Yellow Cab So Worth It Spotlight:
Filmmaker Quark Henares shares why sticking to his creative guns was so worth it
Now dubbed as the country’s Renaissance man for the digital age, success didn’t come overnight for Quark Henares.The filmmaker is known for wearing many hats. Best known as a director, he’s also a columnist, musician, producer, entrepreneur, DJ, university instructor, and screenwriter among many others. These days, he busies himself as the head of Globe Studios, the digital entertainment and video production leg of the country’s largest telco company.
Quark’s success was hard-earned. His So Worth It story is made up of many late nights perfecting a story pitch, page after page of script rewrites, and countless takes just to get the perfect shot. He even recalls the time when he was staring out in the film industry. “Yellow Cab really has a special place in my heart. When I started out shooting mini music videos for zero budgets, building my reel, fresh out of college, the only way I could pay my collaborators was through good food. And it was always pizza. And It was always Yellow Cab. So to this day I order Yellow Cab at my shoots, because aside from having the best pepperoni pizza in the metro the Dear Darla will always remind me of where I came from.”
Now that he’s reached a high point is his career, the filmmaker experiences many perks. These days, Quark often finds himself working on projects that take him all over the world: he’d be in exciting locations such as Balesin, Korea, New York, and France. Just last year, Quark even got to attend the Cannes Film Festival!
To many, the filmmaker looks like the quintessential jetsetter who constantly gets to travel and do what he loves. While it certainly seems like he’s living the dream, getting to this point in his career wasn’t easy. And it’s still no cakewalk. There were many pit stops in his So Worth It journey.
Hungry and driven
With roots in the indie scene, Quark confessed that if he hadn’t made it as a filmmaker, he would have studied architecture. He also did several things in order to supplement his craft—and he hustled hard!
From directing music videos, spearheading mainstream studio movies, managing some of the country’s top musicians, and opening various businesses, Quark worked his way through earning a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
All of the things he’s done so far would eventually prepare him for his current responsibilities. Quark’s plate was always full. He remained prolific in order to sharpen his filmmaking, storytelling, and management skills. “Being a creative means that you never stop learning. There will always be new trends, new technologies, new platforms. That’s why established directors sometimes drop off while exciting, new, raw voices come to the fore. [To keep on learning], don’t stop being a fan — always consume culture voraciously. And yes, invest in learning more. I just subscribed to MasterClass and I can’t wait to get started.. There really is so much to learn, still.”
Quark adds that the hustling still continues even after reaching a new career milestone. “Well, now the challenge is staying creative despite being in the corporate world. I’m two years into my 9-5 (ok, 10-6) at Globe and am still having a hard time focusing on stuff like reports, strategy, P&I, and meeting KPIs. I thought that running a studio would give me the freedom to work on films I wanted to write and direct; that’s definitely not been the case since there’s hardly time to sit down and write. The solution so far? Making my downtime my work time. If you want to work in the creative industry, people have the misconception that it’s loose and free. While in certain respects it is, it also demands more discipline and sacrifice than you think”
But all throughout juggling so many things, the director stayed focused on his goals and dreams: to be in the business of entertainment and contribute to the growth of Philippine cinema, something he is truly passionate about. Through his work, Quark dreams to be able to shape an industry with more diversity in terms of the stories it tells.
Today, the filmmaker is now in the position of telling better stories to a wider audience. Through his work, Quark is also able to open doors for other creative like himself! For him, the struggle was so worth it. He shares, “There was always a bigger purpose, and it was so much fun getting here anyway. I wake up every day knowing that we’re empowering creators, helping change the culture, and making things that affect people. Even one person will be worth it.”
For those still writing their So Worth It story, Quark shares some encouraging words. “ Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve been refining your taste all your life and your skill for not as long. Just because you don’t like what you make doesn’t mean you won’t get there eventually. It’s so easy to fall into the dark side, and it’s a series of small choices. Always protect yourself, always be alert. Strike while the iron is hot. The creative industry really is feast or famine, and when it’s fiesta time you better be working on what you want to do next.Do what’s in your sleep. What you dream about, what you can do with your eyes closed, what you know you can do when you’re thrown into something. Lastly, art lang ng art. Just keep making, don’t worry too much about making box office hits or critical darlings. And always be pushin’. Get out of your comfort zone.”
Yellow Cab Pizza’s So Worth It Squad series is a celebration of dreamers, artists, hustlers, and believers. To read more stories of grit and hustle that are so worth it, visit: https://www.yellowcabpizza.com/soworthitsquad/