My mother bought a video camera when I was twelve, and whenever I had the chance,
I would mess around with it, much to her dismay. However, as I got older,
I became more profficient with the video camera. My uncle was a photographer, and
from him I learnt the basics of lighting, aperture, focus, shot positioning, etc. My
mother also was a very active participant in the Malay diplomats wives group or something,
and sometimes a V.I.P. would come, and I'd be in charge of filming the whole occasion. So
far I have filmed the Malaysian Agong's wife, the Prime Minister's wife, a wedding, a few
karaoke competitions and an occasion in which an Englishman was being converted to Islam. This
was my favourite, because from this, I learnt the most of what I'd need later on
in film making. I'd use the effects button on the camera, to make things interesting, yet
not too gimicky. I made sure that in each shot, whoevers talking finishes what
they say, because nothing annoys me more than having to watch something in which the cuts
are between dialogue.
In between all of this, I started to write scripts. After reading Tarantino screenplays, I started to get the hang of things. Video making is cool. Trust me.
One of the gimmicks I used was to use old footage from Bruce Lee's "Way of the Dragon"
and intercut it with my footage, so that it seemed as if I was fighting Chuck Norris.
Somehow, it didn't work.
Aswell as this, I used a lot of other old footage from me and my friends playing Wrestlemania. (We were twelve). The presenter in the video couldn't read that quickly, and we had no time for him to memorise them, so in the end I dubbed over his voice. It seemed more like "Who's line is it anyway" rather than "Fist Of Fury".
Looking back at it, the only thing that did go wrong, apart from the increadibly typical script, was the end fight sequences' filmography. In a word, terrible. I was too lazy to film at different close angles it was all filmed from afar in one angle. Rule of filmaking, never go lazy.
ENTER THE DRAGONS
Directed by: Khairil M. Bahar
Written by: Khairil M. Bahar
Lighting: The sun and a few lightbulbs
Camera: Khairil M. Bahar, Izma Zakaria, Izrul Zakaria and Farhan Rahman
Izma Zakaria, Khairil m. Bahar, Izrul Zakaria, Amin Ezani, Shamin Shamsuddin, Ruby Shamsuddin, Chuck Norris.
One of the strong influences in this video was John Woo and Chow Yuen Fat, aswell as Quentin Tarantino, aswell as Micheal Cimino's "The Dear Hunter". Made a year after 'Enter The Dragons', this one was a much slicker video, although still a slightly childish endeavour.
The story opens with the main character, Lucky, dreaming of shooting himself in the head. This follows
a simple title sequence with Fugee's "fugee la". We then see Lucky fiddling with his gun, pointing
it in directions, spinning the chamber, whilst on voice over, we hear him talk about Russian Roulette.
A young upstart tries his luck at Russian Roulette against Lucky, only to die on the second shot.
This cuts to Lucky in a bedroom, with his friend, Q, talking about loads of things really fast a la Tarantino, Lucky not paying any attention. Finally, Q notices something wrong with Lucky and asks what's the matter. Lucky recounts how he accidentally shot a girl in the leg during a shoot out and has been reduced to a cripple unless she gets medical attention. Q agrees that he'll find someone for Lucky to play Russain Roulette with.
Lucky then plays a guy named Red, who wears a dark overcoat and sunglasses. After passing the gun around, Red ends up with the sixth shot. If he pulls the trigger, he dies. Lucky will get the money. Wrong. Red points the gun at Lucky. Both know its loaded. Lucky, fortunately, has another gun behind him, and they both stand each other off, and prominently kill each other, Spaceman playing throughout all of this.
One of the main things I dug up on this one was the whole idea of dieing, aswell as the guilt Lucky holds as he
watches all the people who play him blow their own heads off. Lucky tries to redeem himself by helping the girl
who he mainly feels guilty about, only to die in the process.
You never see the whole sequence in which the girl gets shot in the leg, mainly because we didn't have a girl to play the part. All the girls we knew were too shy. Also, we had to film the video in such a way so that you never actually see the bloody flying everywhere, although you know someones being shot. This wasn't to be clever. This was because we had no squibs or blood capsules.
