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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The final days of the RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS shoot (Cameron Highlands, protesters etc.)

Today's the last day of my twenties. I'm just doing what I like best, going through the post-production of my film, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS.

So, while I have to wait patiently for the tedious process of syncing the audio and video before I start editing, I'm just going to revisit the final days of the shoot.

We went to Cameron Highlands because I wanted to capture the sunrise.

I was absolutely pumped during the shoot.

One of the main reasons why I was in Cameron Highlands was because I wanted to shoot at its iconic tea fields.

I had to shoot a scene with baby. I was offered a ridiculously cute baby with chubby cheeks. Unfortunately, I ended up not using him because he was too... big :(

I had to use a smaller baby. Like this one.

We took a group photo after we left Cameron Highlands. Joey, our actress, has essentially completed the shoot by then.

After Cameron Highlands, there was another day of shoot in March 1. By then, we were reduced to a skeletal crew.

But they were just a few simple scenes in the school.

It was finally over after that.

This is what I wrote that night.

After 17 days of film shoot (stretched out in a span of 2 months), I've finally finished shooting my debut feature, RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS. Entering the last few days in my twenties, I feel only relief and gratitude.

Having started this since January 2, 2014, making this film had been a very beautiful adventure. I recently read in an Alexander Payne interview that the job of a director is basically to direct the creativity of others (like a conductor in an orchestra). I agree. Throughout my shoot I've been surrounded by people whose expertise and skills I'm in awe of:

From my tremendously dedicated cast members, every single one of them. From the leads to the extras. The characters came alive because of them, and I could only stand aside and admire their craft.

And then, my wonderful team members, so resourceful, so brilliant.
My camera team had a fantastic eye for beauty.
My sound guy was committed to perfection.
My wardrobe/ make-up artist who could not be stopped by illness and has special effects make-up skills too!
My production designer who could create everything like a magician.
My production team who could held all of us together, like a glue.
The production assistants who were able to do so much more than I could ever do. They carried the team.

I only feel alive when I make films because I am surrounded by wonderful people. It's a feeling I can never ever describe to anyone. Thank you, all of you, who had been part of this adventure.

This project had existed in many different incarnations, through the ashes of previous unrealized screenplays, everything I did in the past, everything I tried to write, I guess they all led to RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS, and so this is the film that I've waited my entire life to make.

I will continue editing this film now. (been editing during the filming)

我的第一部长片《榴莲河》(暂名?)终于杀青了! 从一月二日开始, 我就一直为这部电影忙了。 拍摄17天, 认识了很多很棒的新朋友, 也很开心跟很多老友们再次合作。 29岁的最后几天终于实现了自己拍长片的童年梦想, 我觉得自己很荣幸很感恩, 能有那么强的演员们以及那么厉害的工作人员们参与小弟的电影拍摄。

有你们这些同伴陪我走这一条路, 实在是太好了。

现在开始剪片(其实拍摄开始已经开始了), 好兴奋啊!