Carmen Soo didn't confirm her attachment to the KURUS film as Miss Carol until three days before the shoot. Miss Carol is an English teacher in protagonist Ali's class, and also the object of Ali's crush.
Due to her tight schedule, we can only have her for two days of the shoot. And when working out a shooting schedule for the film, we came to dub these 2 days the 'Carmen Soo days', meaning that we had to quickly push ourselves to finish her scenes. No easy feat, considering her scenes were rather complex to shoot.
Just a few photos of the first Carmen Soo day (20/11/07):
This is us, preparing for the first scene of the shoot
The preparation continues.
In this scene, Miss Carol has to pick books up after accidentally dropping them into the pond.
Ali the protagonist (in red) helps pick up the books.
Later in the evening, she had a scene with Cheong Wai Loon, who plays Miss Carol's suave boyfriend with a disgraceful secret (the most coveted male role in the film!!! If I didn't have to stay behind the scenes, I would've auditioned this role myself).
Here's a photo of Carmen with Wai Loon and veteran actor Chung Kok Keong after they completed a scene together:
(Wai Loon and Chung Kok Keong will be seen soon the award-winning THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA, an earlier Greenlight Pictures production, coming out at Malaysian theaters near you soon.)
With Carmen around, the morale of the cast and crew was lifted immensely... to the point where wince-inducing lines like the following were heard:
- "Yes, Carmen, for you I'll do anything! Jump and I'll hold you!" (spoken by a crew member when Carmen was crossing the bridge for the scene mentioned above)
- "Hehehehe, you're standing under Carmen, heh heh heh!" (spoken by crew member A to crew member B when latter was in a pond preparing the sunken props)
- "Wow, she's so gorgeous!" (spoken by a 15-year-old cast member with a mischievous 'I'm so lucky' smile)
- "Carmen, I shot this event you were at two years ago, and you didn't age at all! This is incredible, seeing you is like time-traveling back to 2005 again!" (spoken by another crew member between takes)
Even co-star Wai Loon was exceptionally serious with his performance. The following occurred when I was rehearsing him and Carmen while the crew sets up for another scene.
Me: Okay, let's go through your lines.
WL: How do you want them to be delivered? When I ask Carol 'where have you been?' what kind of tone should I adopt? Annoyance? Anger? Curiosity?
WL: I know, let me create a background for our characters. Carol and Billy have been dating for 3 years, so he likes her very much, and so he would ask the line with a concerned tone in his voice. And when she asked why was he late, he would apologize, feeling genuinely guilty about making her wait.
Me: ... whoa. You're pro.
Carmen smiled. Wai Loon floated into the sky.
With Carmen around, no one wanted to screw up.
We also had a still photographer attending the shoot for the very first time, the guy took hundreds of pictures of Carmen... and then disappeared. Haven't seen him attending other days of the shoot since then.
Amazing, the power of a star.
Go to Carmen Soo Day 2
UPDATED (15 Oct 2008):
Here are the short teasers for KURUS (DAYS OF THE TURQUOISE SKY).