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Friday, March 25, 2011

Shooting the rest of my short 'LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER'

So, in the 11 days since I last updated the blog, I've gone through the grueling shoot for the rest of my short film LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER (March 15-18), and then rushed off to the Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 20 for the HAF (HK - Asia Film Financing Forum), and came back last night (March 24).

This blog post is about the grueling shoot.

On March 15, I announced to the world that I was going to shoot the Malaysian segment of the short film. (I finished the stunningly beautiful Japanese segment earlier in Shirakawa-go)

Announcing the film shoot for LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER

The first day was meant to be an easy shoot, just a few scenes in a KTM train... it turned out to be much more complicated than I thought...

My second Facebook status and my exchange with the others summarize everything.

What I learnt while shooting in the KTM

I'm always baffled by how horribly bad the KTM service is, but I guess it's probably naive of me to expect any improvements.

Let's just say that I spent most of the day screaming and cursing. I got REALLY annoyed when some dude stood like a hero at the entrance of the crowded train without having the courtesy to push himself in and allow some space for me to get in. Hence causing me to miss the train and having to wait for another half an hour to shoot it. Thanks a lot, dude who stood at the train door and would not allow me to get in. I hope you're proud of your life.

On the 16th of March, dad's birthday, I headed off to Kuala Selangor for the shoot. Kuala Selangor was the location for Ming Jin's films, THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA, WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, and my own short film, LOVE SUICIDES. I showed most of the films to Teck Zee the cinematographer days before the shoot, telling him that I didn't want my new film to look ANYTHING like the old one.

Here are two of my leads, Tan Ley Teng (woman in white) and Foo Kang Chen (the kid). Ley Teng's a newscaster for NTV7, the kid's the nephew of one of my producers, Fei Ling.

Tan Ley Teng and Foo Kang Chen at the set of 'LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER'

This is Teck Zee the cinematographer, after I asked him to climb onto the car to shoot a breathtaking vista shot. Yes, the car was moving.

Me: "Teck Zee! Don't fall! Well, you CAN fall, but not MY camera!!!!"

Teck Zee the Cinematographer undertaking a difficult shot

The shoot in Kuala Selangor was pretty smooth.

Shooting a boat scene for LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER



March 17, I shot my scenes in a temple.

They were mindblowing scenes of sheer awesomeness.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos on that day.

So, we'll move on.

March 18, last day of the shoot. A marathon shoot that began in the afternoon and ended at around 2pm.

This is Fei Ling the producer giving Ley Teng a facial mole, for the sake of continuity, a laptop showing an earlier scene shot in two days earlier in Kuala Selangor was placed next to them.

Fei Ling the producer doing make-up for Ley Teng

Fei Ling the producer doing make-up for Ley Teng 2

We then shot in the LRT (monorail), which was MUCH easier to shoot in. People were gathered around us to watch the shoot. I liked the attention.

Shooting a train scene for LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER

We then moved to Wangsa Maju (KL) for the last leg of the shoot. We waited a while, because most of the scenes were night scenes. Lead actor Berg Lee was nice enough to lend me his apartment for the shoot.

This is Kang Shen with his dad, chillin'.

Kang Shen hanging out with his dad between shots

This is Ley Teng, in front of an LRT station. I didn't know that iPhone is that weak with night photos, hmm.

Ley Teng at Wangsa Maju LRT station

Ley Teng at Wangsa Maju LRT station 2

After that we returned to Berg's apartment and finished the rest of the shoot.

Shooting an apartment scene with Ley Teng and Berg Lee

Shooting an apartment scene with Ley Teng and Berg Lee 2

You'll notice that in the end, especially during the last day, we were a 4-men crew, Fei Ling the producer, Teck Zee the cinematographer, Kenny the Mr Everything who did sound and was also more or less the production manager as well.

Things went well, had been editing the film every night after the shoot, and brought the entire thing over to Hong Kong to edit. You'll be hearing more about this short film in near future.