I am The Shai.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"The Undecided" - how it happened...

Finally, after six long years of dreaming, the first step has been taken towards making films.
Sure, it could've started off two years ago in 2003, but Noooo, I just had to fail my Maths.

But that's that.

11th November - 13th November 2005 marked the weekend of the Fly By Night Video Challenge 2005, in which contestants (in teams of 4 or less) had to interpret a theme which was announced at 730pm on 11th November, film throughout the 12th, and submit the five-minute film on 13th November by 1pm. Hectic? You bet.

And so, the Not-So-Fantastic Four that consisted of Lokman, Richard, Stefan and myself gathered at The Substation with the other conestants on the 11th to await the announcement of 2005's theme. We were hyped of course. Afterall, here were four movie buffs finally making a movie of their own.

The theme?

Come again you say? Exactly.

And with that as our theme for 2005, we set off to fill our stomachs first.
Finally got to taste the fish at Manhattan Fish Market. *winks to Geri*
And then, we tried to find a suitable place to brainstorm and we ended up at some benches somewhere nearby Olio Dome and we camped there for the night. Well, not till very late lah.

Under the the star-lit sky, urm, lights-from-the-trees-lit sky, we threw all our ideas forth and things got pretty intense and different points. Boy, come to think of it, we were all really thinking too hard. By that time, we were pondering if the other groups had started work on their movies yet. And, when after two hours, we finally found an idea we all could agree on and were deciding on the ending, our dear darling Richard threw in a new idea and that changed the whole course of our production.

He suggested spoofing the competition. Took us two darn hours to get that! Discussed it briefly and then opted to go into things the "commando" (though in this instance no underwear was used) way. No script! So, we went home to sleep. Or at least try to contain our excitement.

Things picked up the morning after though...

The musketeers had breakfast at King Albert Park and were then nice enough to fetch me from school where I had had rehearsals. And we zoomed to Ayer Rajah, where Lokman's office was situated, to film the first scenes of the day!

We decided to go ahead with spoofing the organisers coming up with this year's theme. We spent a whole lot of time on that and later, to our horrors, most of it ended up on the editing suite floor, which means no more War of the Worlds scene...Boohoo...
But, within the building alone, we managed to film numerous scenes which included Richard becoming a Tony Jaa-esque character, kicking me and Stefan (by then we had switched into spoofing the contestants mode). We all did our own stunts sans cables and wires. I of course took the chance to throw myself over a chair. Hur hur.
We then "borrowed" someone's car at the carpark as a prop. We used it for the crime scene where Richard, trying to unlock the car door got stabbed to death by Lokman. Stefan and I then came into the picture, in a scene straight out of Kill Bill (we didnt realise this at that moment!)
We then headed for the empty rooftop and immediately thought of having a car scene where Richard would drive head on towards Stefan and me who would both jump out of the way. Again, no wires or cables were used and we did it all in one take.
Oh oh, and then we also filmed the supposed fight scene that involved a yellow umbrella and other car tools.

Done with Ayer Rajah, we headed to Labrador Park to film our war sequence which only Richard and Lokman were a part of as Stefan didn't bring his uniform and I, well, not in Army yet lah! We found the cannon we wanted, got Lokman and Richard to dress up and they had a whole ball of a time becoming general and private together. This was followed by a run up a slope with Stefan running behind them with the camera, evening sun shining into the camera. Richard almost banged into a tree, it would've been funny if he did! And we did this little scene with me donning a helmet and lamenting that the big boys won't allow me to play solder with them. That was fine until I was poked in the eye by a leaf that I had pushed away. Deleted scene of course. Wahaha.

We then headed for the Registry of Marriages to film our romantic scene. Sadly, this did not occur as we had no girls in our team and besides, we wanted to depict the pathetic nature of our all-male team. And of course, they got me to be the poster boy. Sad.
We then headed for The Substation to film a quick us-running-out-from-Substation-like-KIASU-contestants scene. This attracted lotsa attention of course but we did it quickly and headed for our well-deserved dinner at Marina Square (where someone had an Ed-Wood inspired moment).

By then it had neared 7pm, so, we scrapped the idea of heading to Toys "R" Us to film our lightsabre scene. Headed for the Esplanade in hopes of borrowing PoPcorn PoP's lightsabres but discovered that none of the staff members I know were on duty.
We headed to library in hopes of finding a girl and getting her to do a quick scene with us guerilla style but decided against it the moment we saw the "no-filming" sign at the entrance of the library. Not wanting to risk getting caught, we headed for the rooftop and saw a catfight with swords down below. Sadly, the clip will only be scene in the director's cut.
Not deterred, we filmed a quick chop-chop horror scene in the rooftop toilet. Sure, there were people coming in and out but Stefan was quick to usher them towards the urinals leaving the two cubicles free for Richard and me to do our scene. Richard's hand grabbing my leg as I am about sit down on the toilet bowl. That done, we went to the lobby of the Esplanade to film our contestants brainstorming scene. We had initially wanted to do it at the space outside Olio Dome but considering the quarter-comatose state we were almost in, we decided to brave it out, bells ringing and all.

As the evening neared its end, we drove all the way to Tampines to film a what we thought was going to be a quick horror sequence but it ended up being the toughest part of our shoot.
You know the face appearing inside the lift thingy ala Dark WateR? We did the reverse lah. The problem was getting the lift to go up without anyone else but our crew inside it. We didn't want to risk shocking the hell out of the residents. We tried and tried and got we wanted. That was becasue the battery died out on us and we had no choice but to cease filming.

In a dazed state, we all went to Lokman's house which served as our editing suite. We ran into battery and charger problems that got Richard lost in Punggol. So, we all managed to get a quick rest at our own homes somehow. And from then on, when we were all together once again, we totally lost our sense of time. We were laughing and all but I don't know if it all happened now that I think of it!
We found great music, from the movies of course and they fit in nicely into their respective scenes. We even managed to do a Signs inspired scene. You can see it in the previous entry.

Editing was completed at 1030am, 13th November. The rendering part was a killer and we, or at least Stefan and Richard submitted our movie with 10 minutes till the deadline.

Tired? Extremely.
Fun? But of course.
Regrets? Not at all!

The rest of the day was a whirlwind as the screening started around 3 plus in the afternoon. We were to be the 8th movie, not true as there were at least 2 before us that didn't complete their movies! It was nerve-wrecking waiting for our movie to be screened to everyone in attendance. But hey, the audience laughed at our stupidy moments lah. We could only laugh along too!
Sure we didn't win anything. But the experience was well worth it. And I had great team members!

Fly By Night 2006 cannot come any sooner!


Blogger Stefan S said...

haha, cool! and i still haven't completed mine...

and btw.. have you heard of my idea for FBN2006...


Friday, November 18, 2005


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