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Saturday, May 05, 2012

BUDDYZ on Astro Ria

The kombi van in BUDDYZ is also an important character

BUDDYZ is a series of 5-minute minisodes on the Astro Ria channel presented by Digi. It stars Alif Satar, Syed Ali, Erin Malek and Elliza Razak, with special appearances by Shaheizy Sam.

I actually directed it. (You might remember back in March that I mentioned about directing a Malay TV series. Yes, it does look rather different from my usual output) The series finally came out on Tuesday (1st of May), followed by the second episode on Thursday (2nd of May).

Sadly, being in Japan, I can't really watch any of them.

The whole thing came about when Ming Jin, who was originally going to direct it, had to do his big zombie film, so I flew back to Malaysia and took over the directing reins instead.

It was a breezy 9-day shoot. (well, 9 days for 15 episodes isn't exactly THAT easy, even though each episode is just 5-minute long) I flew back to Tokyo right after the shoot, but continued to work closely with my editor with the editing while communicating via emails and Twitter. Although I fine-tuned the visuals, I didn't exactly see the finished versions.

So, if you happen to have Astro, you can do what I can't do and catch BUDDYZ on TV, every Tuesday and Thursday nights. 8.55pm (repeats at 11pm)

I posted this on Facebook with the group photo taken when I finished the shoot.

With the cast and crew of Buddyz

The cast and crew of BUDDYZ, after we wrapped the shoot on the 20th of March.

It was a 9-day shoot, beginning from the 10th of March til the 20th of March (with a 2-day break in the middle).

Like most productions, it was an emotional roller coaster, where my feelings swung from murderous rage to ecstatic joy, usually in mere seconds.

I had never directed a Malay TV series before (well, a "mini" one, each episode being 5 mins and all..), this production had allowed me the opportunity to meet many different people, learn many different things, experimented with some styles and techniques.

We are all different people of different backgrounds and experiences coming together to make a production. And when it is done, many times we might never see one another in our lives again. Maybe we will just look back at this 10 days with vague wistfulness and go:

"Whoa. What a crazy 9 days I had."

Anyway, the shoot was pretty smooth, despite the damned rain constantly threatening to derail my plans. So yes, despite the occasional murderous rage or melancholic depression I felt during the shoot, I now feel nothing but relief and gratitude that it all ended well.

Many thanks to the team for making this happen. :)

It was indeed a crazy 9 days. Only a bit less than 2 months ago yet it felt so much longer. That's really the strange thing about filmmaking, the film shoots often feel like a distant dream.

Oh, and here's another photo of the nice-looking kombi van (the Volkswagen Type 2).

The Kombi at the paddy field