Make original stories that connect, budding filmmakers told
KUCHING: Aspiring filmmakers in the state should look into making original stories that they can identify themselves with.
Film Producers Association Malaysia deputy president Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba said as fi lmmakers, it was their job to fi nd a strong story that will enable them to connect with their audience.
“We want to see stories from Asean countries to also be highlighted because Hollywood stories have been seen by many and they (viewers) want something different.
“Our job (as filmmakers) is to find a good narrative, a strong story that people outside can also identify with,” she told The Borneo Post when met after conducting the Sarawak Youth Short Film Education Programme workshop at a hotel here yesterday.
Citing Sarawak as an example, the award-winning director believed that there were many interesting local stories on the state which can be made into a movie or even a short fi lm.
“I was speaking to a European producer recently and he said he was interested to do a story from here because they know about Rajah Brooke. So I told them to look up on the Internet to fi nd out more on that but he said there’s nothing on Sarawak.
“I said there must be something at least on the Sarawak River and they couldn’t fi nd it. So we need to have more original stories that are interesting. People want to know about Sarawak and the things that happened here and it is our job to fi nd them, expose them and share them,” she said.
On the workshop which saw participation from some 150 students from universities such as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak ( Unimas) and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Shuhaimi said the participants were taught how to explore ideas to makeshortfilmsandthetechniques available internationally from Hollywood.
“What we want to expose them to is to understand the structure and techniques and that they don’t need to do Hollywood-type fi lms.
“I want to encourage them to look at their own stories, their local stories, explore and identify with that because they know their own stories better than anyone else,” she explained.
Describing young aspiring filmmakers as “the ones with the most energy”, Shuhaimi said this was the right time for them to explore their ideas.
“What they need is guidance on how to make fi lms and how to do it well.”
While she acknowledged that creating a story was a difficult process, she advised budding fi lmmakers to “go out and watch a lot of fi lms.”
“You have to mix around, go out and experience a lot of things before the ideas come to you. Ideas cannot come out while you wait and think about what you want to write.”
During the one- day workshop, which was held in conjunction with the soft launching of the 2017 Asean International Film Festival & Awards (Aiffa), participants also watched short films from countries such as Afghanistan, Greece and the United States of America.
“I showed them short fi lms that are inspirational so that they can see that even with a small budget, they can still do a very interesting short film that’s not just about fiction but also about real-life events,” Shuhaimi said.
Shuhaimi (left) and Livan showing a bunting for Aiffa.