Our run of Actorlympics ended with a bang last night, probably the most successful run this year. Still feeling the fun, we all decided a night of karaoke was the ticket and spent six hours crooning and croaking into two shower-capped mikes at the BSC karaoke lounge. Even Panini was singing her little heart out to the Bee Gees and Dolly Parton!
We will be having another run at the end of February and are already trying to think of other cool themes for our poster and flyers!
Today we came into the office for a script meeting for SUMO which will be in production before the end of January. It lasted about seven hours and I am soooo tired. Although I get weary just thinking about what it takes to execute TV or Film production, I love the idea of a looming project and being a part of creating a wonderful new world, not to mention the fun it is when your team turns out to be great - then the fun is doubled, and it becomes a cherished life experience.
Anyway, the shoot starts in Japan and has some big names from the local industry. Besides the fact that MALAYSIA'S MOST INSPIRED AND POPULAR DIRECTOR Afdlin Shauki is directing and acting in it, we also have Patrick Teoh, Harith Iskander and Yassin as part of the supporting cast.
This project will be big.
It started out as a story a young Japanese director/cameraman called Michihiro Kubota had. He and his partner Tomoko have made Malaysia their home, even spent some time in Sabah, my birthland. One day, he saw BULI and decided that this was the director he was looking for. He spent two years trying to track Afdlin down, and one day was given a tip by a friend of his that Afdlin would be making an appearance somewhere for a film or something. At last! Michi turned up at the location and gathered up the gumption to approach Afdlin with his story.
Afdlin loved the idea so much, he took it on, and for more than a year they worked on the story. Finally, three quarters of the way into 2005, they came up with a next-to-final draft.
It was at this point that I was brought in to translate the draft into a feature film script suitable for the cinema. It is really one of my favourite pieces of writing - mainly because the story was fantastic and much of the essence had been worked out already. It was a dream to write.
We found an investor who basically told us they want this to go big. They wanted for this to be international, with commercial as well as critical success. They believe in Afdlin, who is the reason why I think the whole thing has everything going for it.
So, the film will open both in Japan and Malaysia. Afdlin went to Japan recently to speak to distributors and do a recce (recconnaissance - to check out locations), and managed to get a positive response from a major distributor.
Afdlin is casting Nang Nak's lady star Inthira Jaroenpura as the lead female (from Thailand). The film will be shot in three languages.
Loads of preparation has gone into the script and story, as we want to meatify the story and make it as good as it can be.
What's the story about? It's about a Malay boy, as lazy, selfish and unambitious as can be, who learns about being responsible through his relationship with a Japanese family living in Malaysia.
That's all I can do for now - I have to go home and sleep!! My kids are going to their first day of school tomorrow, and I'm dreading waking up early...