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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Heading to Seoul for WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER post-production

I was sifting through the photos I took with my old camera when I found a number of production photos from WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, a feature-length film I produced earlier this year. The film's written and directed by Woo Ming Jin.

This film, financed by the Asian Cinema Fund and the Hubert Bals Fund, was shot back in March at Kuala Selangor, and after returning to Malaysia last Monday, I've spent quite a number of days finalizing its edit with Ming Jin. We will be bringing the entire film to Korea tonight for the final stages of its post-production, like colour correction and film transfer.

The film shoot lasted for nearly two weeks, and because it was quite hectic, I didn't really snap any photos most of the time.

It all began early in the morning, on the 17th of March. There was a simple praying ceremony for the beginning of the shoot. This is lead actor Chong Shun Yuan.

Lead actor Shun Yuan praying before the beginning of the shoot

And this is assistant director Khai Sim handing out the joss sticks.

Assistant director Khai Sim with joss sticks

Three days later we prepared a scene at the seashore.

Preparing a scene at the seashore

The next day we went on a boat. The river was so still at times that we could see a clear reflection of the sky.

Clear river

The boat scenes were quite difficult to do, especially when we had to ensure that our actors worked like genuine fishermen.

Shooting a scene on the boat

Lead actor Chung Kok Keong ("The Elephant And The Sea", "Kurus // Days of the Turquoise Sky") managed to learn how to drive a boat.

Lead actor Chung Kok Keong driving a boat

On the 22nd of March, we went to a salted fish factory to shoot scenes with lead actress Fei Ling. Some swore off salted fish after the day. Not surprising, our noses were constantly assaulted by the pungent stench of salted fish.

Preparing to shoot a scene in salted fish factory

Fei Ling took a quick lesson on how to cut salted fish.

Lead actress Fei Ling taking lessons in cutting salted fish

We managed to find ourselves a really cute and chubby boy to act for us. I can't really remember his name though.

Our chubby child actor

Ah Guo was our production manager, and also had a supporting role in the film as the factory manager. The boy played her son.

Production manager and actress Ah Guo with Chubby Child Actor

Fei Ling, horrifyingly, didn't look that much older than the kid.

Fei Ling doing a scene with Chubby Child Actor

We then headed off to a nearby village. It was filled with kids. They were standing on the side as we were shooting.

Kids hanging out in the village

Kids got impatient waiting for us

Then they checked out the footage we shot.

The kids checking the scenes we shot

Something about the area felt a little post-apocalyptic.

Rubbish scattered about

A little post apocalyptic

I found myself strangely mesmerized by the sight of rubbish scattering about.

It's cool to see kids in the same neighbourhood hanging out together so much. Growing up in the city, I never had that in my childhood.

The kids return home

There are many more production photos of WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER that look much better than the stuff I've taken.

Fei Ling in a melancholic scene from WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER

Hopefully I'll be able to share them with you all soon.

As for the film, I think it's going to be something pretty special, but then, it's hard to be objective if you're the producer of the film!

WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER will have its world premiere at this year's Pusan International Film Festival, held in October. It will go to Malaysian theatres too, but not that soon.