"...okay, Dunking Donuts are good, but I have to admit, Tesco doughnuts are far better." - Khairil M. Bahar as Q.
Directed and written by: Khairil M. Bahar
Izma Zakaria - Lucky
Khairil M. Bahar - Q
Izrul Zakaria - Unlucky guy who dies
Andi Mansor - Red
A young teenager falls asleep, thinking of a girl. He dreams...Suddenly, everything is purple and he is in a kitchen, where he drinks a glass of water. As we zoom into the water, we zoom out to reveal running water in a bathroom, the young teenager in the shower and a stuffed toy on the toilet. We suddenly hear grunting noises, followed by a strange white liquid, squirting into shot. The teenager walks out of the toilet, see's a guy dressed in a loud blue shirt, and hits him over the head. He suddenly finds himself being hit by the guy in blue, tied to a chair. The guy then curses at him in chinese, followed by strange words such as "fish". The teenager screams, then wakes up with a picture of a woman showing her bottom on his face.
Inspired by dreams, and Sandman comics, Izma and I took a piece of paper and wrote simple words that came into our mind. e.g. water, blue, purple, stuffed toy. Then we somehow linked them together to form a dream. The 'strange white liquid' bit was improvised on the spot with a tube of colgate.
Directed by: Khairil M. Bahar
Written by: Khairil M. Bahar & Izma Zakaria
Bakti - Young teenager
Izma - Guy in blue
I am currently trying to make a documentary on Malay students in England, which should be good. I also have an idea about a guy who spends a whole year in a cafe from 3pm to 4pm, purely because a year ago he saw the most beautiful girl in the world at that time at that place, and wants to see her again. There's also a fictional video about shoplifting which I want to do, filming each shoplifting sequence like a De Palma sequence in Mission : Impossible. Gee...what else, there's loads. There's the sequel to "This Is The Safest Place To Be...", "Busking", in which instead of a carnival concert, Mindless Enthusiasms'll busk.
Every young film maker has inspirations of other film makers, but there are some films that EVERY young film maker should see, low on budget yet high on quality films that started everthing...
MEAN STREETS, Martin Scorcese's third feature length film has all the raw energy of an increadible film maker. The story of crime, guilt, and Little Italy is a rough and edgy film of Charlie, played by Harvey Keitel, trying to get to the top, and his psycho buddy Johnny Boy, Robert De Niro, pulling him down. Increadible, cool, what more can I say?
RESERVOIR DOGS, the film that brought an increadible cult following, an excuse to say, "fuck" and the film that launched Quentin Tarantino into stardom as a writer/director. Here it is, THE film with cool guys saying cool things in cool clothes listening to cool music. Here it is, the cinematic landmark ear cutting torture scene. And if this is good, PULP FICTION is gooder. More cool people, more cool clothes, more cool music, more cool stuff to be said, a billion cool quotes, a billion fucks, gratuitous violence, and an increadibly film structure. Put it all in linear, and its not the same.
CHUNGKING EXPRESS is by far the hippest Hong Kong film alive. Directed by Wong Kar Wai, the film combines MTV cinematography with art house stories combined with raw pulp fiction and here you have it. This HAS to be the Pulp Fiction of Hong Kong. The film is actually love story, but instead of petty "I love you's" he gives it a more realistic feel of love, only slightly over the top. Example? Well, Tony Leung starts talking to the stuiff in his house when his girlfriend left him, saying he wants to cheer it up in her absence, although in effect he's trying to cheer himself up. One particulary surreal scene is when he talks to a bar of soap and a cloth.
However, THE film that every young film maker has to see has to be EL MARIACHI, the $7,000 'minor masterpiece' by Robert Rodriguez. This is increadible for the fact that if you watch it, then read his book (Rebel Without A Crew, Faber & Faber) you'll think you could make a feature length film. Watch this and make a movie.