Sunday, May 25, 2008


We have a break today and tomorrow. A deserved break after a long and tiring two weeks. For the past six days we were in Melaka - shooting the mental hopsital scenes in Peringgit, Melaka and in Regal Hotel, along Jalan Munshi Abdullah.
I haven't been to Melaka City for a long while and the development I see is quite overwhelming. What used to be the all Padang, is now a shopping Mall and the empty space in front of Equatorial Hotel is a new building that house Carrefour.
The roads are now mostly one way traffic and all my road-knowledge of the town has been nullified with the new traffic system. I was not the only one who got lost - many of the artistes and crew were trying to learn the new routes as fast as possible.
The Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah building in Peringgit replaced the old Seri Menanti Resort as part of the Mental Hospital in Bilik No. 13. Regal Hotel where we stayed became the night interiors for the series' mental hospital.
Shooting was trying, and mentally exhausting. My AD Thorpe was also suffering from a back pain that hurts everutime he tries to get up from his seat.
My continuity girl, Diana, also suffered a family tragedy when her father passed away Friday night and had to rush home for the funeral.
My crew again suffered from 'resignations' and by Friday, the technical crew had only four people again (from six). So things slowed down quite a bit.
One of the good things about the whole of last week was the appearance of Catriona Ross in the role of Dr Masitah. It's been quite a while since I've wanted to direct this actress (since I first saw her in the movie Mistik - she was easily the most talented in the cast) but somehow there had always been obstacles. Not this time. Cat, as she prefers to be called by friends, appeared on set in her 'new' shiny Mini Cooper and we immediately hit it off. Her 'recent' accident is now just a bad memory, and now she is back on track in her career as an actress.
This petite, very beautiful and talented actress, took most scenes in her stride. Minimal directions and she gets the scene down pat. Most of her scenes was with another Manjafilm regular Anne Abdullah who was also excellent in her role as Dr Iliya.
Next two weeks would be hectic as we would be completing four last episodes - Pelawat Malam (Night Visitor), Topeng (Mask), Bejalai (Journey) and Kelab Ronggeng (Dance Club).
The great news for me is that I get to direct Eman Manan and Harun Salim Bachik in Kelab Ronggeng. After all these years, I never got to direct one of the nation's finest actors, but it will happen. I will definitely write about the experience here.
My post guys, are also trying to push out some promos for me to include in this blog. So be patient. I think by next week, fans will be able to see the new opening graphics.

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