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Friday, November 05, 2010

Re-introducing my short film, AFTERNOON RIVER, EVENING SKY

The Bratislava International Film Festival begins today.

My short film, AFTERNOON RIVER, EVENING SKY, will make its world premiere in competition. It is the only Asian entry among the selected short films.


The problem about being too prolific is that you know some of the films you've made will fall by the wayside, and not necessarily because of its lack of quality. For me, in an attempt to constantly top myself, I usually launch into another project barely after one is completed. (I technically have five 2010 short films: THE WHITE FLOWER, INHALATION, my Prada 1-min epic NOW, AFTERNOON RIVER EVENING SKY and also the upcoming EXHALATION, which I will talk about in another post)

And as this continues, you look at the film you made before your last one (or second last one), and realize that you, and many others, have forgotten about it.

AFTERNOON RIVER, EVENING SKY is such an example. (my experimental short, THE WHITE FLOWER, is another)

This is actually my follow-up to KINGYO. Because KINGYO was such a large-scaled production (only for me, to the Japanese it's actually quite a microbudget short film), I thought I needed to go back to basics and make a 'smaller' film. Note the 3-men skeletal crew.

Shooting AFTERNOON RIVER... by the river

The short film is divided into two sections (or 'chapters'), AFTERNOON RIVER (read description of my shoot, which i shot one day in April 2009 here), and EVENING SKY, which I shot one day in September 2009 (I chronicled the shoot here), immediately after I returned from the Venice Film Festival.

It was my first attempt at shooting a short film with a DSLR. I used a Nikon D90 (I would later switch to Canon 7D for all my subsequent films). It's also like a prototype for INHALATION, with me using an improvisational method for the very first time (I didn't have a script, so I figured out scenes and the story progress on the spot. I also encouraged actors to ad-lib... but I've always done that).

This film also helped me discover Klang. I would later shoot INHALATION and my 1-min Prada short film, NOW, there as well.

As I made a number of shorts since AFTERNOON RIVER, EVENING SKY, it got lost in the shuffle. So it feels a little strange that this film is actually premiering AFTER INHALATION!

Here's a synopsis.

A short film divided into two parallel stories. In Afternoon River, Grace, a waitress in a Bah Kut Teh (Malaysian-Chinese pork stew) restaurant tries to go through her mundane everyday work while ignoring the incessant ringing of her cell phone. In Evening Sky, the tomboyish Lai Fun seeks justice from an illegal DVD peddler who impregnated her best friend.

Well, I hope there will be people enjoying this little short film of mine too.