It is no secret that filmmaker Matthew Vandeputte is drawn to warm, tropical environments. The Belgian moved to Australia over three years ago, and has been honing his unique filming style in places such as Vanuatu, Noosa, New Zealand, and the appropriately named Sunshine Coast.
Vandeputte’s latest film, “The Philippines“, keeps his camera under the warm sun as he and a small team of content creators traveled to the islands of Palawan and Cebu. After watching the two-minute short film, it is easy to see why Vandeputte returned with a fully charged creative battery.
Anywhere I went and everything I saw I just wanted to capture. I had never seen (or felt, those rocks are sharp!) limestone karst cliffs like on Coron island or swam among schools of fish which didn’t seem to care about you being there. I shot a ton of footage which resulted in a few weeks of editing and fine tuning but in the end I’m very excited to have a new style of video in my portfolio that combines all the things I love into one. Slow motion and timelapse photography are on opposite ends of the ‘time spectrum’ and I believe that’s why they work so well together.
The Philippines Tourism Board has a slogan…”It’s more fun in the Philippines”. Is this actually the case? And why?
In my opinion, yes. Not only were the visuals stunning, but I really did just have a ton of fun. You just get a vibe there that puts a smile on your face. The people are so laid back and friendly. Combine that with an enormous offering of experiences and natural beauty make it like no other tourism destination in the world. Snorkeling in the clearest of water. kayaking in secluded coves…to me, it really was more fun in the Philippines.
In following your work, it seems that you are drawn to tropical environments. As a filmmaker, what is it about the warm visuals that you find so appealing?
I’m drawn to any beautiful environment, it just so happens that the last few projects have taken me to some very tropical ones. The added bonus of showing these is that hopefully it makes people appreciate them and makes them think about how beautiful our planet is and how we can take care of it.
With the increased attention Palawan gets these days, is it still possible to find your own secluded piece of paradise?
When we did our day trip around Coron island in Palawan we were the only boat on the eastern side of the island. When we visited one of the lakes on the western side the day before, where you’d expect a rush of people we only saw about ten other people. At the end of the island hopping tour we stopped at Cyc island (the really small one that features in the drone’s top shot) there were a handful of boats and half of them were locals and their relatives.
So yes, it’s getting more and more attention and campaigns like these (hopefully) make an impact on the tourism industry (which is great for the locals as it drives a lot of the economy). That being said, from talking to the tour operators they seem to have an enormous amount of respect for their natural assets such as coron island and are trying to keep it the way it is.
So the idea is that nothing will ever be built on it except for huts that you rent from the indigenous people where you can have your lunch etc.