geric Cruz

He’s the toast of Manila’s independent horror cinema, but for Dodo Dayao, the dreaded sophomore slump was as debilitating as the unspeakable spooks he’s projected to the screen. After the critical success of his 2014 debut feature Violator – which won Best Film at Cinema One Originals – the filmmaker set out to do something “as far away from it as possible”. And when an attempt at such started fizzling out, he says, “I was in a mild state of panic.”

“I was thinking, what do I do now? Should I teach? I mean, filmmaking was no longer just a gig; it was my livelihood.”

He gathered his marbles, reworked his pitch deck for Globe Studios, and brought in a spare tyre: a short originally titled The Way The Light Fails. In the end, it was the spare that got picked up, reimagined as a feature, and retooled as Midnight In A Perfect World.

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