June 2010 - J.Blockbuster
Photo: Nancy Ford… But Dex and I couldn’t decide which photo – so he got 2 in 1 😉
In the beginning I had a bit of trouble to adjust. The requirement was all natural lighting and usually I don’t like that. I would consider myself a lighting megalomanic hahaha! But after discussions with the directors and a few adjustments of my style it all worked out.
I felt like a mix out of genius and lunatic – always trying to solve problems without spending money – hence I learned a lot! How to set up a scene with almost no light and no power… well, we had bad days on set as well and I think it taught me how to handle airheads, how to train new crew on the spot or work without anybody at all. I wasn’t a big fan of the food either. But in the final end it was ok! Now I know how to value gaffer tape and cookie card boards.
I love Asian action movies. Being a female white director in Asia isn’t necessarily a common thing, but Malaysia has proven very open and very supportive to my visions.
I met Chee Hong at an indie movie screening and immediately thought I need to get to work with these guys! In my previous movie projects I had action scenes, but they were more the ‘Guys, get as busy as you can and I’ll edit something out of it’ type. Now I had the option to have real choreographed fight scenes! Chee Hong and his group of friends were very interested. They all have 9 to 5 day-jobs. The Malaysian industry is not known for paying good and the safety for stuntmen often lacks. Therefore the Ramly at War project, purely done out of fun and ambition, was totally along their lines.
Then I though about involving dC (Danny Chua) in the production. He’s the cousin of my previous movie collaborator Adrian Lai and has extensive contacts to a lot of Harley Davidson bikers. The idea of an action / biker / martial arts mixed movie was born. dC proved to be a good actor and scriptwriter as well, next to being a resourceful producer. Nothing better then to find people being able to cover several jobs at once in a low budget production!
dC’s friend Dexter, an Indonesian biker and cinematographer agreed to shoot Ramly at War. He told us later, he was actually ready to give up after the first day. No equipment (I told him I try, I meant more than likely he won’t get what he’s asking for, he read likely he’ll get the lights, track etc. he wants) and no trained crew made it tough. However, after the shoot he admitted that he became totally addicted to ‘chaos’ productions. According to him, once he got used to be his own assistant and focus puller, the whole environment of the shoot was a great creative boost.
Ramly at War Begins was a great shooting experience. I’m proud of the action sequences, the pictures and the entire movie. We hope to be able to extend our collaboration into a feature… involving again bikers and fights and A LOT of fun!
Jeza aka Chad in the midst of the show contestants. Photo: Nancy Ford
I’m half Maori which till today shocks most people when I tell them. Thus you’ll notice my hair is very thick and curly, so when I coloured it blond for the second time my hair was literally falling out and resembled what Virginia (the director) described as “The inside of a mattress!” This was days before shooting were to commence so I quickly rushed to a local Chinese salon to fix it up. I returned to the set with wait for it yes PURPLE hair.
Marc enjoys the wrap party.
I met Juliane, one of the directors and cast of Kinks in 2008 in Hong Kong at a independent filmmaker and actors meet up. A few months later I got an email if I wanted to shoot a short film for her since she was coming to Hong Kong soon. I said yes and the outcome was “Kowloon Story”. We worked very well together so when she approached me later and asked me to shoot Kinks it was a no brainer for me.
Check his website: www.youngindiefilms.com