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Monday, September 19, 2005

Almost Got ARRESTED While Filming!

Shooting for my untitled Malay-language 1960s-style old school sci-fi project has begun. Justin and I, along with our main actor Johan, made our way to Perth city to film a simple scene which involves Johan's character waiting for a train at the train station, and then standing alone by himself while being in the train.

It was, of course, filmed at the central train station, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in the city.

Unfortunately, while filming, we were interrupted by a middle-aged security guard.

"Hey you! What is this for?" He asked.

"It's just a university assignment." I lied smoothly. Despite my voice being reduced to nothing more than a croak, my blinding charisma remained.

"Do you have permission?" He narrowed his eyes.

"Oh no!" I feigned a look of innocence and shock. "Do we need one? Can we get it now?"

Man grunted and pointed at a direction. We nodded and started walking away... before we were intercepted by two more security guards, one tough-looking woman and one tall imposing man.

"Why were you filming here?" The man asked.

"It's a university assignment." I repeated.

"Which university?"

"Murdoch." I said, silently worried that they would immediately call my university and find out that I am neither a film student, nor a media student, and that I was just being an idealistic young man trying to make his own indie short film and not doing it because of academic reasons.

"ID please?" Man extended his hand. I fished out my student card and handed it to him, he started jotting down my particulars. The woman did the same with Johan and Justin.

"No one's allowed to film in the train station, nor take photos. Because this could be what terrorists do, filming and taking photos so that they can find the right place to plant their bombs." The woman explained.

"Damn." I tried to look sympathetic. "Don't worry, it's just a short film."

The guards nodded and returned us our student cards.

"You are allowed to film now. Make sure you do it within the limits of this area." The man said.

Then they walked away. We sighed in relief.

I turned to Justin. "Damn, if the train station gets bombed tomorrow, we'll be the prime suspects."

When the train came, I hid my tripod, holding my camera by hand instead. Didn't want to attract too much attention. Better to let them know that I was just some tourist or something. While filming in the train, a notice struck me, which warned people about terrorists. It said that one of the common activities found among terrorists was their tendencies to often take photos, or shoot videos of public places so that they can find the right places to plant their bombs.

Guerilla filmmakers like me are in trouble.

Oh well, the following are screenshots that I risked my life and reputation to film just a few hours ago.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com
Image hosted by TinyPic.com
Image hosted by TinyPic.com

'Person of the Day' award goes to the woman who works in the Mr Samurai Japanese food stall at Old Shanghai food court. While having dinner there, just before we went to the train station for filming, I, with my raspy and hoarse voice, ordered Salmon Don (that's salmon rice) with curry. The woman immediately shook her head.

"No, you are sick. I won't let you have curry." She said.

I was moved by her professionalism and top-notched service.