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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Filmmaking Dilemma, Suggestions needed

Right. This is a complicated little situation. I made a short film last semester, from February until May called 'Forced Labour' with the intention of submitting it to film festivals and the like. Now, the first version I edited during the end of April (early May) was 18 minute long, which is way TOO long for a short film with such a simple story, besides, more than half of this is dedicated to the fighting scenes, which feature characters not originally in the script.

Realizing that the fighting scenes are way too long, and take too much attention away from the main plot and the theme. I decided to re-edit the whole damned thing (I've already mentioned that few weeks ago, actually). And re-edit, or remade the film I did, snipping it down to nearly a third of its original length (ideally, this new short film will be between 5-6 minutes, I think), lots of scenes were sped up, most of the fighting scenes were removed, and the characters not originally in the script did not make it past this version either (thus any scene with them in it are gone).

The results thus far had been stellar, and it's totally something that can be sent to film festivals (if they look past the fact that I'm using a cheap-ass camera, and that the film's sooooo low budget). I've reached near the ending, all I have to do is reshoot one more scene with my main actress and things will be completely done.

Now, I feel pretty guilty that the five characters didn't make it past the final cut, and wanted to make it up to them by including them in the credits. For example, I shall do what the Farrelly brothers did with 'Me, Myself and Irene', and inform viewers that 'some characters and scenes were removed due to time constraints', and then show snippets of scenes featuring these characters and then give them credit.

Wonderful solution, right?

HOWEVER, this is best used for a jolly little comedy... what if the ending of my short film is meant to be pretty dark and angsty (bittersweet, kinda), and I try to toss that in during the credits? Wouldn't that mess things up?

So, what do you guys think? Any suggestions? It was suggested to me that I shall put them in the 'Special Thanks' section during the credits, which is something I will most likely do.

Console RPGs I Completed Throughout The Past Decade (1994-2005). (Part 2)

I was rewarded with a Sony Playstation in 1996 (I was 12 then) due my flawless results for the UPSR (a government exam you have to take in Malaysia during the end of primary/elementary school), and thus my long love affair with it began.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Console RPGs I Completed Throughout The Past Decade (1994-2005). (Part 1)

I have wanted to write this since early last year, when it was exactly a decade since I started playing console RPGs (role-playing games, to the uninitiated), but I decided to let the year went by first so that my list of completed RPGs in 2004 can be complete as well. Note that this feature is only for console RPGs, and not the PC ones (or I'll have to elaborate on the months and months I've spent on Morrowind, my god). For Part 1, I shall focus only on the 1994-1996 period, when I was only 10-12, and was just starting to play console RPGs. Young and idealistic, it was this very period where I fell in love with console RPGs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nora Ephron's BEWITCHED

I went off to see Bewitched last night, which was based on an old TV series of the same name.

I've never watched a single episode of the Bewitched TV series, I'm not even sure whether reruns of Bewitched were shown in Malaysia before or not. But from what I know, Bewitched is about some normal guy marrying a witch, and goofiness ensues during their married life.

Monday, July 25, 2005

SEPET by Yasmin Ahmad, an important film in the Malaysian New Wave

One of the movies I heard most of when I returned to Malaysia had, strangely, been a local film, which is something unheard of considering that at this time of the year, summer Hollywood blockbusters are the ones that rule the box-office. This local film is Yasmin Ahmad's 'Sepet' which had been making waves at some foreign film festivals, and became quite a subject of discussion among Malaysians, not just the Malays, but also many of the Chinese I know. Finally got to watch it during my flight from Malaysia to Perth.

'Sepet' depicts an interracial romance between a Chinese guy and a Malay gal. And being an interracial romance, it obviously shows the complications involved in interracial romance, like the clashing of cultures, the condemnation of narrow-minded friends, the inability of acceptance by parents. Can true love transcend all these barriers?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Michael Bay's THE ISLAND

In the not-too-distant future, the world had became so polluted that many of its surviving inhabitants have to stay in a facility monitored by kindly scientists and doctors, and all of these inhabitants with weird names, Lincoln Six-Echo(McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson), are waiting to go to 'The Island', said to be the only uncontaminated spot on the planet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

PREMONITION 予言 by Tsurata Norio

I haven't heard anything about this Japanese film until I went to the cineplexes today. Saw the poster when dad called and asked me to buy the tickets for tonight's show and immediately had my reservations.

