Friday, June 21, 2013

The Making Of Nasi Lemak

Last semester, I had enrolled in a video-making club for my extra curricular activities. Since high school I am very passionate about film-making, cinematography. Well of course it started with my interest in photography, but now it develops to making videos. I just admire the late Yasmin Ahmad's works. I mean, her short films, movies and commercials able to touch many hearts. Also, how humble she is no matter how successful she is.

Back to the post, so during my curricular classes, I was a bit lazy to pay attention to what sir was explaining about video making. My favorite spot was at the very back of the computer lab. Yeah, well it's not entirely my fault, as students, we had the whole day listening to long lectures, so to expect us to focus during curricular lectures, sorry we just can't especially when the class is late in the evening.

For our final project sir has asked all of us to prepare a storyline for a short video, it can be anything, PSA, short story, documentary, or even a music video. At that time our final exam is just around the corner, so I did my storyline as simple as it could be. Nothing drama like, or conflict like movie. Just about unity.

Each of us must present the plot or synopsis of our short video, so I explained in the most simple way.

Sir : Ok Fairus, video awak pasal apa. Tajuknya Nasi Lemak betul tidak?

Fairus : Ye sir. Video ni pasal 2 member, time kecik Haikal duk overseas. Kawan dengan Andy, bila dah besar depa pisah. So Andy ni datang Malaysia nak jumpa Haikal. Setting video ni kat kedai mamak. Time ni la Andy tanya orang kat Malaysia ni mcm mana? Haikal pun terang kan melalui nasi lemak yg depa order.

The thing is we were in groups, so for each group only one storyline would be picked. And I was so hoping it wouldn't be mine, if so, I have to be the director, finish up the script, actor scouting some more. So it's a fuss. But in the end, mine was chosen because it was not so cliche as the others.

The Script

Oh wow, the script, because in my video concept there would be a mat salleh in it, so my script must be in English. So I was the only one who made a video in English. The script was not that hard though, but it was a bit tricky to resemble each of the nasi lemak ingredients with the characters that Malaysia has. It took me about 2 days for the script to be upon perfection. Well, once you finish it and show to your sir, minor alteration must be done.

The Storyboard

Thank God my concept was pretty easy, so the setting is not that hard to find. As the director/editor I can already picture the video in my head, but the thing is my group and sir can't see the same as I visual the video  would be. So I begin storyboarding my video, storyboarding is when you do a roughly sketch for your each scene and takes. And this is the time I discover my talent on drawing is pretty bad, in other words, my 7 year old brother draws better than me, But still it does picture the way on how I would like to shoot my scene and takes for the video.


Because at first I was not planning to do this video. So I didn't think it throughly for the future shooting. First problem, where in the world can I find a matsalleh actor in my local uni. But thanks to my friend mira, I found my Andy. Long story short, she has some connections, so I was able to get a matsalleh kid to be the actor. For the other actors I asked my friends to help me out. And promise them to treat them for a meal. And of course my lovely family, I couldn't make this video without them. They also star in this video. Though my dad keep making new dialog for his part. Haha.

The Crew

Remember I mention about the group for presenting our storyline? Yup same group for doing the shooting too. I divided the team into each aspects. For instace Props Manager. Not to forget, Maisarah, she is not from my group, but I asked for her help in shooting the video, because she has the skill on taking good videos. All the important aspects from lighting,angle of shooting,sound system, mostly I discussed with Maisarah.


We did the shoot according the scenes, one day at this place, and the other day, different place. But all together it took us 5 days to complete the task. It was very tiring, with the rehearsals, directing, shouting here and there. But it was worth it. To be honest, not all what I planned out, became a reality but it turns out even better. Sometimes acting spontaneously brings so much more that what I have planned before.


During the editing, we also need to do some voice over for a couple of scenes. But thanks to my teammates they helped that part because at that particular time I had to sit for my midsem test. For the editing, I used Sony vegas pro12, it was my first time using it though, so it was pretty risky to edit using a software that I was not familiar with. But in the end, I made it. The feeling of clicking on the render button can't be describe even with words. At first I wanted to make the subtitles but we had not much time.

The Competition

During the screening, there were 6 videos were shown. The top 3 videos from each class was shown that night. Though it was not as prestigious as The Emmy's Award, but for the first time I saw, my idea was made into a video, and I have this a hall full of people watching at my masterpiece, well not so masterpiece. And never had it occurred in my mind to win the competition. Thanks to those who helped me in making this a reality.

What's Next?

Nasi Lemak also won first place in the video competition held by the Integrity Society. This was a month ago. I'm also waiting for any open video competition in August, for our Independence Day. Because the theme of my video is about unity, so just perfect for our Independence Day.

Also, recently, my friends and I made an arabic short film for our Arabic language final project., 3 Siti. Sadly, we didn't win. Next time, pay attention to the rules and regulation, if it says 10 minutes length so it must be ONLY 10 minutes, and not 10 minutes and 34 seconds. Ours was 34 seconds longer so couldn't even participate for the competition. Talk about bad luck. Nevertheless, it was a fun experience all together.

Future Plans

A friend of mine has asked me to collaborate with him for a special short film project. We had this idea months ago, but since then we haven't yet met up and discuss it officially. Maybe, during the semester breaks we will meet up and discuss the necessaries to our small project.

Tools and Equipments

As for now, my equipments are not so fancy. I only have 2 DSLRs, 1000D and 550D. One camera stand and a laptop. So my plan is, for this semester break I will build my own equipments. Maybe a slider, steady cam and hmm, we'll see.

Well maybe that's enough for today's post

Here's the link to the Nasi Lemak video

Here are some pictures of behinds the scenes for Nasi Lemak

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