Thursday, October 13, 2016

Here's What You Need to Know

So, I (along with my awesome gang) created this short film...

Now, you may wonder why we made this movie. Or not.

A little over a month ago, Forbes announced its first ever international short movie contest, which was the Forbes Under 30 Short Film Festival. I was really excited to join because I wanted to be on the cover of Forbes magazine, smiling next to Oprah and the Queen one of my lifetime goals was (and still is) to make films. Oh, and because the entry fee was $0.

Initially, I wanted the story to be something that was very close to me, which obviously was beauty-related. However, after receiving a lot of feedback, I changed the whole concept. The short film festival was said to be held in this month (on the 17th, to be exact). After doing some googling, I found out that October was also known as the Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So I figured that it was only fitting to base my story on that subject.

I didn’t really know that much about domestic violence (not saying that I’m now an expert at it, though), so I did some research. I used to study psychology back in uni anyway so I figured that I’d be a fool if I didn’t base this movie on some theoretical ground, especially for such issue. I also talked to a friend who’d soon be a sought-after clinical psychologist, and she really helped me to better understand the cycle of domestic violence. However, I didn’t want the story to be way too theoretical and rigid, so I also watched an amazing Ted video and read some survivors’ stories online, which helped me so much in developing the story.

Now, here’s the thing. I had made some videos previously, but this time ‘round was my first legit short movie. I was absolutely clueless about where to begin. I’d be working with people and nobody was gonna be able to read my mind so I needed to figure out how to be an efficient team player. Luckily, I’d got a friend who once studied film making -- and edited the behind the scenes footage from Filosofi Kopi, mind you -- and she kindly gave me some advice on how to write the script, determining the necessary equipment, and all that jazz. Long story short, I then became less clueless.

“Things will go wrong” was a quote by the infamous Martin Scorsese that I once came across. I didn’t expect everything to fall into place. There were some challenging times, but nothing that we couldn’t handle (and laughed a lot about ‘em). Remember the scene where Arinda shut the door in front of Andre’s face, that was only shown for a fraction of a second? It literally took us umpteen times to get the shot that you saw. Fun times.

Technical things aside, I was having some struggles with myself as well. I was afraid that I couldn’t be a good director (omg I hate to use that word) for the people that I worked with, because I was still clueless (remember?). But, they were simply amazing. They helped me figure things out easily. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I had with these people.

I’d like to share with you some more details about what was really going on behind the camera, but I don’t wanna bore you with more of my ramblings... for now. So, I suppose it’s about time to wrap this up.

But before that, big fat thanks to

Riga, for driving us all the way to and back from the filming location, napping and taking a swim when everyone else was busy shooting scenes, making sure our tummies were full and happy, criticizing my ideas, and for your constant support.

Riyo, for your incredibly mad, mad skillz. It only took him less than 24 hours to edit the first draft, which I think was so insane in the best way possible. More and more people need to know of how amazing and talented and what a virtuoso you are.

Andre, for not coming on time (HAHA), for Un-Drake-ing my heart, and all the lame-ass jokes that only we would understand.

The disturbingly beautiful Arinda, for listening to me talking about my teenage dream of directing a movie back in 2007 or so, and being involved when I turned it into reality this year.

And to you, for making it this far.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the semi-finalist round. But whatever. I may have lost in one competition, but I’ve gained plenty of invaluable learning experience. Plus, I may have saved someone’s life, Who knows?

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