"Oh god, not another Japanese horror flick." I whined, seeing the creepy pale-faced bald guy on the poster.

Of course, dad maintained that it wasn't a horror flick, thus I bought the tickets in the end.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Re-editing and revamping 'Forced Labour', figuring my next project

I've mentioned numerous times that I was going to re-edit 'Forced Labour', the short film I made earlier this year due to the fact that I wasn't entirely happy with its end result.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Can Local Malaysian Stars Become Internationally Famous?

I've originally wanted to post more of my wonderful haiku I wrote yesterday but since I ain't using my comp, I'll just bring up another topic for discussion. Building upon an entry I wrote last week regarding the problems of the local film industry heard in the seminar, I now wonder wistfully how can our movies reach the international stage.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Turning my story, Snow Kiss, into a webcomic!

I've spoken to this young girl, Kat-Chan, from Comic Fiesta Forum and she's possibly going to collaborate with me next year into turning one of my works, Snow Kiss, into a webcomic, which is something I've wanted to do for ages.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Just to clarify some things from my previous entry

Whoa, I didn't know that Sebastian actually posted the link to my previous entry on famed director, Yasmin Ahmad's blog. And therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to reply to hdoong, a person who took the time to make a rather sensible and thought-provoking response to my entry.

The following is from him:

The Malaysian Chinese Filmmaking Scene And Its Many Many Obstacles.

EDIT: I didn't specifically pointed out that I was ranting about the Malaysian Chinese filmmaking scene when I first posted it, and not exactly the Malaysian filmmaking scene in general. So yeah, remember, I was ranting more about the Malaysian Chinese filmmaking scene.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yup, went to this Q & A session at a film academy today with my dad, and I had the fortune to meet James Lee (top photo), a famous local independant filmmaker who is considered as one of the pioneers of the current Malaysian independant filmmaking movement, and Chan Jin Quan (that's what his name sounds like in Mandarin, I'm not too sure what his actual English name is, bottom pic), a veteran TV actor who had been around from the glory days of Chinese Malaysian television to its fall, and he had managed to stay tough and continued the career he had loved... despite this, he looks really young though.

The local Malaysian filmmaking scene is being discussed today, the industry, the regular cinemagoers, the numerous obstacles and restrictions preventing filmmakers from succeeding, many things, therefore, I'll try to speak out about the numerous things that caught my attention today. There had been many issues in our local film industry that makes aspiring filmmaker like me want to stay overseas instead of here, because I knew that there are more opportunities in, say, Australia, than here. So, enough talk, here are the crucial flaws of our system that leaves me rather apprehensive about pursuing my passion here.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Coping With My Retirement From Fanfiction, Future Plans For Both Writing And Filmmaking.

I am still utterly blown away by the fact that I've finished a fanfic I've spent three years working upon. Post-creativity depression is sure to settle in soon, but I seriously doubt it. Yes, although I'm done with Slam Dunk: Inside Stuff, this is just the beginning. From now on, I will attempt to promote it like I've never before, I'll attempt to make it accessible from anywhere. I'll make sure its URL will be on any anime fanfiction site, search engines and everything else. (insanely active forums are perfect for this)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Retiring From Fanfiction,

Oh my god! OH MY GOD! I've just finished writing the Slam Dunk: Inside Stuff epilogue! This is nuts! This is insane! I so totally didn't expect this to happen that easily! So soon!

Special thanks to Yuan-Yue for helping me out with the very last line in that chapter. I will upload it soon, once I've done my acknowledgements and stuff.

My fanfiction career is finally over. I'm speechless.