BEHIND THE SCENES
This was my makeshift 'crew' - Ariff Aris on camera, Diana Hashim as my production manager (seen here bouncing an Ikea lamp light off a reflector) and Ahmad Haron as production assistant (holding our makeshift boom which we only used for two days).
This... Is my BOOM STICK!
You know you're beyond DIY indie when you don't even have gaffer tape on set to attach a cheap mic to a stick.
I rarely storyboard since most of the time I'm behind the camera, but since I was acting in almost every scene I'd draw up storyboard of the more complicated scenes. This was for the original intro of the movie.
Shooting On The Streets
For most of the movie, this is the set-up. Ariff points and shoots, I talk and talk and talk.
This is where 85% of the RM10,000 budget went to - buying the Canon XM2, which came with 10 miniDV tapes which we shot all of the flick with.
I'm not sure whether Diana is holding the script like that to show me lines or it's a makeshift reflector.
Ben & CK were awesome in this scene. I ended up working with Ben again on an episode of Dark City.
Going through the scenes of the opening ten minutes was pretty tricky since it cuts to so many different versions of the movie - the cinema copy, the D5 copy, etc.
Don't Mess With The Brown
Hassan Peter Brown was an absolute delight to work with. We worked on his look and his character quite a bit and I love how this worked out.
Jordan Suleiman (right) and I first met in A-level college and played in a band together. I went on to become a filmmaker and he went on to become a VFX artist at Voxel Imaging who did the opening credits. Funny how we both started within one creative field and ended up in another one.
I've known Ariff since I was 13 or 14 years old and he was a wee lil' kid. His mom used to tutor me in Bahasa Malaysia and the Qur'an. Later on, when I came back to Malaysia, we both started a band together called 'Khaimano' through our mutual love of ska-punk. After not playing for ten years, last year we started the band back up again. At the time of this movie he was on his way to becoming the awesome photographer that he is now, which is why I asked him to be my DP.
Meanwhile, In Hackney...
It was kind of weird to send someone I'd never met a bunch of pages to shoot some scenes for a movie and having no idea how they'd look until they got back. Thankfully, Adam Lawrence has a great eye and the shots came out great.
He's wearing headphones! We stopped wearing headphones after day 1! God, I feel like an amateur...
It may seem nonsensical to have scenes shot in London that don't show anything particular-ly 'London-y' but I didn't want to have shots with Big Ben in the background. I wanted that colour tone and street architecture, those specific brick walls and tungsten lighting.
This scene never made the final cut. I don't think I even cut it properly. There was meant to be one more scene that intercuts with the UK but by the time I got to that point in the movie it didn't feel like it needed it.
An Extra Push
We actually went slower than what the car should be in the movie to be safe but even then this was scary, but we still did it. I don't think I'd do this now.
Mainly because I'm not a dumb 25 year old anymore.
Back to the Future!
When I wrote this scene, I wondered whether it would be possible. Then Ariff tried running across the car and it worked, so then I tried and dented the roof with every step.
Movie's lie, kids. Paul Stewart, who's the guy trying to mow me down with the car, also played my stunt double for all the skateboard tricks. I couldn't do any complicated flip tricks and wanted to get a couple in, so we swapped pants and shoes and Paul popped a couple tricks.
I remember there was one gap that I was hoping he could ollie for one of the scenes but it was way too wide, even for him.
Deus Ex Machina
Nazneen was originally supposed to play the role of my underaged girlfriend, but after we shot that scene it just didn't work and because I needed to re-write my ending, I gave her a new role that works so much better. Have a listen to the director's commentary to hear the full story.
Check out some of the behind-the-scenes photos of the production, together with some anecdotes by Khairil on what went on in these pics.