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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lost my Hang Tuah. 'Aisyalam' Project Might Be In Development Hell.

It happened so quickly.

Abu is a friend of Johan's (my Hang Jebat), he was supposed to play Hang Tuah in my Aisyalam (in case you've missed my early entries, it's my upcoming short film which is based on a famous Malay folklore, but with sci-fi and noirish settings). He's rather big, bearded and seemed suited for the role of Hang Tuah. I first met him when he was doing this short film with a friend of mine, and then I met him again when he went to Johan's flat to play Tekken 4. Being quite a big guy, he left an impression. And when Aisyalam was developed, I was more than eager to ask him to play the role of Hang Tuah.

Alas, things weren't as simple as I've thought. He has other commitments, being a bonafide film student (I'm not, I'm a business student who minors in literature), he needs to do lots of shooting, and other stuff for his course. Knowing that this might actually hinder the production process, he finally suggested to me on the phone while I was having dinner with Johan in a Japanese restaurant (Johan was 'buka puasa'ing, which means breaking his fast) that I should actually change actors for Hang Tuah as he can't make any promises.

It's not surprising, Abu is just a mere acquaintance, and all I did back then was approached him randomly and did thus:

Me: Dude! Can you play my Hang Tuah?
Him: Eh? For a short film?
Me: Shit yeah!
Him: For your screen production unit?
Me: Nope, not really. I'm just making movies for competitions and stuff.
Him: Er, okay.
Me: Yaaay.

And no, he has never seen any of my works before. So, I can see how difficult it is for him to commit to this project. Even so, I started panicking. I was in trouble, the 'Aisyalam' project may be in development hell... and we are just FOUR DAYS AWAY FROM SHOOTING OUR FIRST SCENE!!! How can I do this when I don't have my lead actors?

While going off to see 'Serenity' with Johan (a great film, but I'll review that later), my insanely quick mind started playing with the possibilities. Whom shall I replace? What other Malay guys are studying in Murdoch that's into acting?

Here were the following solutions I came up with:

1) Get this guy, Nasir, from my Pop Lit class. However, he looks kinda, er, sleazy, and too short to be Hang Tuah (he's almost half a head shorter than Johan, me thinks). Besides, he's a filmmaker too, clashes of will might happen.

2) Get Vicks who circumcised himself. But the guy's too loathsome, and no fucking way am I going to get some guy who circumcised himself to play a legendary Malay folk hero.

3) Kidnap some random good-looking or manly Malay guys in Perth for the role. Possible, since most of them should be weakened as they are currently fasting and stuff. Even with my zero martial arts skills, I might just overpower someone.

4) Has Johan playing dual roles. Yes, he plays both Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat, so that it can be a pretentiously arty attempt to show that both of these former best friends/ current sworn enemies are alike in many many ways!

5) ... I, the Great Swifty, will play Hang Tuah. After all, all those rumours about Hang Tuah being a Chinese might have people forgiving me for this. But I need to be behind the camera. So...

After finishing Serenity, Johan said that he might try contacting sister's boyfriend for the role. The entire fate of my film might just lie in this guy's hands... a guy I barely know! Although he does look ripped and kinda manly enough for the Hang Tuah role, that I do agree.

Hours went by, apparently, the guy seems interested, I will now send him the screenplay. Will Swifty triumph over this? Stay tuned!