Some people might say that having a dream is worthless to live in reality because even though people have a dream, most people cannot make those dreams come true. It’s been a wild ride, but we’re finally in the home stretch with our first ever telemovie production, “Knotted Strands”, Directed by Herbert Ho. A little background of Herbert, he actually started as an Intern in Horizn Digital and look how far he has come! Now directing his very first telemovie production which is a featured length film.
Throwback to 23rd May 2022 when the team went over to TVS Kuching to pitch their idea, little did they know they would have come so far and believe it or not even though it doesn’t sound like such a huge job. The Storyline of this telemovie is specially dedicated to Mirians, casts and audience can strongly relate to it which is worth rewatching from time to time. It has incorporated a fully local cast and crew from Miri Sarawak which was hard to find from interviewing each and everyone of them all by himself both virtually and physically. We’ve been working so hard for the past 2 months in pre-production to make sure everything went smoothly and gladly we put all our efforts to it wasn’t wasted!
Some challenges we faced during the pre-production was searching suitable locations for our scenes as we kept on getting rejected especially the “kopitiam” scene and usage of their kitchens, the reason behind the rejection was due to business and legal procedure but we fully understand their concerns so we continue searching more suitable ones but what made us more stressed out were casts and locations were only locked one week before the actual production date. Other than that, everything was planned out precisely and we appreciate all the location owners for giving us the trust in our production in hopes of bringing up the filmmaking industry in Miri Sarawak.
Diving into the actual production day, Day 1 and Day 2 got us a little stressed out as we only have 5 days production for a 90 minutes featured film as usually other productions take at least 2 weeks but due to everyone’s personal schedule and budget constraint we make the best out of everything.As we also mainly involved 100% Mirian actors and crews as there were a lot of first timers, so we need to put our confidence and trust to ensure everything is going to be alright but slowly seeing the script come to life, It’s been a lot of work, but we’re super excited to see the final product as we’re currently in post-production. And half the fun was getting to work with a bunch of first timers – we can’t wait to see what they can do!
On Day 3, we’re a little behind schedule, but with a quick adaptation after meeting with key crews, we’re able to catch up and work more closely as the call time starts at 6am and ends at midnight. It took some time for each of us to get used to the call sheet. During Day 4 and 5 everything was smooth, everyone was dedicated and exceeded the director’s expectations and Haku our office dog was also involved in the shoot! Guess he’s going to be famous too! The production ended cheerfully with an after party at Piasau Boat Club where we had great food, sunsets and mingled around with each other to strengthen each other’s friendship. It became more splendid when the sky turned pinkish red!
From Herbert director’s perspective, he believes that Miri is a strategic hub for filmmakers because we have all the talents and resources. To most viewers, however, films are not businesses but entertainment but he believes if you are passionate about something, you will be able to sustain it through difficult times and eventually lead to success. Now, with the connections we’ve built during the production, hopefully, filmmaking will get easier and smoother in the future, and produce more quality work, locally in Miri, my hometown, he says. He hopes that his telemovie that he directed is able to stream not only on the television a few times, but on bigger streaming platforms like Disney+, Netflix and more! In the end, filmmaking is something we definitely would love to continue to pursue further.
At the end of the day, I’m not doing this for myself and with myself. This production taught me that as long as you have a story that touches the people, they will be willing to help you out and make your vision come to life. Mirians are very united when passion is the thing that drives it. That’s what I live for as a filmmaker. – Herbert Ho
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