Sunday, May 12, 2013

Perspectives updated

It's already coming to the second week of May and guess what?

I just realised I have not been working on any television projects since beginning of the year! There were the promising proposals and like many television projects in the past, these have either been postponed due to concept re-writing - could someone tell these know-all television executives to quit being clueless hesitant about what they think the audience really want to watch - or that the potential collaborators involved themselves been suddenly tied up in something else. I wouldn't call these hurdles but in my mind (after being in the industry for more than 15 years) consider these moments allow the ideas to mature.

Innovative series like LOST, GLEE or CSI wouldn't have seen the light of day if some gutsy television executives had not followed their winning instincts. And now you're getting television programmes (especially the local channels) which are either a copy or mutation of these. Furthermore, how long do you think your audience would buy into the so-called, reality/factual-formatted shows? Importantly, do popularity votes really translate into development of real talent?

And yet, you complain about falling ratings. You need to trust a writer for programme concepts that are more in tune with the ground. When your programmes start to look like the other programmes, something is wrong! One should innovate, not imitate. Before you programme your content, I would advise you put yourself as your own audience. Television audiences are becoming more discerning.

...Oh well, nothing's lost for me. I would rather focus my energy on ideas that appeal to the appreciative international audience.


If you have been following my progress with two films, namely VOLUPTAS and RAMUAN RAHASIA, you might have wondered when I would eventually complete these.

My apologies but when it comes to my films, I have been a terrible, obnoxious perfectionist! You see, those of you who have worked with me would know that I would not do more than one television projects at one time, ie I would not undertake another television project while filming is still being done on another, or post-production is at its early stages for one. I truly respect my peers who can manage such multitasking but my priority and focus lies on one project at a time, most of the time.

Going back to my films - the self-imposed hibernation has allowed me to revisit these films. I have been watching a lot of films and stage plays. I have to admit it has not been easy to switch to the Cinematic Mode in between/after doing television for so long. VOLUPTAS was already shot and in the can since 2010 while RAMUAN RAHASIA was originally shot (and meant to be completed as a feature-length) in 2008. My last film, a short, was AMEEN and this was in 2010. And I've meant to release a film every 2 years - it is already 2013! I emphasize that I am very thankful to all the cast members (if you're reading this, you know who you are) who have been trusting in my vision and patient, for without them these films would not have been made.

But hey, perhaps it was a blessing that completion for these films are delayed. So much has passed since these films were shot. In the film VOLUPTAS, the cast members have gone on to win various industry awards and I should mention that they are now artistes at the pinnacle of their trades (and I'm very proud to have spotted them while no one was looking, so to speak), while in the film RAMUAN RAHASIA, I have gone through so much personal + professional awakenings and steep learning curves, among others. Heck, some ideas from the trailers were even erm, adapted! Nevertheless a good friend reminded me - they can take my ideas but they can never steal my soul - Ameen to that.

Getting creative gets better with age. These films deal with human relationships and I have to admit that returning to these films has been a sobering experience. These films would have been edited differently - I would have looked at human relationships in a different manner. The absence and then coming back has given me that third eye. At the moment I am looking at the footage as a creative editor than a filmmaker who would want to salvage all the footage shot. This might sound brutal - I know hehe!

In regards to RAMUAN RAHASIA, I have discussed with Gene Sha Rudyn, my co-writer, and we have decided to to rename the film SAYANG DISAYANG. Personally, this represents a new chapter, a fresh eye in storytelling, among other things. Furthermore SAYANG DISAYANG sounds rather, romantic and soulful. After all the hurdles, it gives me a chance to relook at the film in a new perspective.

At the moment I am giving myself deadlines - to finish VOLUPTAS and SAYANG DISAYANG in less than 2 weeks. Wish me luck!