Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The things I hope to do in 2011

It's only three months to the end of the year. Time flies. Really flies. Supersonic lightspeed kinda speed.
It has been a weird year so far. Detik 12 Malam completed and awaiting screening on RTM. My new telemovie entitled Pontianak: 3 Cerita 3 Sutradara has just been completed. My documentaries for Awani, especially the one on Mustapha Hussain, was well received.
Personally, things are still quite a mess. Financing my docus has been problematic and tricky. Used to have things financed through SME Bank, but when the process and procedure became too taxing and mindboggling, I decided to try private funding from outside. I make less profits but to tell you the truth, it was still worth it because I don't have to deal with twits. Mind you not all bankers are twits. They are actually some bankers out there who do their best to help entrepreneurs - even those in this wonky film industry of ours. But they are just but a few. Most seem to despise dealing with us producers eventhough we have a government contract in hand (0r used to).

What I am trying to do now, is actually trying to see if I can get a loan from FINAS to produce my movie under the Negarawan film programme.

I mean if any tom dick and harry seem to be getting their proposals approved, and if people out there says that it is free money (which I doubt), I do think I stand a chance of getting a loan right? I mean I know I'm not in the same league as Shuhaimi Baba or the KRU brothers or even the Maidin film group, but still, I think I have some track record to boast of. The problem is whilst I love making horror movies I think by the time I complete a horror movie, the local audience might be jaded.

What about comedy? If Prof Hatta Azad Khan can direct a senario movie and rake in more than RM2m, why not do a comedy? The problem is the kind of comedies I do is not the kind those who pay to see Malay movies go to.

What's left? Would I risk it all for an epic movie? Would I dare take a multi-million ringgit loan to make a movie about Dato' Sagor? About Pangazou the Sabahan warrior? About Datuk Bahaman? ABout Tok Naning?

Would anyone want to see these movies?

I don't know. Do we make movies that the audience want to see or to we make movies that we want the audience to see?

This is the problem producers have right now.

Do we still keep producing lame horror movies, mat rempit half baked racing movies, slapstick comedies for the same market segments or do we try something else?

Do we instead improve ourselves as filmmakers and produce things that we are proud of as filmmakers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


The year has passed too quickly and here we are again, at the end of Ramadhan and near the beginning of Syawal. The fasting month, a month of contemplation, a month of redemption, a month full of holiness will soon come to an end.
For me Ramadhan this year was fleeting, mainly because my team was producing a digital movie for television entitled 3 Cerita 3 Sutradara which wrapped a couple of days back.
As is usual during the production process tempers flared, words spoken that shouldn't have been spoken and acts done that shouldn't have been done. So for a bit, I haven't been really a good Muslim this Ramadhan even though I missed two days due to having to take meds for kidney pains.
To all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances, to my fellow bloggers and readers, twitters and facebookers, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and in the spirit of the season, offer my sincere apologies to all and sundry for any wrong that I have done during the last 12 months before Syawal this year. I hope that you would see me as a mere mortal with a lot of failings and weaknesses. It has been a difficult year. A really difficult one, not only for me but for many filmmakers.
And I hope that after Raya, things will pick up for them.
This year, I will be with my parents the day before Raya and the morning of Raya (if Raya falls on Friday). After the family's usual eat-in after prayers at my parent's house in Janda Baik, my family and I will take a slow drive down South to Singapore to spend three nights and to visit my cousins there. Somehow, my family has become very rapat with our relatives in Singapore bar one.
Knowing that some close friends like Ebby Saiful and Hasnul Rahmat, and not to forget Dato Aziz Sattar's three daughters will be in Singapore at the same time, might also make this Raya trip a fun one.
However, I would not forget about my friends here in Malaysia - many of them - Amer Baker, Shukor Karim, Tg Annuar, Radzi Din, Ayoub, Mr Ray, Rusli, Azman, Ruslee Ariffin, Zaidi Mohamed, Dato Nazeri, Halem Mt Som, Wan Sazrudeen, Den Wahab and many others, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri maaf zahir batin. I hope all of you would have a great weekend.
To the ladies whom I consider dear since schooldays and college days, they include Nurjannah, Asriah, Suharti, Puspayanti, Hatijah, Roslinda, Aida and Rosnah, and my friends from the industry that include Anne Abdullah, Lufya Omar, Adrea Abdullah, Razlina, Rosie Rashid, Juliah Shamsul, Dylla Ahmad and many others in the film industry, I wish you all Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
To my friends in the media, especially former colleagues in NST and TV3, I wish you all a great Raya too.
To my staff Hafiz and Nadhirah, have a great break.
To my beloved siblings and their family - my elder brother Arjunaidi and his beautiful family, my younger brother Asnadi and his wonderful wife Aina, to my only sister Murniaty and her two young boys - I beg forgiveness and wish you all Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
To my parents - Abah and Mak - I wish both of you the best of health and Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri wishes from a difficult offspring.
To my own family, my loving wife Puteh Jerineh Ramli and my four kids, Aidyl Abadi, Aidyl Nurhadi, Adylla Lyanna and Adi Iliya, I love all of you. Please forgive papa for his shortcomings and his failures. As always I try to do my best for all of you. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all of you.
To everyone else, especially my friends in RTM, Media Prima, al Hijrah TV, ASTRO, Awani and Muzium Negara, do enjoy the holidays, be with your family, friends and colleagues and spread the spirit of oneness that only Malaysians understand. I remember 30 years ago, we were one. I really don't understand how so much hatred and divisiveness have crept into our lives and around us.
We understand that we do not approve nor condone some of the politically motivated actions that we have seen over the past years, but do not take it out on your fellow friends, neighbours and brothers for whom color nor creed nor religion matter. We have been one and friends for a long while. We knew what true harmony is. Harmony is forgiving, understanding, appreciating, respecting and acknowledging each others' space and rights. Underneath all this, we share the same spirit and blood.
To my Malay brothers and sisters, let the spirit of Raya show us the way to forgiveness and respect - to allow harmony to return to our lives.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Mohon Maaf Zahir dan Batin.