I will start my first 2017 blog post with one of best moment during my year of 2016. Because this was a very special moment in my life. I have be selected one of the fellow for Asian Film Academy (AFA) , which is hosted by Busan International Film Festival, DONGSEO University and Busan Film Commission.
I major in Directing under guidance of Dean, Tsai Ming Liang, Mentors Vimukthi (directing) and Bogumil. Things happened too sudden to me when I received the news that I have been selected during the time I busy as 2nd Assistant Director for a features film, I didn't prepare well and I just flied to Busan and spent 3 weeks there with a brunch of good fellows.
I assigned to TEAM A along with another 3 directors, Linh from Vietnam, Rahat from Bangladesh, CJ from Taiwan, and we paired up with another 4 DOPs, Ham from Thai (my DP, a crazy funny guy that you will fall in love with), Khai from Singapore, Che from Philippine & Dohee from Korea. Along with Production Designer Elder from Kazakhstan, Sound master Ankita from India, Editor Chu from Hong Kong, and all of us lead under Producer Mai from Japan. Such a great team that I might able to be together back again in future. (Of cause there was another TEAM B, and my friend in Malaysia,YING XIAN was that team Producer)
My team fellows with Korean supporting crews and TA!
We spent around 1 month for pre production before we arrived in Busan for one short film, and I remember during that proceed just like a never ending story. We discussed, modified the script, script being rejected, revised again, rejected again, finally approved, got our artists and locations but lost the locations due to some reason. Finally we reached Busan a week before shoot the short film. But yet again our locations destroyed by the typhoon (along with BIFF village T.T ).
We are still lucky that able to get all our locations before the shoot, and we start our principle shoot for only 3 days to complete a 20 minutes feature. Working with another 3 directors is not easy, all of us have different kind of idea and styling, we have to compromised most of the time, our meeting always end up with looping the same questions most of the time (usually need our Producer Mai to gave a decision or conclusion on this). It was a great experience for me, and I didn't expect I can be so open minded to work along with others, as a filmmaker, I kind of stubborn on my own creation. But this time I felt really great, sometime if you try to accept different working style you will felt another type of enjoyment.
Working with people from different countries and supported by a group of Korean professionals are fun and interesting. Especially directing a veteran Korean main actor BONG Tae Gyu (I'm kind of surprise he willing to acted for us when I proposed him as the main role), a talented kids actress CHOI Da In and KIM Mi Seung. They're so professional and talented, we speak in English and they speak in Korean, but I didn't feel that I have much trouble for sending my messages and directing them (of cause with helped from translators). We spent lot of time and they committed so much into developed the characters with us. One thing that I impressed and respected toward Mr. Bong, during the travelling to Busan before the shoot, Mr. Bong have an accident and injured, but he still insisted completed the shoot before went to the medical checkup, I was worried about him during most of the time. Eventually we completed it without any big problems, I should mentioned that we almost lost one of the location again during the shoot.
The scene that I directed for both actor Mr. BONG and actress Ms. CHOI
Ms. KIM, she did a very well job, unfortunately I never have chance to direct the scenes that involved her, this scene directed by CJ from Taiwan .
My precious photo with Mr.BONG
I thought all the fun will end after the shoot, but we still continue with different masterclasses and sharing sections, watched our mentor and AFA alumni films. And I guess during this time was the busiest time for our Editor CHU and Sound Engineer ANKITA (she did sound recording during the set as well), they have to completed the post production for the short film, A.K.A within a short time. But I was impressed by their outcome as well. Both of them supported by another instructors, Steve M. CHOE (Editing), HAN Myung Hwan (Sound Design). Online colour correction by Mr OH Byung-geol and his team, and Scoring by Mr Han Jae-gweon and his team.
It was glad to met a Producer friend Liang Ying in film festival
At the same time, we continue enjoys taking classes from our Dean, Mr TSAI Ming Liang, Directors Souleymane CISSE (who also head Jury for BIFF 2016), I have to admit that I envy for all the DPs, they have lot hand on classes and sharing with different peoples. We spent most of the time on these for the second half part of the workshop , but yet I still managed to watch ONE film, by Davy CHOU, before end of the film festival.
My only photo that captured Mr TSAI
And here come the end if the day before closing ceremony, 2 of our short films (along with Team B) were screened during the film festival. Thing I felt weird was my friends not able to get any ticket for the screening but yet I saw lot empty seats during the screening. Well, of cause we have our graduation ceremony as well, and here another surprise for me that I won the Dongseo Scholarship Fund along with Maaria from TEAM B. Finally I have some fund for my first feature, but I'm thinking if the scholarship is REAL scholarship for me to study in the school, that will be great as well! I have to thanks for all the fellows who support each others during the courses, especially my producer Mai.
The good experiences walking red carpet with Dean, Mentors and fellows
Here end for my tour of AFA with such a great achievement in my lifetime. After all I felt it seem just like a dream when I came back. All the memories start to faded off, but there are something seem still inside my heart. I think the workshop is the place to meet persons, shared with each others, build up a new connections, and experiences something new. I think this is what our Malaysian filmmakers needs, to explorer more.
I still wish to thanks for all the fellows, Korean supporting team members, Technical Assistants team formed by the AFA Alumni, and all the Instructors
p/s: most of the photos I attached above were took by Official AFA photographers, Mr YEO Seung-jin, OCK Su-dong and; PARK Min-cheol, thanks for them captured our best memories.